Clanship and the Clans, Traditions of the Clans of Scotland (n.d.) - [PDF Document] (2024)

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1 Clanship and the Clan",, a Sketch of the Constitution andTraditions of the Clans of Scotland, with Notices of the

Highland Garb and Anns, byM. H. Towry, 12mo, buckram,4s bd N.D.

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Clanship and the Clans, Traditions of the Clans of Scotland (n.d.) - [PDF Document] (4)

Clanship and the Clans, Traditions of the Clans of Scotland (n.d.) - [PDF Document] (5)


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$, popular j&ketcl) of tlje Conjstitttttott anb ©rabittottje;

of t\)t Clang of j&cotlanb ;










Clanship and the Clans, Traditions of the Clans of Scotland (n.d.) - [PDF Document] (8)

Clanship and the Clans, Traditions of the Clans of Scotland (n.d.) - [PDF Document] (9)


1. Spirit and Constitution of Clanship.

2. The Highland Garb and Arms.

3. A Table of the Clans.

4. Traditions and Histories of a few of the Clans.

Clanship and the Clans, Traditions of the Clans of Scotland (n.d.) - [PDF Document] (10)

Clanship and the Clans, Traditions of the Clans of Scotland (n.d.) - [PDF Document] (11)


HE following little sketch is written entirely

for popular use, and can lay no claim to

originality in its views, or to profound re-

eearcli in the collection of its materials. It is merely

intended to give the English tourist and the general

public an idea of the traits of character prominent in

the Highlanders, of the constitution and spirit of clan-

ship, and of the traditions which celebrate the achiev-

ments of the clans and the prowess of their chiefs.

As useful for reference, and as embodying the

results of lengthy disquisitions, a Table of the Clans

is appended, in which, as far as possible, the name,

badge, &c. of each is given. It is evident that detailed

information on the vexed questions of origin, conflict-

ing claims to chieftainship, &c. would possess little in-

terest for the general reader, and can be found by those

who desire it in the large and valuable works from

which the present essay is compiled. These are—" Skene's Highlanders of Scotland," "Browne's History

of the Highlands and Clans,""Logan's Gael," and

"Robertson's Historical Proofs,"

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Where differences occur, Mr. Skene, as the gi

living Celtic authority, has generally been followed.

Whilst fully acknowledging how greatly the present

sketch is indebted to the labours ofMr. Browne, it maybe remarked that numerous discrepancies exist in lils

work, which it would be well to remove in ;i subse

quent edition. To give two examples, we read in his

history, vol. I. chap. vii.p. 150,

" John of Lorn was

imprisoned in the Castle of Lochleven. where he died."

loiter, in the "History of the Clans," Vol. IV. chap. v.

p. 448," He was confined in Lochleven Castle during

the remainder of Robert Brace's reign, on \\

death he acquired his liberty, and in the early part of

the reign of David II. he married a grand-daughter of

Robert Iiruce."

i, in Vol. IV. chap. ii. p. 22.3," Somerled ob-

tained a grant of Man, Arran, and Bute from David I.

in 1035." In Vol. I. chap. vii. p. 1-15, "Somerled was

slain at the battle of Renfrew in 11G4." He must

then have been at least nearly 150 years old |

In General Stewart's Sketches, he transcribes the

numbers of the forces of the Clans from " President

Forbes' .Memorial," in his first volume; yet they differ

in several instances from the numbers in the Memorial

itself, which is given in the Appendix, Vol. II.

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Spirit atttf Constitution of Clansfjip*

HE rise of clanship in the Highlands may be

dated from 1066, when Malcolm Canmore

removed the seat of goverment to the Low-

lands, and the system continued to flourish till 1748,

when heritable jurisdiction was abolished.

This prince, who figures in Shakespeare's Macbeth,

fixed his residence at the palace of Dunfermline, and

the adjoining abbey henceforth became, instead of Iona,

the place of sepulture of the Scottish kings. The conse-

quent lawlessness which resulted from the removal of

the supreme power to a distance, led to the assumption

of extensive authority by the chiefs of each clan, and

the various districts they occupied soon became a


Clanship and the Clans, Traditions of the Clans of Scotland (n.d.) - [PDF Document] (14)


number of independent states, always at feui

themselves, and yielding bnt imperfect obedienci

the kingly government. This partly resulted from the

conformation of the country; for as the islands, straths,

and valleys are divided by barriers of rocks and moun

tains, or enclosed by arms of tin- - minimi

cation prevailed, and unless justice

ministered. defence w

Clanship differed entirely in principle from tli-

feudal system which prevailed over the entire continent

<>f Europe. The fundamental distinction was the i

of consanguinity, or blood relationship, the great bond

which united all the members of a clan under thm'r

chief. They followed him as the head of their i :

and, as th< tative of their common ancestor

they submitted t<> his leadership whereverthej

or whatever were his circ*mstances, Hut the feudal

baron could only claim the obedience of his vassals <>n

account of thejr holding lands under hini. and tli

fore entitling him to their military service. The < leltic

chief was on a totally different footing with

Le from the Gothic baron, and the mutual

which hound them to him was much sti

clansman considered himself well-born, and w

the glories of his chief indin •

himself. In treating the head of the clan with u

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bounded submission and respect, he was supporting

the honour of his family. The chiefs, on their part,

governed their followers with paternal sway, and

treated them with a kindness and courtesy which

closely cemented the union so cherished on both sides.

Martin, in his Tour, says, that "it was customary for

the islanders to pray for the prosperity of their chief-

tain after grace at every meal." And when the cadets

of a family married, their household stock, cattle, kc.

were usually furnished by the voluntary contributions

of the clan. An ancient privilege, possessed by all the

clansmen, however humble, who could show consan-

guinity with the chief, was that of taking his hand

whenever they met him. Instances of their fidelity

are numerous. At the battle of Inverkeithing, between

the royalists and Oliver Cromwell, Sir Hector Mac-

Lean was hard pressed by the enemy ; five hundred

of his followers were slain, and he himself was defended

from his assailants by seven brothers who successively

fell in his defence, each shouting as they were over-

powered" Another for Hector." When Campbell of

Glenlyon fell into difficulties and was obliged to sell

his estate, his tenants offered to raise half the debt and

present it as a gift, and to lend the other half, to be

afterwards repaid. They only stipulated that lie should

leave the property to his eldest son. The influence

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I chief was as great in poverty as in afllu.

Lord MacLeod, eldest son of the Earl of Cromarty,

tnd himself followed in 1777 by 900 Highlanders,

though personally unknown to them, haying been

thirty years in exile. Macpherson of Cluny, Lochiel,

and Fraser of Lovat, all without money or lands.

ted large bodies of men.

Each tribe or clan was divided into brand tea from

main stock, with separate chieftains, and I

in into companies of fifty or sixty, under the direct

leadership of a particular chief. The principal chief-

of each clan was of course its military commander,

and every head of a distinct branch was captain of his

own band. Every clan had its standard 1>c;m

stor had generally gained this honour for some dis-

tinguished service.

The power of the chief was highly arbitrary. Be

I in three capacities—as military leader, as lord

of the, soil, and as judge and lawgiver. Thoughstomed to consult the leading men of his i

was no appeal from his decisions, which were

unhesitatingly carried into effect by his followers.

When a chief had degraded himself, and proved un-

worthy of his position, he was deposed, and the allo-

of the clan was transferred to the next in suc-

The head of the family of Stewart of Garth,

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surnamed " The fierce Wolf of Badenoch," was deposed

in 1520, and imprisoned for life in a cell of his

castle, on account of his many ferocious deeds.

Tanistry was the law of succession to the chieftain-

ship and its prerogatives ; Gavelkind, that of property.

The peculiarity of tanistry was, that brothers succeeded

to the dignity before sons, the reason being that

brothers were considered one degree nearer the common

ancestor. This law also avoided minorities, and secured

a competent military leader. It was a natural result

from the patriarchal state of society. By the law of

gavelkind, the property of the clan was divided among

all the male branches, to the exclusion of women.

With regard to names, it must be remembered that

besides that inherited from the chief, the different

branches had also genealogical surnames, taken from the

Christian names of their immediate ancestors. Thus,

the Campbells of Strachur were also called MacArthur,

from Arthur, the individual who separated from the

main stem. The Campbells of Askenish, Maclvor,

in the same way. This " bun sloine," or surname, is

only used in conversation ;in writings or in signing

the name, the real appellation is always given. This

practice is productive of great confusion, as there is,

for example, a family of MacArthurs quite distinct

from the Campbells. Some names are long perpetuated

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and widely disseminated, others die out. In the dia-

Uhole there were in L821, 1,835 male de

i.nits of Stewart of Garth bearing his name. In

place, the clans ofMacRaby and MaoConnich,

numerous in the fifteenth, sixteenth, and seventeenth

centuries, were completely extinct.

There was a curious custom in relation to

of "hand-fast marriages." This was a compact

two chiefs, by which the heir of one and the

Lghter of the other were united in marriage for a

and a day. If there were children, the marriage

held good in law, and the children were considered

imate. It not, the contract was dissolved, and

re at liberty to marry again, or to hand

with others. So late as the sixteenth century,

irldom of Sutherland was claimed by B descend

int of John, the third earl, through a hand

marriage, hut he was bought off by Sir Adam ( rordon,

who had t lie earl's daughter. Great dis<

tent often arose in the Highlands from the refusal of

oment to recognise the claims of those who.

ffding to Highland ideas, were legally entitled fcoal]

their father's p«The highest title of honour was that of Maormor,

only by the chiefs of the great leading tn

which included m^ny of the L<

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gradually became independent, they gave allegiance

only to their several chieftains. Next to the chief

came the Tanist, i.e., the next heir, then the Cean-

tighes, or heads of the subordinate branches or septs.

Of these the most powerful was the Toisich, or oldest

cadet, who headed the van in battle, and led the attack.

He was also Maor, or collector of the revenues, which

were chiefly paid in kind. These cadets are called

captains of the clan. The succeeding ranks were the

duinewassels, or gentry, the tacksmen or gentlemen

farmers, and the retainers, who were the strength of

the whole body. The wife of the chief was always

called"Lady," whether he had a baronetcy or not


a custom still preserved by the lower orders.

Rents of land were usually paid in kind; when paid

in money the sums were formerly very smalL Some

of the best lands in the Carse of Gowrie were in 1785

rented at <£4 Scots, or 6s. 8d. per acre. It was the

payments in kind and in personal services that pro-

duced the rude plenty and abundance of retainers so

characteristic of a chieftain's household. Stewart of

Appin is said to have received an ox per week, and a

goat or sheep every day of the year, with fowls, eggs,

&c, innumerable.

Every clan had its appointed rendezvous, and was

called together by the "Tarie," or fiery cross. This was

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two pieces of wood nailed together crossways. Out

of the ends of the horizontal bar was kept burning,

and a piece of white cloth stained with blood

fixed to the other. Two crosses were despatched by

the chief, and delivered from hand to hand. As each

hearer ran at full speed, .shouting the slogan or war-cry,

the district was soon overrun, and the clan assembled.

[u 1715 the fiery cross went round Loch Tay, thirty-

two miles, in three hours, and five hundred men were

collected the same evening to join the Earl of Mar.

The clans paid great attention to omens on their expe-

ditions. Their creach or forays for "cattle-lifting" are

celebrated in the Waverley Novels, as well jus the

levying of hlack-mail from the Lowlanders by the

cearnachsor catherons. These freebooters were noted

for their hardihood and ingenuity. An amusing anec-

dote is told by General Stewart of one of them named

Robert Robertson. In 1746 he observed one day a

corporal and eight soldiers marching to 11 On

reaching Tummel Bridge they halted, and laid their

guns on a stone near the road-side. Robertson

quite alone, but taking his arms lie cautiously ap-

proached the party, and then with a sudden spring

placed himself between the soldiers and their guns.

He called on them to surrender, or he would summon

his companions to shoot them. They were so taken

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by surprise that they allowed him to seize their arms,

to give them, as he said, to his associates. He next

returned and led them to Tummel Bridge inn, affect-

ing great caution lest his companions should come out

of the neighbouring wood. By the time they discovered

the deception he was far beyond their reach. On

reaching Inverness they were tried and punished for the

loss of their arms. The original name of Loch Katrine

is said to have been Loch Ceathrine or Catheron.

A somewhat similar stratagem was carried out by

Lady Macintosh in 1745. Lord Loudon when at In-

verness with the royal army was told that Prince

Charles was to sleep at Moy Hall, with a guard of 200

of the Macintoshes. To accomplish his capture, the

general instantly set out on a march to Moy Hall.

Lady Macintosh, without informing the Prince of his

danger, led out her men, and posted them in groups on

the high road, at distances of 200 yards. When Lord

Loudon was within hearing, the following order was

shouted by the men to each other,—"


MacBeans, and MacGillivrays to the centre; Mac-

Donalds to the right ;Frasers to the left." Believing

himself about to be entrapped by the whole force,

Loudon retreated to Inverness, from which, for greater

security, he crossed three arms of the sea to Suther-

land, a distance of 70 miles.

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Bonds <»f "manrent" were the ties of amit]

lug between certain clans, through which the 1*

followed the stronger, and fought on their side in every

fend, receiving in turn the protection of their allies.

Broken clans were those outlawed by theGovernment.

They had no man of rank us their representath

court and as security for their good conduct - a condi-

tion required by the law for each clan. The most

celebrated instance of a broken clan Is that of clan

>r,whose very name was proscribed, and wl

members residing in the Lowlands consequently

ed their surnames to Gregory, Grregonon, and


Numerous instances are told of the attachment of

foster brothers to the chiefs, ofwhom they were usually

the faithful persona] adherents. <

toe, related by Mrs.

Hows :—Colonel Fraser of Culduthel, an

officer of the " lilack Watch." when at the

Bergen-op-Zoom, went with a party to destroy a bati

raised by the enemy. The night was dark, and as the

was difficult they made a short halt. As they

moved on, Colonel It something in the

and on stooping down, he caught hold of a plaid which

rasped, and drew his dirk with the other hand.

D this he heard the voice of his foster-brother, and

instantly asked him, "What brought you here]" "Just

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love of you, and care of your person."" But what

good can you do me, and why encumber yourself with

a plaid 1""Alas, how could I ever see my mother had

you been killed or wounded, and I not been here to

carry you to the surgeon, or to burial, and how could

I do either without my plaid to wrap you in T Upon

enquiry it was found that the man had crawled on his

hands and knees between the sentinels, then followed

the party at some distance, and when near the place of

assault crept again near his master to be beside him un-

observed. Another instance is as follows :—At the

battle of Killiecrankie, Lochiel was attended by the

son of his foster-brother, who followed him everywhere

to defend and cover him. At last the chief missed his

adherent, and turning round, saw him lying on the

ground pierced by an arrow. He had just strength

left to inform his master that seeing a shot aimed at

him from the rear, he had sprung behind him, and thus

preserved his life. Such instances of bravery and de-

votion were by no means uncommon.

Those who desire to learn more of the Highland

character are advised to read " General Stewart's

Sketches," a mine of information and anecdote, and

Mrs. Grant's "Superstitions of the Highlanders," which

also contains many interesting particulars.

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Ktyt JHcftlanti <8wcb antr arms.

I N I )SAY of Pitscottie, an old Scottish hist..

rian, thus quaintly notices the Highland

garb—"The other pairt northerns arc full

of mountaines, and verie rud and homlie kynd of

people doeth inhabite, which Lb called the Reid

Schankes, or wyld .Scottis. They be cloathed with

ane mantle, with ane schirt, fashioned after the Irish

manner, going hair-legged to the knie." The author

of "Certayne Mattere concerning Scotland," writing

before lo!)7, says—"They delight much in marbled

cl< »ths, especially that have long stripes of divers colors,

they are near to the color of the hadder

[heather], to the effect that when they lye among the

Ladders the color of their plaids shall not bewray them,

with the which, rather colored than clad, thej

the most cruel tempests that blow in the open fields,

in such sort that in anight of snow they sleep sound."

Burt relates that they slept in the snow, having dipped

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their plaids in water, which rendered them more im-

pervious to the winds, and a certain chief gave offence

to his clan by making a pillow of the snow, which was

considered a mark of effeminacy.

The truis were worn chiefly by the higher classes,

and when on horseback. A good representation is

seen in the armorial bearings of the Skene family,

where the left-hand supporter is thus attired. But

the principal garment was the breacan-feile (checquered

covering), or plaid. It was a piece of tartan, four or

six yards long and two yards in breadth. This was

adjusted round the waist in large plaits or folds, and

confined by a belt, so that the lower part fell down

to the middle of the knee-joint, and while there

were the foldings behind, the cloth was double in

front. The upper part was fastened on the left shoul-

der by a large brooch, the two ends sometimes hang-

ing down, but more usually the right end being the

longest was tucked into the belt. In wet weather the

plaid was thrown loosely over the shoulders, and when

both arms were required it was sometimes fastened in

front. As the kilt, or lower part of the breacan, had

no pockets, a purse, called a sporan, was fastened in

front, made of goat's or badger's skin, but neither large

nor gaudy, like those now used. The best had silver

mouth-pieces, more usually they were of brass. The

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stockings were not knitted, but cut out of the web of

doth. The garters were very broad, of rich colours,

and finely woven, that they might not wrinkle and so

conceal the pattern.* The waistcoat and short

were worn by the wealthy, ornamented with silver

buttons, tassels, or lace. The buttons were of I

and of solid silver, that if the owner should die

in a foreign land they might defray funeral

The bonnet was, with gentlemen, ornamented wit

plume of feathers. The common people wore the

flower which was the badge of their elan, and which,

with the tartan, served to distinguish them in battle.

Their dress differed from the gentry only in the <•

of its texture, the scarcity of ornaments, and the

brightness of the colours; also in the want of shoes

and stockings. t The origin of tartan lies in the differ-

ent patterns adopted l»y the women of the clans, who

spun all their husband's clothing. Many "fa;:

tartans have been invented in later times by manu

factnrers. The antiquity of tartan is\

following accounts :—

* The shirts were of woollen cloth, often smeared with grease,

f The clergy went about armed and dressed in the national

garb. Tiny had a particular tartan of white, black, and grey stripes.

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Charge and Discharge of John, Bishop of Glasgow,

Treasurer to King James III., 1471.

Ane elne and ane halve of blue Tartane to lyne his gowne of cloth

of gold, lib. xs.

Four elne and ane halve of Tartane for a sporwart aboun his

credill, price ane elne 10s., 21b. vs.

Halve ane elne of duble tartane to lyne collars to her lady the

Quene, viiis.

1538.—Highland Suit of James V.

Item forij elnis, ane quarter elne of variant cullorit velvet to bee

the King's grace an schort Hieland coit, price of elne, vjlib-

summa xiijlb. xs.

Item foriij elnis, quarter of ane elne of greene taffatys to lyne

the seid coit, price of elne, xs., summa, xxxijs. vjd«

Item foriij

elnis Hieland tartane for hoiss, price iiij»- iiijd.

summa xiijs. (truis.)

Item for xv elnis Holland claith for sarkis (shirts), at viijs-

summa vjlb.

Sewing and making sarkis ixs.

2 unce silk to sew thame x».

iiijelnis ribanis to the handes of thame ijs.

The arms used by the Highlanders were the dirk,

or dagger, which had a knife and fork stuck in the

sheath;a broadsword, or claymore ;

a small axe;and

a target with a sharp-pointed steel about half an ell

long screwed on the centre.. Before muskets and

pistols came into use with them they had bows and

arrows, and Lochaber axes. The latter were long pikes

with axes fixed at the end, adapted either for cutting

or stabbing. Their ancient sword-dances were cele-

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brated, and required great strength, agility, and i

terity. Shortly after the formation of the well known" Black Watch," two of the finest privates were token

before King George, who had not seen Highlanders in

their national garb. They performed exercises with

the broadsword and Lochaber axe before the king in

the great gallery of St. James's, where the Dub

Cumberland, Marshal Wade, and others, were also

:nbled. On going out they were each presented

with a guinea, but the pride of the Celts revolted at

this unintentional affront, and they gave the gratuity

to the porter at the gate.

It may be mentioned that when the " Black Watch"

was formed, each company at first wore the tartan of

its clan;but a new design was subsequently adopted

for the whole regiment, winch is known as the 42d


In voL ii. Appendix, of "Logan's Scottish Gael," are

tables of all the tartans, giving the colour of i

stripe, and its breadth in eighths of an inch.

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a EMt of tfje Clans*

ARIOUS arrangements of the clans have been

proposed by different authors, and enume-

rations, more or less complete, detailed. In

the following Table the classification of Mr. Skene, as

incomparably the clearest and most ingenious, has

been used to a great extent, and an endeavour has

been made to supplement it, by adding all the remain-

ing clans which appear to be recognised by competent


In several instances it has been found impossible to

give all the requisite particulars concerning each clan,

and omissions have been made, on which the author

will be glad to obtain information.

l—siol cuira.


1. Clan Rory. Name of Chief—MacEory. Nowextinct.


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2. Clan Donald. Name of Chief—MacDonald.

Badge—Pf eatfj. Principal Seat— [SLAY. Oldest

Cadet—Maoalistbb op Loup, now Somertille Mao-


op Macdonell and Glengabby. Force— In 1 7 1 r>.

2,820 jin 1745, 2,350. Warcries—" Fraoch eil<

the island heather, and "Creig na fitheach," the raven's


3. Clan Dougall. Name of Chief—Mac] >ofgall.

Badge—CgptCSS jjr. Bell ft^catf). Principal Seat—Lorn. OldestCadet—Maodougall of Rabat. Chit

Macdougall of Macdodgall. Force— In 1745, 200.


1. Clan Neill. Name of Chief—MacNeill.

Badge—Scatoarc or trefoil. Principal Seat—K nat

dale, afterwards Babba Cadet—Mj GlGHA.

Chief—Macneill of Babba.

2. Clan Lachlan. Name of Chin

I'.adgk— fHountahx &sjj or 3Lcsscr Jpctiurinkle.

Seat—Stbathlachlane in Cowall. Cadet

lachlan op Comana, in Lochaber. Chief

lachlan of Maclachlan. Force— In 1745, 300.

3. Clan Ewen. Name of Chief—MagEi

MacInnes. JStow merged into Clan Campbell.

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1. Clan Dougall Campbell of Craignish. Name

of Chief—Campbell op Craignish. The ancient

name was MacEachern. On uniting themselves with

the Campbells they assumed their surname.

2. Clan Lamond. Name of Chief—Lamond.

Badge—Crafo &pple Cm or trefoil. Seat—Lower

Cowall. Chief—Lamond of Lamond.


1. Clan Eoich. Name of Chief—-Monroe.

Badge—ISagle's jFratijers or common Club JHoss.

Principal Seat—Fowlis. Cadet—Monroe of Milton.

Chief—Monroe of Fowlis. Force—In 1 704 and 1715,

400;in 1745, 500.

2. Clan Gillemhaol. Name ofChief—Macmillan,

Principal Seat—Knapdale. Now extinct.


1. Glan Gregor. Name of Chief—MacGregor.

Badge— Scotcfj iFtr or P«te. Principal Seat—

Glenorchy and Glenstray. Chief—Sir Malcolm

Macgregor Murray, Bart. Force—In 1745, 700.

Warcry—" Ard coille," the high wood.-

2. Clan Grant. Name of Chief—Grant.

Badge—Cranberro P?eatf) or &cotrfj iFtr. Principal

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Seat—Strathspey. Cadet—GrantofTullochgorum.

Chief—Grant of Grant, (now Earl of Seafield).

Force—In 1715, 800; in 1745, 850. Warcry—"Creig Elachie," the rock of warning in Strathspey.

3. Clan Fingon. Name of Chief—MacKinnon.

Badge— Scotdb jFtr. Seat— Skye and Mull.

Force—In 1745, 200.

4. Clan Anaba.* Name of Chief—MacNab.

Badge—Common f^catl).

5. Clan Puffie. Name of Chief—MacDuffie or


Badge—Boxfioooo Seat—Colonsay.

6. Clan Quarrie. Name of Chief—MacQuarrie.Badge—&cotd) /ir. Seat—Ulva, Mull, etc.

7. Clan Aulay. Name of Chief—MacAulay.



1. Clan Pherson. Name of Chief—MacPherson.

Gaelic name, Clan Vurich.

Badge—^onoooo or $Lco S«El)ortleberrn. Principal

Seat— Stratiinaikn and Badenoch. Chief— Mac-

pherson of Cluny. Warcry—"Creig-dubh clann

Chattan," the hlack craig of the clan Chattan. Force

—In 1704, 700; in 1715, 220; in 1745, 400.

2. Clan Intosh. Name of Chief—MacIntosh.

*i.e. Descendants of the Abbot, an ancestor who flourished be-

tween 1150 and 1180.

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Badge—^oirooob or fieb S$U)ortleberr|). Seat—Moray. Chief—MacIntosh op MacIntosh. War-

cry—" Loch Moy," the lake of threatening. Force-—

In 1745, 800.

3. Clan Gillivray. NameofChief—MacGillivray.

Badge—|£o*rooob or fteb <Mt)ortleberrg.

4. Clan Bean. Name of Chief—MacBean.

5. Clan Queen. Name of Chief—MacQueen.

VII.—CLAN PHARLANE.Name of Chief—MacPharlane.

Badge—Cranberry or (fTlottoberrg ^v$\). Seat—Arrochar, at the head of Loch Long. Chief—Un-

known. MacPharlane of MacPharlane is Captainof the Clan. Warcry—" Loch Sloich," the lake of

the host.


Name of Chief—MacLeod.

Badge—$tmi;per or SSEIjortleberrg. Seat—Glen-

elg. Cadet—Macleod op Lewis, now of Kasay.

Chief—Macleod of Macleod. Force— In 1704,

700; in 1715, 1000; in 1745, 700.*

IX.—CLAN MORGAN.Name of Chief—MacKay.Badge—fittlrttgl) or Iproom. Seat—Strathnaver.

* This clan is divided into two branches, the Siol Torquil (Mac-Leods of Lewis), and the Siol Tormod (MacLeods of Harris and

Assynt, with whom the chieftainship rests.)

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Cadet—MacKay of Auchness. Chief—Erick M \<

Kay, Lord Keat. Force—In 1427, 4000;in 1745,



Name of Chief—MacNicol. Extinct.


Name of Chief—Campbell.

Badge — Jttgrtle or /trclnb |tto$$. Seat —Garmoran, afterwards Lochow. Cadet—MacCallum-

more, or Campbell of Lochowe, now Duke of Argyll,

Chief since 1427. Chief—MacArthur Campbell of

Strachur. Force—In 1427, 1,000 ;in 1715, 4,000 ;

in 1745, 5,000. Warcry—"Cruachan," a mountain

in Argyleshire.


Xame of Chief—Matdieson. Extinct.


Name of Chief—Mac K enzi e.

Badge—DollDorpccrgrajetf. Seat— Kixtail. Cadet

M a<Ki;\zik of ( Jairlocii. Chief—said to be Mac-

kenzie of Allan<;kan<;e. Force—In 1427, 2,000;

in 1704, 1,200 ;in 1745, 2,500. Warcry—" Tuloch

Ard," a mountain near Castle Donnan.


Name of Chief—Ross.

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Badge— $tmtper. Seat— Balnagowan. Chief—

Eoss Munroe of Pitcalnie. Force—In 1427, 2,000 j

in 1715, 300; in 1745, 500.


Name of Chief—MacLean.

Badge—Dollg ox Pladkbenj) H*&tl). Seat—Mull.

Cadet—MacLean of Lochbuy. Chief—MacLean of

Duairt. Force—In 1715, 800;in 1745, 500.


Name ofChief—MacNaughton.Badge—Smiling Jl^alea. Seat—Dundurra, on

Loch Fyne. Extinct.


Name of Chief—Cameron.

Badge—©akorCrotoberrg. Seat—Lochiel. Cadet

—Cameron of Lochiel. 67*^/—MacMartin Cameron

of Letter Finlay. Force—In 1715, 800; in 1745,



Name of Chief—Eobertson.

Badge—/me^leanet) Deatl) ox Jfcnt. Seat—Ean-

noch. Cadet—Eobertson of Lude. Chief—Eobert-

son of Strowan. Force—In 1715, 800; in 1745, 700.

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The above are the eighteen leading clans enumerated

by Mr. Skene, several of which—as Siol Alpine, Clan

Chattan, &c.—comprehended many distinct branches.

The remaining minor clans appear to have generally

allied themselves to one or other of these great leading

bodies, or to the powerful noblemen of the north, as

the Earls of Moray, Sutherland, Caithness, &c.


Buchanan or Clan Anselan. Badge—^Bilbcrrg

or @ak. Warcry—" Clare Innes," an Island in Loch

Lomond. Seat—Monteith and Lennox.

Chisholm, (originally a Lowland family). Badge—jTern. Seat— Strathglass. Chief— Chisholm op

Stkathglass. Force—In 1704, 200; in 1715, 150.

Colquhoun. Badge— £3ogbcrrg. Seat— Luss.

Chief—Colquhoun of Luss.

Drummond. Badge—SgJUo (Tlnime or $oUg. Seat

—Monteith and Strathearn.

Farquharson or Clan Ianla. Badge—J^oiqIodc.

Seat—Braemar. Chief—¥xnqi n arson ofInvercauld.

Warcry—" Cam na Cuimhne," the Cairn of Remem-

brance, (in Strathdee). Force—In 1745, 500.

Ferguson. Badge—Jtttle j&tmflorotr. Seat—nshee, Perthshire.

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Forbes. Badge—|£room. Seat—Braes opMoray,

Banff, and Aberdeen. Warcry— "Lonach," a

mountain in Strathdon.

Fraser, (originally Lowland.) Badge—Jeto. Seat

—Inverness-shire. Chief—Lord Lovat. Warcry—

" Mor Laigh," get more. Force—In 1704, 1000;in

1745, 900.

t Gordon. Badge— itjg. Seat—Glenlivet and

the Braes of Moray, Banff, and Aberdeen. Chief—Duke of Gordon. Force—In 1704, 1000.

Graham. Badge—JCattrtl. Seat—Monteith and


* Gunn. Badge— $mtiper. Seat— Sutherland-


MacAlister. Badge—|§eatl). ^eat—KnapdaleAND KlNTYRE.

> [Followers of Clan Kenzie.]

MacDiarmid, (one of the most ancient names in the

Highlands.) Seat—Glenlyon.

* MacRae.

* MacLennan.

* MacIntyre. Seat—Argyllshire.

* Maclaren. Seat—Balquhidder. [Followers of

the Duke of Atholl].

MacPhail. Seat—Sutherland. Appear in the

16th century.

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Mkxzies, (originally Lowland.) Badge— "PJcatrj.

Seat— Glenquaich. Chief— Menzies of Wbbm.

Force—In 1745, 300.

* Rattray. [Followers of the Duke of Atholl.]

Sinclair. Chief—Earl of Caithness. Force—In 1745, 1,100.

Spalding. [Followers of the Duke of Atholl.]

Sutherland. Badge—|8room. Seat— Suther-

land. Chief—Earl of Sutherland, called in Gaelic

Morar Chatt.

Stewart, (originally Lowland.)

Badge—©ak or

SrjtgtU. Seat—Athole, Balquhidder, and Lorn.

Urquhart. Badge—$$£aUflorocr. Seat—Strath-

• These small clans are said to have been tenants of their lands

in uninterrupted succession, not proprietors.

f According to Pres. Forbes's Memorial, " the Gordon is no clan

family, although the Duke is chief of a powerful name in the Low-lands. He is only placed here on account of his Highland follow-

ings in Strathnavon and Glenlivet, which are about 300 men. Thetenants on his property and those who hold their lands of him in feu,

follow their natural-born chief of whom they are descended, and payno regard to the master or superior of their lands."

Some tourists, unacquainted with Highland antiqui-

ties and traditions, fall into the error of supposing that

every name with the prefix" Mac " was originally a

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clan. This is a mistake. Such names, for example,

as MacWhirter, Maclagan, Macbeath, Maccallum, and

Maccaig, do not appear in clans, being probably too

insignificant in point of numbers to attain that dis-


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ftratrttions attti ©fetortes of a fefo of tlje


N the following accounts of several of the clans,

only those particulars which will prove

interesting to the general reader have been

inserted. Through the adoption of this rule the notices

mayappear more fragmentary thantheywould otherwise

have done. No doubt the accounts might be extended,

and a much larger number of clans noticed;but the addi-

tional matterwould necessarily mainly consist of relations

of interminable feuds, wearisome in their samem

scriptions of ancient charters, passing historical allu-

sions, or the actions of individuals of the name, which

would more properly find a place in the history of

Scotland. The fulness with which the elans are here

treated depends, therefore, not on their importance,

but on the amount of interesting tradition they possess.

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CLAN GUNN or GUINN.The clan Gunn were one of the powerful minor

clans in Sutherland. Among their celebrated chief-

tains was Uilleam (William) MacSheumais (son of

James,) who flourished in 1517. He revenged the

death of his grandfather, Cruner, which took place

under the following circ*mstances. The Gunns had

long been at feud with the Keiths, and, to reconcile

all differences, twelve horsem*n from each side ar-

ranged to meet at the chapel of St. Tayr, in Caithness.

Cruner, with his sons and kinsmen to the appointed

number, arrived first. His party went into the chapel

and knelt before the altar. The Keiths then appeared,

but with two men on each horse, dismounted, entered,

and attacked the Gunns unawares. The latter, though

they defended themselves with courage, and killed

many of their opponents, were finally slain. For

two centuries, it is said, the blood of the slaughtered

men stained the walls of the chapel. When Mac-

Sheumais became chief of the clan he slew George

Keith and twelve of his followers at Drummoy, in

Sutherland, in retaliation.

In 1565 the son of the chief Gunn was basely mur-

dered. He was in the service of the Earl of Suther-

land, and as he was walking in front of his master

in the High Street of Aberdeen he forced the Earl of

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Moray to give way to him on the street. Resenting

this affront, Moray entrapped Gunn, carried him to

Inverness, and executed him, after a mock trial, during

the absence of Sutherland in Eland

In 1585, the Kails of Sutherland and Caithness,

after many disputes, were partially reconciled, and

agreed that the blame of all their own contentions

should be laid on clan Gunn. The Karl of Caithness

bound himself to deliver up to the Karl of Suther-

land several obnoxious Gunns who dwelt in his ter-

ritory. But as he had formerly taken tli-

under his protection, he scut secret notice to them

that he was about to attack them. A party of the

Earl of Sutherland's men set out for their territory,

and meeting on the way a number of Gunns belonging

to Strathnaver, carrying off the cattle of Mad'

vassal of the Earl of Sutherland, they attacked them,

1 the animals, and pursued the robbers the

whole day. Towards evening the Strathnaver men

found themselves on the borders of I where

they met the rest, of their clan assembled to defend

themselves. They instantly entered Into an alliance

to stand by each other, and fight together. T!

morning they found themselves surrounded by their

I In the one side were the Sutherland men, with

the earl at their head; on the other, those of Caithness,

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commanded by Henry Sinclair, cousin of the Earl of

Caithness. The Gunns and their allies, who were on

a hill-side, descended with inpetnosity on the Caithness

men, and, unlike the enemy, husbanded their arrows

till they came to close quarters, and slew 1 40 men, to-

gether with Sinclair, the leader of the band. The

rest escaped in the twilight as evening came on. The

Sutherland men having lost sight of the enemy when

they advanced against the Sinclairs, returned to their

own country. This affair took place at Aldgown, and

had the effect of inspiring clan Gunn with great dis-

trust of the Earl of Caithness. The latter shortly

afterwards captured and hanged John Maclan Mac-

Rob Gunn, the chieftain, and formed a new confederacy

with the Earl of Sutherland against the clan. The

Gunns resolved to take refuge in the Western Isles;

but, on their journey, were attacked, and George,

brother of the late chief, was wounded and taken pri-

soner, after unsuccessfully endeavouring to escape by

swimming across a loch. George was taken to Dun-

robin Castle, and then sent by the Earl of Sutherland

to the Earl of Caithness. The latter released him, not

out of favour to him, or to the earl, whom he hated,

but that he might annoy some obnoxious neighbours.

But Gunn frustrated this amiable design by allying

himself to the Earl of Sutherland.

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In 1610 lived the famous William MacAngus Koy

Gunn, who was in the service of the Earl of Caithness.

When Earl George was displeased with any of his

people, William was accustomed to steal their cattle

and goods. From this he afterwards proceeded to

make away with his master's possessions, and one day,

after collecting a large number of cattle and horses, he

disappeared. The earl was greatly enraged, but was

afraid to commence any proceedings against him, lest

he should produce a warrant he had, signed by the

earl, authorising him to plunder the Caithness people.

The freebooter continued his depredations till he was

apprehended by the Town Council of Tain, who

handed him over to the Monroes, on theil request.

They asked this favour out of compliment to his

countryman, the chief of the Mackays. But, fearing to

let William go free, they shut him up in the castle of

Fowlis. He attempted to escape by jumping from the

height of one of the towers, but injured himself so

much that he was unable to proceed. He was then

fettered and sent to the Earl of Caithness, his late

master, who imprisoned him in Castle Sinclair. He

contrived to unchain himself, jumped from his dun

window into the sea, swam to the shore, and concealed

himself for two days among the rocks, from whence he

escaped in safety to his own people at Strathnaver.

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In 1675, Lord Forbes having acquired some property

in Caithness, the earl, who was at enmity with him, de-

sired to molest him, but was too cautious to make any

direct attack upon him. Knowing the bravery of clan

Gunn, he invited John and Alexander Gunn (whose

father he had hanged in 1586) to meet him at Castle Sin-

clair, with their cousin-germain, also named Alexander,

Resolving to treat with the cousin first, he tookhim aside,

and stating the case to him, asked him if he would set

fire to the corn of William Innes, a follower of Lord

Forbes. Alexander replied that he would consider this

a dishonourable act; but that he wouldhave no objection

to slay Innes himself. Such was the code of morality

in those times ! Disappointed in the cousin, the earl

now sent for the two brothers. They objected that as

justice was now more rigorously administered, they

would not be able to escape. The earl replied that he

,would send them to some of his friends in the Western

Isles;and that, though professing to be against them,

he would in reality allow them to frequent Caithness.

Alexander at last consented, and going to Sanset set

all the cornstacks on fire, with the aid of two accom-

plices. The earl then spread the report that the deed

had been done by the Mackays ;but the truth was

soon made public through a quarrel amongst the clan

Gunn, which resulted in Alexander, the cousin, and


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John revealing all they knew of the affair. Tin- Earl

lithness and Alexander Gunn were consequently

Bummoned to trial at Edinburgh, on the 2d April 1 616;

but, after many negotiations, arrangements were con-

cluded between the earl and Lord Forbes, the former

paying 20,000 merks as an indemnity, and Ounn re-

tired to his friends in Strathtully.


Thepowerful and renowned ClanGillean, abbreviated

Maclean, consists of four great septs, those of

Duairt, Lochbuy, Coll, and Ardgour. They were one

of the most distinguished Hebridean clans, and had

large possessions in the Isles and on the mainland,

had places of sepulture and monuments at Iona,

and several daughters of the line were prioresses of the

nunnery of "Yeolmkill." They figure in all thej

ties of Scottish history, from Largs to the rising in

1716, the last appearance of the clan in the field of


Gillean, the founder of the ra<. 1 territories

in the [file of Mull. He was an ally of Donald, Lord

of the Isles, and was present at the battle

when, in 1216, the Norwegian invader Baeo with

20,000 men was defeated by Alexander III. His son

( rillise fought in the cause of Bruce at Bannockburn.

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The great grandson of Gillise— Lachlan, surnamed

Lubanach—married in 1366 Margaret, daughter of

John, Lord of the Isles. The latter gave a charter,

dated July 12, 1390, comprehending among other

things," Officium Fragramanache et Armanache in

insula de Hy." The precise nature of this office is

unknown. It appears to have been something per-

taining to the monastery and nunnery, as frag is

obsolete Gaelic for a woman, and manache for a monk.

Hector MacLean married a daughter of the Earl of

Douglas. He was at the celebrated battle of Harlaw,

fought on the 24th of July 1411. This battle arose

from an insurrection of Donald of the Isles, who

claimed the Earldom of Koss, in right of his wife Mar-

garet. She was aunt of Euphemia, Countess of Koss,

who, on becoming a nun, resigned in favour of her

uncle, the Earl of Buchan. The Duke of Albany,

Governor of Scotland, at whose instigation this had

been done, resisted her claim, whereupon the Lord of

the Isles formed an alliance with England, and putting

himself at the head of 10,000 men, invaded Ross-shire.

He met with no opposition until he reached Dingwall,

where he was attacked by Angus MacKay, whom he

overpowered. He then collected his adherents at In-

verness, and set out for Aberdeen, which he threatened

to burn to the ground. He was, however, met by the

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Earl of Mar, accompanied by all the knights and gen-

tlemen of Angus and Mearns, Sir Robert Davidson,

Provost of Aberdeen, and a party of burgesses. The

armies met at. the village of Ilarlaw, on the l'n. < Mi

the side of Mar were the Murrays, Straitons, Maules,

brings, Lesleys, Lovels, and Starlings. M

Macintosh, and bieftains followed the

Lord of the [alee. The contest be$ furious

assanlt of the Eiglanders, who, in their turn. v.

tacked by Sir James Scrymgeonr at the head of a bodyof knights. In spite of the havoc effected by this

party, the Highlanders continued to fight with un-

abated fury, and Scrymgeonr and his men w<

rounded and overpowered. Hector MacLean and Sir

ader Irving of Drum, recognising cadi other by

the armorial bearings on their shields, met iii a hand

to hand encounter, in which both finally felL The

battle lasted till night tall, and terminated wit!

loss to alli(allies. Many of th< Families lost

every male in their house. Nine hundred Highlanders

were left dead <>n the field. 1 Iali-a-niilr wesl from the

battle-field is a farm-house called Legget's Den. close

to which is a tomb of four larg! by a

one, which is said to be the burying-place of

ban Ruidh na Cath," an appellation

rendered by the chroniclers as Hector Ruins Belli

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lere is a Scottish march called the Battle of Harlaw,

and a national ballad also commemorates the event.

In 1508 we find the royal protection granted to the

nuns of Lady Agnes, daughter of Donald MacLaine,

prioress of the monastery of the Virgin in Icolmkill,

and in 1566 upon her decease, a gift of the prioressie

is given to Marion MacLaine.

In 1513 Hector the ninth of Duairt accompanied

James IV. to Flodden, and lost his life in endeavouring

to preserve that of his sovereign. The tomb of Ailean,

who flourished in the time of James VI., is to be seen at

Iona, it is ornamented with carving and the representa-

tion of a ship. His nephew was the celebrated Lachlan

Mor (or the great), who distinguished himself at the

battle of Glenlivet. This event took place in Sept.

1594, when the Earl of Argyle, then only 19, was sent

with 12,000 men against the Earls of Huntly, Angus,

and Erroll, whr were charged with entering into a con-

spiracywith Spain. Argyle was accompaniedby theEarl

ofAtholl, SirLachlanMacLean, the chiefs of Macintosh,

Grant, MacGregor, MacNeil of Barra, and all the Camp-

bells. He first laid siege to Buthven Castle, but this fort-

ress was so well defended by the clan Pherson, allies of

Huntly, that his attemptsproved unsuccessful. Huntly,

meanwhile, had collected about 1,500 men, chiefly

cavalry, and came up to the enemy at a brook named

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Altonlachan. Argyle determined to risk an i

ment, though advised by the chieftains either to wait

for reinforcements promised by the Frasers, Mac-

Kenzies, &c, or to retreat to the mountains, where the

Could not follow. He stationed his troops on a

hill-side between Glenlivet and Glenrinnes. The right

wing consisted of MacLeans and Macintoshes, and

was commanded by Sir Lachlan;the left, of Grants,

MacNeils, and MaeGregors, commanded by Grant of

(iartinbeg; and the centre of Campbells, commanded

by Campbell of Auchinbreck. This van-guard was

about 4,000 strong, and a rear-guard of 6,000 followed,

led by Argyle. On the other side was a body of about

300, led by Errol, Gordon of Auchindun, and others.

Huntly brought up the remainder of the troops, sup-

ported by Cluny Macpherson and the Laird of Aber-

geldie. He possessed three pieces of field ordnance,

which, under the command of a Captain Gray who had

served in Bohemia, preceded the van-guard. Camp-

bell of Lochnell and Grant of Gartinbeg had previously

stipulated to desert to Huntly as soon as the action

began. By direction of the former chief the artillery

was aimed at the yellow standard, where Argyle him-

self stood, as this nobleman was mortally hated by

Lochnell, for having murdered his brother, Campbell of

( 'alder, two years before. At the first discharge, how-

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ever, Lochnell himself was shot, together with Mac-

Neil of Barra, and the Highlanders thrown into con-

fusion, having never seen field-pieces. Huntly in-

stantly charged them, and Erroll attacked the right

wing, but as it was a steep part of the hill he was

obliged to desist. Upon this, Gordon of Auchindun

with a few men galloped up the ascent, but was over-

powered and slain by MacLean. His infuriated

followers impetuously redoubled the attack, but Mac-

Lean firmly withstood them, detached Erroll from his

troops and completely hemmed him in. He and his

immediate followers were on the point of destruction,

when they were rescued by Huntly. The battle raged

for two hours longer, when Argyle's main force gave

way, but Sir Lachlan still kept the field, and at last,

finding the contest hopeless, retired in good order.

On Argyle's side 500 were slain, besides MacNeil,

Lochnell, and Auchinbreck. The men of Lochnell,

and those of Gartinbeg went over to Huntly, whose loss

was comparatively trifling.

In 1587 a charter of Iona and other lands, with an

augmentation of crown rental, was granted by James

"VI. to Hector, son and presumptive heir of Lachlan,

of which the following is an abstract :—

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Of lands in Ross of Mull,

Other lands in Mull,

Island of Iona,

Lands in lslay,

Lands in Tiree,

£63 8 7*

21 5 10

22 13 4

26 15 8

28 3 4

Total, £162 6 9&

In the year 1586 a feud arose between the Mac-

Donalds and the Marl.<;ms, through the foliowing cir-

c*mstances. MacDonald of Skat, when going to his

cousin, Angus MacDonald of Kintyiv, on a visit, was

forced by contrary winds to land on Jura, which be-

longed partly to MacLean and partly to MacDonald

of Kintyiv. He happened to land with his party on

m's lands. MacDonald of Terreagh, who had

lately quarrelled with him, arrived at the same time

with a party of followers, and finding Sleat was there,

they took away by night a herd of cattle belorj

(dan Lean, and set sail. This they did that Sir l.aehlan

might believe sleat had robbed him. and consequently

attack him. The event fell out as fie

MacLean surprised the (dan Donald suddenly during

the night at a]»I l

the unc.aith name of In-

verchuockwrick, and slew sixty of them. Their chief,

having gone to pass the night on hoard ship, escaped.

When MacDonald of Kintyre heard of this, he visited

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Sleat in Skye to consult what was to be done; and then

going to Mull went to Sir Lachlan's castle of Duairt

to confer with him. Here, however, he was arrested

by the MacLeans, and Sir Lachlan threatened to keep

him prisoner for life if he did not renounce his claim

to the " Ehinns of Islay." This Kintyre consented to

do;but he was obliged to give James Macdonald, his

eldest son, and his brother, Eeginald MacJames, as

hostages till the deed of conveyance should be sent.

James MacDonald was Sir Lachlan's own nephew,

Angus having married Sir Lachlan's sister.

Shortly afterwards, Maclean set out for Islay to get

his title completed. He put Eeginald M'James in

fetters at Duairt, but took James MacDonald with him.

He encamped at a ruinous castle, Eilean Gorm, which

had once belonged to his family. Kintyre, wishing to

entrap him, pressed him to come to Mullindhrea, a

comfortable and well-furnished house on the island,

where he himself was residing, but Lachlan, being sus-

picious of his intentions, declined. A second invita-

tion followed, with the message that they should feast

as long as the provisions at Mullindhrea lasted, and

then they should go to Sir Lachlan's camp. MacLean

replied that he was distrustful of Angus, and therefore

could not come. Angus answered that these suspi-

cions were groundless, and that as his son and brother

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wen pledges, MacLean could run no risk. Upon this

Sir Lachlan went to Mullindhrea, with eighty-six of his

followers, and James MacDonald. Theyweregraciously

ived by MacDonald, and sumptuously entertained

during the day. Meanwhile MacDonald sent mer-

gers to all his friends and followers desiring them to

be at his house at nine o'clock that night. In the

evening MacLean and his men were conducted to sleep

m a long house which stood by itself, at some distance

from the other apartments. About an hour after their

retiring, Angus, with three or four hundred men, went

and surrounded the house where they lay. Angus

then went to the door and shouted to Sir Lachlan

that he had come to give him his reposing drink,

which he had forgotten to do before. MacLean replied

that he did not then wish to drink; but Angus inai

saying it was his will he should come for it. At this

peremptory answer, MacLean instantly perceived his

danger. He got up and placed the boy MacDonald

(whom he had never lost sight of all day) before him.

The door was then burst open, and Angus and a

number of men rushed in. James MacDonald called

i rat to them to spare his uncle, which they granted,

and removed Sir Lachlan to a secret chamber. Angus

then ordered all the MacLeans to come out, except

MacDonald Terreagh, and another individual whom

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ie named. As soon as they had vacated the house he

set it on fire, and it was consumed to the ground, along

with the two unfortunate inmates. This was Terreagh's

punishment for originating the quarrel, and for desert-

ing his own clan for the MacLeans. The other man

was a kinsman of Sir Lachlan's, one of the oldest of the

clan, and celebrated for his wisdom and courage.

Allan MacLean, next kinsman to the chief, as soon

as he heard of his seizure, caused a report to be spread

in Islay that his clan had slain Eeginald, the remain-

ing hostage at Duairt. By this device he hoped to

provoke Angus to execute the chief, whose possessions

would thenceforth fall to himself. It, however, only

resulted in the slaughter of several MacLeans by Coll,

another brother of Angus.

The friends of Sir Lachlan now applied to the Earl

of Argyle, who advised them to complain to James VI.

This monarch immediately directed a herald-at-arms to

be sent to Islay. The man, not being able to procure

shipping for Islay, returned home. Argyle then

entered into negotiations, and procured MacLean's

liberty, on the restoration of Eeginald, and the deliver-

ance of the earl's son and the son ofMacLeod of Harris

as hostages. Lachlan, on his release, endeavoured to

attach Maclan of Ardnamurchan, a follower of Kin-

tyre's, to himself. For this purpose he gave him his

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mother in marriage, for whose hand he had been a former

solicitor. The nuptials were celebrated at Torloisk, in

Mull. But, to his disappointment, Marfan atedfastly

refused to join against his own clan. Enraged at his

obstinacy, Sir Lachlan broke open the door of his

sleeping apartment at dead of night, and without pay-

ing the least deference to his own mother, <!

Marfan away, killed eighteen of his followea

imprisoned him closely. After a year's captivity, he

was released in exchange for the two hostages held by


In 1598, Sir Lachlan made a second attempt to ob-

tain [slay. Angus offered to yield hall' of the isle for

life, ou MacLcan acknowledging that he held it under

clan Donald; but these terms he refused He em-

barked with a considerable force, and upon reaching

Islav, had an encounter near Loch Groynard with

James MacDonald. his nephew. After a desperate

conflict lie was slain lighting at the head of his men.

His son, Lachlan Barroch, was wounded, !

Eighty principal men of the MacLeana fell, and 200

soldierswereslain. Mad tonaldwas so severely wounded

that he never fully recovered. There is a tradition

that Sir Lachlan before he set out consulted a witch.

She prophesied that one Mac Lean should he slain at

Loch Groynard, and she charged him not to land on a

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Thursday, nor to drink of the waters of a well near the

lake. The first charge he was obliged to transgress by-

reason of a tempest, the second he disobeyed unwit-

tingly. On hearing of MacLean's death, the king was

so incensed that he gave the clan Donald's possessions

in Kintyre and Islay to the Argylls and Campbells.

This led to a feud during 1614-17, which ended in the

ruin of the MacDonalds.

In 1674 the Marquis of Argyle bought up some

debts due by the MacLeans, and his son the Earl soon

afterwards applied for payment. In the course of ne-

gotiations the laird of MacLean died, leaving a son in

charge of his brother. Terms were agreed upon bythe guardian and the earl, but as the former was very

dilatory the earl resolved to enforce payment. He

crossed over to Mull with 2,000 of his tenants and

vassals, and seizing the Castle of Duairt, placed a gar-

rison in it, and quitted the island. In September of

the next year, the debts being still unsettled, he col-

lected about 1,500 men, 200 being royal troops from

Glasgow, and militiamen, the aid of which had been

granted by the Council. MacDonald and other chief-

tains sent 1,000 men to support the MacLeans, but the

opposing parties never met in battle; Argyle's forces

being driven back by a severe hurricane, which lasted

two days, and caused great damage to his vessels."A

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rumour wont," says Law's Menu 'rials, "that a Witch

wife promised to the MacLains that so long as -lie

lived the Earl of Argile should not enter Mull; and,

indeed, many of the people imputed the rise of that

great storme nnder her paction with the devil, how true

I cannot assert."

The clan was in arms under Montrose, and shortly

before the battle of Kilsyth, burnt Castle Campbell,

the stronghold of the Argyll1

family. At the battle of

[nverkeithing, July 20, 1652, sir Hector MacLean,

with a number of his friends and follow lain,

after greatly distinguishing themselves by the un-

wearied resistance they offered to the enemy.

In 1715 Captain MacLean, who fought under Dun-

dee at Killieerankie, aided the attempt to surprise the

Castle of Edinburgh, undertaken by the Jacobites in

August, The conspirators numbered about 90, half of

whom were Highlanders. They bribed a sergeant, a

corporal, and two sentinels of the garrison, who agreed

to attend at the north wall, near the sally-port, on the

night of the 9th September, ami to draw up by a

pulley, a scalingdadder made of ropes, which was wide

enough to hold several men abreast, Unfortunately,

Ensign Arthur, the agent employed to gain over the

soldiers, entrusted the secrel to his brother, a physician

in the town. The wife of the latter, learning of the

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plot from her husband, sent an anonymous letter to

Lord Justice-Clerk co*ckburn, acquainting him of the

conspiracy. co*ckburn received the letter about 10

p.m., and despatched a messenger to the deputy-

governor of the Castle, who arrived at 11. The com-

mander ordered the guards to be doubled, but not fear-

ing an attack that night, retired to rest. The enterprise

might, therefore, have succeeded, had not the con-

spirators delayed over their wine at a tavern long past

the hour fixed. Consequently, when they were ascend-

ing the ladder it was the time for changing the guard,

and a new detachment coming up so startled the

soldiers who were at the rope that they dropped it,

and the ladder with those on it fell to the ground.

The noise of this alarmed one of the relay, who dis-

charged his musket. Upon this the conspirators fled,

believing they were discovered. A party of the town-

guard rushed out from the West Port and secured four

of them, among whom was MacLean. They also

picked up the ladder and several carbines which they

had left in their haste.

In the battle of Sherriffmuir, Sir John MacLean,

with the chief of Clanranald, led the right wing of

Mar's army. The clan appear to have been actively

engaged in the rising of 1715. In 1745 they were in-

duced by President Forbes not to combine in what the

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foresight of many of the Jacobites perceived was a

hopeless attempt

The family of Lochbuy dispute the chieftainship

with that of Duairt, as they ended from

Eachan Reganach, a brother of Lachlan Lubanach, and

it is uncertain which was the elder. A tomb of one

of their warriors at [ona is described by Pennant

The chief is represented as holding a sword in the right

hand and a pistol in the left. Murchard was t

ofEachan,and hisgreal grandson, John ofLochbuy,waa

head of the Bept in 1493. At thai time the family

isted of lands in Tiree, Mull, dura,

Searha, Morven, and Purer and Glencoe in Lorn.

From John Bar! of the

lands of Lochiel in Lochabe*;but thi unable

to hold good, through the t


The MacLeana of Coll trace their pedigree from a

brother of the fourth Lurd of Duairt. The

John Garbh MacLean of Coll was hilled

by the Camerons, and his infant heir was saved by the

AlacGillonies, followers of the Camerons. This chief

was known as John Abrach. I i

in 1493, and from him the lairds of Col] have adopted

mic of MacLean Abrach, by which they

are distinguished. A MacLean of Coll appears at [ona,

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The Ardgour family sprang from Donald, a son of

Lachlan III. of Duairt. Ardgour was conferred upon

them by an Earl of Ross. The second son of Lachlan

Mor was the founder of the MacLeans of Torloisk, of

whom an interesting story is told at length in " Tales

of a Grandfather," chap. 38. General Stewart, in his

record of the services of Loudon's Highlanders, men-

tions that, after the siege of Bergen-op-Zoom, in Sep-

tember 1747, Lieutenants Allan and Francis MacLean

of Torloisk, were taken prisoners and carried before

General Lowendahl, who thus addressed them, "Gentle-

men, consider yourselves on parole ;if all had behaved

as you and your brave corps have done, I should not

now be master of Bergen-op-Zoom." To Lieutenant

Allan was principally due the credit of defeating the

Americans in the attack on Quebec in 1775-6;and of

having in 1759 raised the 114th (Highland) Regiment.

FARQUHARSON." This family," says the Memorial of President


is the only clan family in Aberdeenshire.

Their Gaelic name is Clan Ianla. The laird of Inver-

cauld, their chief, has a handsome estate holden of the

crown, in Perthshire and Braemar. There are several

other barons of the name that have competent fortunes,

such as Monaltrie, Inverey, Finzean, &c."

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Findlay Farqnharson of Inverey was slain

battle of Pinkie in 1547, where he carried the royal

banner. His grandson .lames was, at th<

seventy, imprisoned for two years in Edinburgh, on

account of liis loyalty, and was only released alt. r

payment of a large fine. His son. Colonel William

Farqnharson, Berved under the Marquises of Huntly

and Montrose, and the Earls of Glencairn and Middle-

ton;and "

being without pay, and at his own chai

mortgaged all his estate, worth about £500 a year,

for the said servi. jon, Colonel John 1-ar-

qnharson, was one of the first who took arms for KingJames VII. When all the other Highlanders had

retired from the field, ho raised between 800 and

900 men, and held out a whole campaign, lor which

six parishes belonging to himself, and his relations

were entirely burned and destroyed.*

Colonel Donald Farqnharson was a military leader.

who performed good services under the Marquis of

Montrose. In Kill, with a force of 120 horse and

300 foot, he set out with the laird of Drum, Colonel

Gordon, and one or two others, for the town of .Mon-

trose. He seized the burgh, killed one of the bailies,

* Account of the Clans laid before Louis XIV. by the Scottish


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captured the Provost, and threw some cannon, which

he could not carry away, into the sea.

In 1645 he was sent with " ahout eighty cavaliers"

to Aberdeen, and the party, believing none of the

enemy to be near, placed no sentinels at the gates, but

entertained themselves at their lodgings. Some of the

covenanters gave information to Major-General Hurry,

who was posted with several regiments at the North

"Water Bridge. The general selected from his troops

160 horse and foot, and instantly set out for Aberdeen,

which he reached at eight o'clock on the evening of

the 15th of March. The trampling of horses in the

streets announced the enemy's arrival to Farquharson

and his companions, but it was then too late to defend

themselves. They made a desperate resistance, a few

were slain, some captured, and the greater number

escaped. The prisoners were sent to the Tolbooth of

Edinburgh. Among the slain was Farquharson himself," a brave gentleman" says Spalding,

" and one of the

noblest captains among all the Highlanders of Scot-

land, and the king's man for life and death." The

gentlemenwho escaped returned on horse and foot to the

Marquis of Montrose " ashamed of the accident, but

they could not mend it." Montrose was offended at

their carelessness, and gave little answer to two mes-

sengers sent by the Town Council of Aberdeen to

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ire him of the non-participation of tlie city in the

affair. He subsequently inflicted a fine on the burgh

of .£10,000 (Scots) worth of cloth, and gold and silver

lace for the use: of his army. This was paid by

ing a tax on the inhabitants; thus adding, as Spalding

quaintly remarks,"cross upon cross upon Aberd<

COLQUHOUN.THE origin of this family is referred by some writers

fo the time of Agricola, when Galgacns, supposed to

be the Latin corruption of Galgahoun or Colquhoun,

opposed the Roman commander in the battle of the

Grampians. Some genealogists trace th< from

Conorh, ii king of Ireland, and others again, from a

o of the Earl of Lennox.

The numerous feuds of the Colquhouns with the

MacKays, Mao&enzies, &c., are recorded at length in

the histories of the Highlands. Theil earliest extant

charter dates from the time of William the Lion. It

ranted in 1225 by Maldowen, third Marl of Len

nox, who bestowed the lands of Luss upon Gflra



Tins clan were the ancient proprietors of the district

of ( lowall in Argyleshire, which they held at the

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that Alexander II. raised Argyle into a Sherriffdom.

They appear to have sprung from the ancestor of the

Clan Eory. Their original name was MacErachar. They

adopted the surname of Lamond from their ancestor

Laumanus, grandson of Duncan MacErachar, who

granted the lands of Kilmore, near Lochgilp, to the

monks of Paisley.


This Clan appears to he descended from the ancient

Earls of Athole, though a tradition mentions Duncan

of Athole as a son of Angus Mor, Lord of the

Isles. Duncan, however, is not named in the MS.

of 1450, which details all the descendants of that

prince, and from various ancient charters mentioned

by Mr. Skene, Mr. Browne infers that his ancestor

was Ewen the son of Conan. Conan was the second

son of Henry, last Earl of Athole of the ancient race,

the daughter of whose eldest son married into a

lowland family. The Strowan Robertsons thus

appear to be the male heirs of the old Earls of Athole.

This Duncan, surnamed " The Fat," married the

daughter of Callum Roadh, or Malcolm the Redhaired,

who, from his surname of Leamanach, is supposed to

have been connected with the Earls of Lennox, and

who appears in the "Ragman Roll," date 1296, as

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Malcolm of Gfendochart. By this alliance Duncan ob-

1 an extensive addition to his territories, includ-

ing part of the glen of Bannock Clan Donnachie

ippear conspicuously in a Highland foray into Angus,

when they were led by Thomas, Patrick, and Gibbon,

the grandsons of Duncan. Patrick was the an.

of the Kobertsons of Lude.

Robert, great-grandson of Duncan, was a noted free-

booter, renowned for his predatory incursions into the

Lowlands. He arrested Graham, accomplice of the

Karl of Athole in the murder of James [., and delivered

him, along with the Master of Athole, to the govern-

ment. In return for this service his lands of Strowan

were erected into a barony, and he was authorised to

carry as arms, a man in chains, with the motto, Vlrtutis

gloria merces. His death resulted foom a conflict

with Forrester of Torwood, near the village of Auchter-

m. respecting the rights to the lands of Little

Dunkeld. Robertson received a mortal wound in the

head; hut, binding it up, he continued his joum<

Perth, and having obtained a grant of the lands from

the king, set out on his return, and expired <n\ the

way home.

Alexander Eobertson of Strowan, noted in the in-

surrection of 1715, was a chivalrous and dauntless chief.

He was the prototype of the Baron of Bradwardine.

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The family estates were three times forfeited in the

cause of the Stewarts. The losses sustained "by the

Robertsons, and their strong attachment to the exiled

family, are well set forth in two interesting letters, pre-

served among the Stewart papers, from which are

taken the following extracts :—

" I escaped the Bill of attainder, "but was excepted

by name in their pretended act of indemnity, and

what they called a Billa Vera was found against me

in 1748; however, as my predecessor, the late Strowan,

was very old and infirm, and my title to the estate was

still good, I was advised to skulk at home that I

might be ready to advise with my friends about pos-

sessing the estate, in case of Strowan's death, which

happened in 1749.

"Upon this, I ordered my wife and children to re-

pair to Carie, and possess a little Hutt that was built

after the burning in 1746. The tenants of the estate,

alwise attached to their lawfull masters, received them

with open arms, and chearfully paid the rents to

Trustees approved by me. This was galling to the

ministry, ever intent upon the destruction of all the

ancient Highland families, and a Scots lawyer, who

was alwise in the secret of my affairs, made a merit of

discovering the only method by which they could ruin

my Family, that is, by revoking the grant above men-

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tioned, and by which I held the estate. Hon

my friends straggled for Borne time upon the score of

old apprissings, and raised a second year's rent; but

all was overruled, and the Trust obliged to

give up the second year's tent. Sentence after sentence

was passed against them, and even my wife and chil-

dren were threatened with military execution if they

remained anywhere upon the ground of the i

yond the time limited; they were obliged to yield, not

knowing where to put their heads.

" All imaginable can' has been taken that no man

who has the least connection with my family should

have airy share in the management of the esl

some part of the profitsshould drop to me. Son;

my friends offered the highest rents for my tir wo

but were rejected : in short, nothing was neglected

that could possibly contribute to deprive me and mine

of common subsistences. At length, my rands being

exhausted, and my person being hunted as a fox, I had

source at home.

"T arrived, with my wife and children, at Paris, 13

days ago, after tedious and expensive travelling 1>\

and Land ; and this moment I 9 Louis, which

is all I can command at home or abroad, for subsist*

to my family, and the education of 2 sons and 2


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" I am afraid I have troubled you with many circum-

stances that might he let alone, but whatever makes

impression on ourselves we are apt to communicate.

It is a weakness most men are subject to, and the

source of much impertinence [irrelevancy] both in

writing and conversation, but I hope you will forgive

a well meaning Scotsman, that has been long out of

the world, and who is, with much respect, etc.


"Montreuil, Sept. 28th, 1753.

" To Mr. Secretary Edgar.

" P.S.—My sheet did not admit of mentioning myFather's wounds, imprisonment, and banishment in

1715, and the loss of his beloved brother, who was

cruelly butchered in " calm" blood at Preston. I might

likewise mention that my family, at the head of the

Athole men, was perhaps one of the chief supports of

the royal cause under the great Marquis of Montrose

in Scotland. It is plain, from original commissions in

my possession, that my great-granduncle, then at the

head of our family, in the minority of his nephew,

commanded all the Athole men, and how he behaved

in that station, the king's letter of" thanks to him,

dated at Chantilly in 1653, will evince. The original

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letter does so much honour to the family that it is

still preserved In short, all our charters arc proofs

of our duty and loyalty to the royal family. As for

me, I was born in the dregs of time, but, thank God,

my heart is sound.

" D. R of Strowan.

"[To Mr Edgar, Secretary to the Chevalier.]



••It is with great reluct ancv I presume to

advise your Majesty on the present occasion; but as I

have no resource under Heaven for the suhsisten

my family and the education of my children hut your

M.'s wisdom and influence, I am obli. this

perhaps too presumptuous method of applying directly

to yr M.'s fatherly goodness. . . . When y* M. sutlers

we have the less reason to consider ourselves : it is true

the situation of me and other gentlemen seems griev-

ous at present, yet I cannot help looking upon our

banishment as a particular act of Providence for pre-

serving a race of Scotsmen from the corruption with

which our country is overrun at present—a race who

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may sometime be fit instruments in yr M.'s hand for

reforming the manners of your unhappy people. . . .

" I am, with all duty and submission, Sire,

One of your Majesty's loyal and most devoted

and disinterested subjects, and servants,

" Robertson of Strowan.

Montreuil, near Versailles,

Sept. 29th, 1753."

The celebrated General Eeid, who left £52,000 for

the foundation of a chair of music in the University of

Edinburgh, was the son of Alexander Robertson of

Straloch. His family was always known as Barons

Ruaah or Roy, from the founder having had red hair,

and having obtained the grant of a barony. This

surname, General Reid, contrary to general custom,

invariably adopted, and changed it to Reid.


The possessions of this clan lie to the north of the

Frith of Cromarty. In the sixteenth century they

were a clan of great importance, and possessed a high

reputation for courage. In the civil wars following

the rebellion they were in opposition to the royalists,

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and in the risings in favour of the exiled Stuarts, they

espoused the cause of Government

Monroe of Fowlia La mentioned as early as the time

ofAlexander II. in a charter granted by the Karl of

Sutherland. Shortly alter the accession of Alexander

III. an insurrection broke out against the Karl of

[loss, and his second son, who had been captured by the

insurgents, was rescued by the Monroes ami Dingwalls.

In this fierce encounter, eleven Monroes of Fowlis,

who would have succeeded one another, fell in combat,

so that an infant inherited the chieftainship. The clan

were requited for their services with grants of land.

In 1333, according to Sir Robert Gordon, or 1 154,

according to Shaw, John Monroe, tutor of the chief,

was travelling from Edinburgh to .d halted

with his servants in a meadow at Strathardale. Whilst

they were sleeping, the owner of the field cut off their

horses' tails. As soon as Monroe reached home, h-

sembled the clan, who were eager to revenge the oul

and with 350men laid waste the district of Strathardale,

killed some of the inhabitants, and carried off a num-

ber of cattle. On his way home, as he was pa

through the territories of Macintosh, that child' sent, a

message to him, desiring a share of the spoil. This

customary when the cattle were driven through a

gentleman's land, and the portion presented was called

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Staoig Rathaid," a road collop." Monroe offered a

reasonable proportion, but Macintosh demanded half,

and on Monroe's refusal, collected his men, and over-

took liim at Clachnaharry, near Inverness. The

Monroes instantly sent five of their men forward with

the cattle, and esconscing themselves among the rocks,

greatly annoyed the Macintoshes with their arrows,

and finally slew the chief and a number of his men.

John Monroe himself was left for dead on the field,

but was fortunately removed by the chief of the

Erasers, who resided near the scene of action, and

cured of his wounds. He lost the use of one of his

hands, from which he was called John Ciutach.

The celebrated Sir Robert Monroe of Fowlis served

in the latter part of King William's reign, and in

Queen Anne's wars under the Duke of Marlborough.

In 1739 he was appointed Lieut.-Colonel of the newly

formed " Black Watch." For his behaviour at Fonte-

noy he was promoted to the command of the 37th

regiment, which he commanded at the battle of Falkirk

in January 1746. In this engagement his men fled at

the first charge of the rebels, but Sir Robert, disdain-

ing to retreat, was cut down. His brother, who ran to

support him, shared the same fate. He was buried

with great honour: crowds of soldiers, and all the

rebel officers, attending his funeral.

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Doddridge gives the following account of Fontenoy,

which is also transcribed by General Stewart:—"The

gallantry of Sir Robert Munroe ami his regiment at

Fontenoy was the theme of admiration through all

Britain. He had obtained leave of the Duke of

Cumberland to allow his men to fight in their own

way. Sir Robert* according to the ways of his coun-

trymen, ordered the whole regiment to clap to the

ground on receiving the French fire, and instantly

after its discharge, they sprang up, and coming dose

to the enemy, poured in their shot upon them to the

certain destruction of multitudes, and drove them pre-

cipitately through their own lines, then retreating,

drew up again, and attacked them a second lime after

the same manner. These attacks they repeated several

times the same day to the surprise of the whole army.

Sir Robert was everywhere with his regiment, not-

withstanding his great corpulency, ami when in the

trenches, he was hauled out by the legs and arms byhis own men : and it is observed, that when he com-

manded the whole, regiment to clap to the ground, he

himself alone, with the colours behind him, stood

upright receiving the whole lire of the enemy, and

this because (as he said) though ho could easily lie

down, his great hulk could not sutler him to ri

quickly. His preservation that day was the surprise

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and astonishment, not only of the whole army, but of

all that heard the particulars of the action, and a most

eminent person in the army was heard to say upon the

occasion, that it was enough to convince one of the

doctrine of predestination, and to justify what King

William of glorious memory had been used to say, that

every bullet had its billet.


The Gaelic name of Clan Campbell is, according to

President Forbes' Memorial, Clan Guin or Duine.

"They are," says this document,

" the richest and

most numerous clan in Scotland;their countries and

bounds the most extensive, their superiorities, jurisdic-

tions, and other dependencies by far the greatest in the

kingdom. They are the family of greatest importance

in North Britain, and have been so since the decline

of the Douglasses, the extinction of the Earl of Ross'

family, the total fall of the Cummins and the Mac-

Donalds of the Isles." Colonel Robertson mentions

another Gaelic designation," Clan Diarmad Na 'n

Tore," or " Diarmad of the Wild Boar," an ancient

Pictish hero, on which account the clan carry the

boar's head for their crest. The Earls of "Argyll added

the galley of Lorn to their bearings on the marriage of

the first Earl with Isabella, eldest daughter and co-

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heiress of John Stewart of Lorn(se< mgall


and "Stewart"), and took the title of Lords of Lorn.

The name Campbell is supposed by some to be of

Normal) origin, derived from Campo Bello; but this

is unsupported by authority, there being no trace of

such a name in"Domesday Book,"

" Eoll of Mattel

Abbey," and other recordsJ besides, as Mr. Browne

observes, the name would be rather Italian than Nor-

man. In the "Ragman Roll

"it is written ( !ambel or

Kambel. Mr. Skene considers the clan to be oi

descent, and, with the MacLeods, to be the represents

•f the ancient inhabitants of the eaiidom of (lar-

moran. In the reign of Alexander I II. the ( Sampbells

lirst appear, divided into two great families, bearing the

patronymics of MacArthur and MacCailinmor,

( Jallnmmore.

The MacArthur branch held the chieftainship oi

til the time of James I., when John MaeArthur Wi

beheaded along with Alexander, Lord of Garmo

and his whole property forfeited, excepl

and Borne lands in Perthshire, dames L, in order t

suhdue the. Highlands, then in a lawless state, sum-

moned about forty of the chiefs to a parliament at In-

verness; but <>n their arrival thev were

ironed, and some of them executed.

The MacCallummore branch begins with Gillespick

Campbell, who was constituted heritable sheriff of


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Argyle by Alexander II. in 1221, and witnessed the

charter of erection, of the burgh of Newburgh by Alex-

ander III. in 1 266. Sir Mel, son of Colin More, married

the sister of Robert Bruce, and from that time this

branch rapidly increased in power and extent of terri-

tory, until, in 1 427, they obtained the chieftainship ;and

their subsequent elevation to the peerage placed their

title beyond the reach of dispute from any other branch

of the clan. The accompanying table exhibits the con-

nection of several of the numerous families of Campbell :


1221. Gillespick Campbell of Lochowe.

1280. Colin More,

1296. Niel,

1316. Colin,

1340. Archibald,



1445. Duncan,I

1453. Colin, 1st Earl,

1493. Archibald,

1513. Colin,

f 2. Donald—Loudon.

(4. Arthur—Dunstaffnage.

2. John—Barbeth, Succoth.

2. Colin—Arkiuglass.

(Barcaldine. f Achnabar.

2. Colin*—Glenurchv \Glenfalloch. \ Balliveolan.

(Achallader.t Glencarden.

3. Duncan—Auchinbreck J Glensaddel.

(Kilmory-t4. Niel—Ellen-reig, Armadale.5. Arthur—Otter.2. Thomas—Lundie.

2. John—Calder.

2. John—Lochnell.

* Ancestor of the Breadalbane family.

t Lady Abinger, mother of Baroness Stratheden, was a daughter of Patrick

Campbell, Esq., of Kilmory.F

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--.>» tke uoctt £32&£b£ ano«g th«L Tfca*

to * K*j^* Tc-askr of Kl*fek toC»pt^ of GkdUkckwk^ ~1V* 6r.

ffce fou* ;£ feafck, sbe cne* Vek r pwcuva Wart; Campbell of AcUbmw -Wua knrt wlfcw*i;* Caa?te& of ArliiHwtw.

« WHk w«tr

Tl«e rifVlfl- of Acftattaier aw Jm miifcil Ink

LcfG:^—It. Fwaaaaswrnsabi*± cap iHto»i of tk> mwol H%*iuai »o—< k«

ww ca&eii -Pttsraa nktfe wa-i*—I%Ktt4mc*r% At»^V- ffirfttfiin saxam. of zha

\m? n> k» possessed *wa. t^. Ea&ick or

m**K AcfetlUW, BtoadUa^ Calf 11, InrMwrawt*

-JJZ.-.1-.. aai K'*'--- : Tbece is a pttEtmtt of baa

iTwtfik Casfe* pwnfaii by Jiawwa

Gooi$*, ldfti Lrttktem, offer *k : :iac zh* 1

S^jcalraae. to fikAiCTiriaiwititeiijiwa

J» H^jHwiili After c>--2tc k» oftaiiToi of tb*

comB^beattetL aikooifcvtbiags

nil iff nf 1 kilbafrr Boraa«*i bK*i izt ib*

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alands, I have seldom Been a more accomplished

gentleman, with more general and classical lean

The Laird of Grlenlyon carried out King William's

irding fcb of < rlencoe. I [is grand

son shared the belief of the Highlanders, that in co

quence of this, a curse rested on the family. In 1771

he was superintending the execution of a soldier of

marines, condemned to be shot. A reprieve had

actually been sent, but was not to be produced til] the

last moment. Wnen .'ill was prepared, and the prisoner

on bis knees, ( 'olonel (

'ampbell put his hand in

his pocket to draw out the paper, when, In mi I

he also* pulled out his while- handkerchief, and the

firing party, who had been told this was to be the signal,

instantly discharged their pieces. The unfortunate

gentleman dropped the paper, and exclaimed, "Thi

curse of God and of Glencoe is aerej 1 am an unfor

tunate ruined man." He instantly quitted the par

and soon afterwards retired from the service, though

never in the Least blamed for the affair, which was

known to have been entirely accidental

In 1715 the Laird of Glenlyon was "out," and was

so strongly attached to the Stewartcause thai he never

ive his eldest son for entering the,regular armyand in 1746, when on his death-bed, refused to

him. In the autumn of the same y^y, the son, who

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had succeeded to the property, was appointed to gar-

rison his own house, as there were numeron

concealed in the Burrounding caves. Among these

was his brother, who, on one occasion, came out of a

ten above the house rather too soon in the even-

ing. He wished to see hi who usually sup-

plied him with provisions. The officer, afraid that the

fugitive might be seized, instantly gave the alarm, and

sent away the men who were with him to call out the

soldiers, saying, he would keep the rebel in

He then shouted to him in Gaelic, to run for his life

to the mountains, which the other .'hiving, disappeared

before Hi.- men returned. Ten years later, the out-

law was appointed to I [ighland regiment, and

>t at Huebec.*

ral traditions are current in Lorn regarding a

mansion belonging to the family of Lochnell, which

stands on a small promontory opposite the island of

Lismore, a little further north than Loch Ktive. When

building, it was prophesied that if the wood from a

churchyard was used, the house would not stand, and

an heir to the property would never he born in it. The

prediction was disregarded, and the prohibited wood

used. The building was afterward

• This family, like the MacDougalls of Lorn, possess a very

ancient brooch. It is of silver, studded with pearls and uncut gems


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servants having lighted large fires in the chimney

places without putting in grates, the beams of the

floors consequently ignited, and a disastrous conflagra-

tion was the result. The house is now entirely

uninhabited, but forms a picturesque and interesting

ruin. Within the last thirty years, the property has

passed to four or five different successors—a fact which

has tended not a little to confirm the popular faith in


The numerous traditions and achievements of the

illustrious clan Campbell would occupy a volume;

in truth, the history of their chieftains is so

interwoven with that of their native country, that

any detailed account of the former would necessarily

embrace a great portion of the latter.


According to Major, an old Scottish historian, the

clan Chameron or Cameron, are kindred to clan

Chattan; but, if so, they have been independent and

separate since the fourteenth century. Their ancestor

is said to have been a younger son of one of the kings

of Denmark. He assisted at the restoration of Fergus

II., in 404, who recovered his kingdom from the Picts,

but was subsequently slain by the Romans, and lies

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buried in lona. This ally is said to have been ceiled

Cameron, from his crooked nose, an appellation

adopted by his descendants. There were ll

unerons, the MacMartiu Camerons of Letterfinlay,

the Camerons of Strone, and those of Glennevis. It

bought, that on the secession of the Camerons

from elan Chattan, the MacMartin sept adhered to the

Macintoshes, and that, consequently, the Lochiel

family, the most powerful of the second sept, roso to

the chieftainship, which they have held ever since.

Two of the Cameron cMeftah ecially cele*

brated— Donald Dhu, who flourished in 1396, and

from whom the patronymic of Macconnel I>hu is

derived, and his son Allan MacCoilduy, who is said

to have made thirty-two expeditions into the lands of

for the thirty-two years of his life,

less lamed arc their Leaders in more oceiii

Cameron of Lochiel is celebrated

in Highland history. He joined the insurrection of

.and nevermade formal submission to< !liver< Jrom-

well. His word of honour was accepted as a sufficient

guarantee that he would keep the peace. He after-

wards fought at Kill iee rank ie, and died in 171!), aged

ninety. ] I is grandson, of the same name, distinguished

himself in 1745, and was the companion of Prince

D part of his wanderings. He was known as

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"the gentle Lochiel." The family estates were forfeited,

but subsequently restored.


The Stewarts are said to be a branch, of the Nor-

man family of Fitzallan. Their principal seat was in

Renfrewshire, and they enjoyed the dignity of lord

high steward of Scotland, from which they derived

their name. Walter Stewart of Renfrew married

Marjorie, daughter of King Robert Bruce, and thus

became founder of the royal Stewart dynasty. Some

branches of the family penetrated into the Highlands,

and became ancestors of distinct septs. Such were

the Stewarts of Lorn, who became possessed of great

part of the territory of the MacDougalls, the original

Lords of Lorn, through the marriage of two daughters

of Ewen MacDougall, who died without male issue,

to John and Robert Stewart of Innermeath. It was

through a marriage with the Lorn Stewarts, that the

Earls of Argyle assumed the title of Lorn, still borne

by the eldest son of the Duke. From this family

sprang the Stewarts of Appin, Invernahyle, Tasna-

cloich, and Grandtully. The Stewarts of Athole are

descended from the famous Wolf of Badenoch, the

fourth son of Robert II. He was constituted governor

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of the Highlands, from the limits of Moray to the

Pentland Firth. He seized the lands of Alexander

Barr, bishop of Moray, for which deed he was excom-

municated. Enraged at this sentence, he burnt the

town of Forres, the choir of the church, and the house

of the archdeacon, in May 1390. In June he pro

ceeded to burn Elgin, the church of St. Giles, the hos-

pital ofMaison-Dieu, the cathedral, and eighteen h

of the canons and chaplains, and also carried offthe can-

onical vestments and sacred utensils. For this sacri-

lege he was prosecuted and obliged to make sub-

mission, upon which the bishop of St. Andrews ab-

solved him in the church of the Black Friars at Perth.

IK- was received at. the altar in presence of the king,

Robert 111., his brother, upon promising to indemnifythe bishop of Moray, and obtain absolution from the

Pope. One of his Bons—Duncan- was well-known

as a leader of a troop of Highland catherons, who wen:

used to descend from the hills and ravage all the cul-

tivated country, plundering, burning, and slaying.

Once, in a conflict at Gasklune, the Sheriff of Angus,seven gentlemen, and sixty of his followers were killed.

Sir David Lindsay, who was in the tight, transfixed a

Highlander with his lance and brought him to the

ground, hut the catheron, with the spear in his body,

raised himself up, struck Lindsay a blow with his

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sword, which inflicted a severe wound, and then fell

back and expired.

The Stewarts of Balquhidder sprang from an illegi-

timate branch of the Albany family. Those of Garth

from James, grandson of the Earl of Buchan, the

second son of Eobert II. The castle of Garth was

built about 1390.

There are four ways of spelling the name—Stewart,

Steward, Stuart, and Steuart. Of these the first is the

original and most ancient orthography. The variations

Stuart and Steuart were introduced by members of the

family in intercourse with France, to avoid using the

letter w, and the practice being adopted by Mary

Queen of Scots, became common. Different families

appear to have used one or other mode, through acci-

dent or inclination, as for example, those of Traquair

spell Stuart, while Grandtully, a scion of the same,

spell Stewart.

MACPHERSOKThe clan Chattan, so called from Gillechattanmore,*

its founder, was one of the greatest in Moray. It

possessed the whole of Badenoch, the greater part of

* Gillechattan is said to signify a votary or servant of St. Kattan,a popular Scottish saint.

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Lochaber, and the districts of Strathnairn and Strath*


The septs of clan Chattan were MacPherson,

Macintosh, Mad hill', MacBean, MacQueen, MacGil-

livray, Clark, Davidson, Elder, Shaw, and, according

to some—Farquharson. The Camerons were origin-

ally of the same stock, but became independent at a

very early period. There is a controversy between

antiquarians as to whether MacPherson or Macintosh

is head of the clan. The two opposing traditions may

be thus brieily mentioned. According to the MS. of

1450, Gillechattanmore had two sons, the elder

Neachtan, the younger, Neill, from which severally

sprang clans Phersoo and [ntosh. The account

brought forward by the Macintoshes is, that they are

descended from MacDuff, thane of Fife, and acquired

the chieftainship of clan chattan at the end of the

thirteenth century, by the marriage of their ancestor

with Eva MacPherson, daughter of the chief But

as the point in question can possess little interest for

the general reader, we shall aot enter into details.

That eminent Celtic authority, Mr. Skene, decides in

favour of the clan Pherson, and Logan and Colonel

Robertson seem to be of the same opinion.

The Gaelic name of clan Pherson, is clan Vuirich.

They are so called from Munich, a descendant of

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Gillechattan. Some antiquaries interpret the name"Pharshon," as signifying parson, or priest.

In 1386, a feud broke out between the clan Chattan

and Cameron, in which the latter were nearly all cut

off to a man. The occasion arose thus. Some lands

of Macintosh were tenanted by the Camerons, who

Were so tardy in paying rent, that Macintosh fre-

quently indemnified himself by carrying off their

cattle. At this mode of procedure the Camerons at

last became so irritated, that they assembled under

Charles MacGillony, to the number of four hundred,

and marched into Badenoch. Macintosh procured

the assistance of the MacPhersons, and of the David-

sons of Invernahavon, called in Gaelic clan Dhaibhidh,

pronounced Dhawvie. On marshalling his forces,

he took the centre of the army, but a dispute arose

between Cluny MacPherson and Davidson as to

which should have the right wing. During the

quarrel, the Camerons were seen coming up, where-

upon Macintosh hastily decided in favour of the

Davidsons. This was a highly impolitic step, as the

parties were in the country of the MacPhersons, who

instantly drew off their troops, which exceeded in

number those of both Macintosh and Davidson. The

battle was hotly contested, and during its course

many of the Macintoshes, and nearly all Clan

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Davidson or Kay, were slain. Upon this, Cluny

MacPherson, who had stood aloof, brought his men

to the rescue, and defeated the Cameron* with great

slaughter, lie pursued those wli<> escaped from the

field, to three miles beyond Ruthven, in Badenoch.

Their leader, Charles MacGillony, was slain (ill a hill

in Glenbenchir, which was long called Torr-Thearlaich,

i.e., Charles'-hilL

The question of precedence which thus arose be-

tween clans Pherson and Davidson 1" 'iirco

of enmity, and a war of extermination was constantly

carried on. To suppress this, King Robert III., in

L396, sent the Earls of Moray and Crawford to

1 an arrangement, and an open combat before the,

king was decided upon. Thirty combatants from

each side were to meet at. the North Inch of Perth,

on the Monday before Michaelmas. On the appointed

day they appeared there before the king, queen, and

a large concourse of spectators. They were well ai

according to Wyntoun.

'• All thai entrit in Barrens

With Bow ami Axe, Knyf and Swerd

To deal amang them thair last Werd."

A few moment anenl began, it

was found that one man of clan Pherson was wanting.

According to some accounts, he had fallen rick, others

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say that he was seized with panic, slipped through the

crowd, plunged into the Tay, swam across, and though

pursued by numbers, made his escape. Upon this, a

proposal was made that one of the Davidsons should

also retire, but this they refused to accede to. The

king was then about to break up the assembly, when a

diminutive burgher of Perth, named Henry of the

Wynd, crooked in his limbs, but strong and active,

offered to supply the defaulter's place." Here I am/'

said he," will any one fee me to engage in this stage

play 1 For half a merk will I try the game, provided,

if I escape alive, I have my board of one of you so

long as I live." The offer was accepted, and the conflict

began, with thirty Davidsons on one side, and twenty-

nine MacPhersons and Wynd on the other. The

citizen Wynd was the first who drew his bow and

killed a man. The warriors then came to close light-

ing with daggers and broadswords. The leader of

the MacPhersons, observing Wynd sit down and

cease fighting, asked him why he desisted? "I have

fulfilled my bargain, and earned my wages," answered

the other. "The man," replied the leader, "who

keeps no reckoning of his good deeds, without reckon-

ing, shall be repaid." Upon this, the burgher renewed

his efforts, and contributed materially to the victory,

which resulted in the slaughter of twenty-nine David-

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sons and nineteen MacPhersons. The remaining

eleven MacPhersons, and Wynd, were severely

wounded. The surviving Davidson escaped unhurt

The answer of the Pherson leader to Wynd, has be-

come a Gaelic proverb.

kt Am fear nach cunntadh rium " Who won't reckon with us,

Cha chunntainn ris." We won't with him."

The chiefs of each clan appear to have viewed the

contest only as spectators. Such is the popular

account of this celebrated conflict, introduced by Sir

YV. Scott in the " Fair Maid of Perth." But from the

fact that the ancient historians give the names of the

two opposing parties as clans Vha or Quha and

Quhele, a controversy has arisen, as to what clans are

signified by these terms. Mr. Skene believes, and

adduces proofs that clan Quha, a corruption from

Hetli, son of Neaehtan, are the MacPhersons, 1 1 « * t the

Davidsons, ami Quhele, the Macintoshes. A Learned

reviewer writing for the Scotsman, holds that Quha

and Quhele were two obscure septs; that i

history, "Quhele" was, through error, written Quhete,

which BelHnden, in translating Boece, transformed

into Chattan.

On another occasion, in the reign of Jan;

although there was a spiritof rivalry between the

. the MacPhersons rendered effectual service to

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the Macintoshes. The latter were in conflict with the

MacDonalds of Keppoch, at Glenroy. This is said to

have been the last considerable clan battle fought in

the Highlands. During the conflict, Macintosh was

made prisoner, and numbers of his men slain. At

this criticaljuncture, a numerous body of MacPhersons

appeared, and rescued their kinsman. They took no

advantage of the incident which placed him in their

hands, but, for the credit of the clan, escorted him in

safety to his own territories. Whatever might be their

internal dissensions, they were always forgotten when

the common reputation was at stake.

The clan Pherson are renowned for their attachment

to the arts of music and poetry. Lachlan MacYuirich,

bard to Donald of the Isles, composed a poem*'


animate the troops before the battle of Harlaw, in

1411. It consisted of eighteen stanzas of unequal

length, corresponding to the letters of the alphabet,

and the epithets begin with the respective letter, thus

affording a curious Gaelic specimen of alliteration ;

—" Gu gruimach, gu grinnail. Sternly, elegantly.

Gu grainail, gu gaisgail. Terribly, heroically.

Gu gleusda, gu geinnail. Eagerly, in a wedge-like column."

This bard received as his salary, the farm of Staoi-

* " Prosnachadh cath Gariach."

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ligary, and four pennies of Drimisdale. I

teenth descendant, Niel, last of the bards, died in

1726, and gave a red parchment book, containing

histories, and part of the Poems of Ossian, to James

MacPhereon, their well-known translator. Anbard of the name, in Skye, recited on one occasion

during four days and four nights. MacPheison of

Strathmassie, born in 1720, wrote a number of Gaelic


The clan possess an ancient and celebrated pipe,

known as the Feadhandhu, or black chanter. Tra-

dition reports it to have fallen from the sky, during

the combat at Perth. Being made of glass, it was

broken, excepting the chanter, (the pipe on which the

tune is played) formed, as usual, of lignumvita*. It

possesses a charm which ensures prosperity to its

owner, and rouses courage on the battle-field. It was

lent to the Grants, who preserved it for along I

but returned it to the chief, Ewen MacPhereon of

Cluny, in 1822, Nor must we omit to mention the

memorable expedition of clan Pherson against clan

lavish, when their force consisted of four and thirt

men, and five and thirty pipers 2

The celebrated oatheron MacPhereon, "the bo

Roy of the North," was renowned for his prow

daring deeds. 1! eeuted at BaniT, lGth Nov.


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'00. He possessed a claymore by Ferrara, which,

before he left the prison, he bequeathed to Provost

Scott. It was subsequently acquired by an English

gentleman, and never afterwards heard of. . A long

two-handed sword, which belonged to him, and a

target, indented by a bullet, are preserved at Duff

House, the seat of the Earl of Eife. MaePherson,

on his way to execution, composed a piobrachd—" a

Farewell"—and played it. Burns has written a poem

under this name, expressive of the freebooter's senti-

ments. The MacPhersons of Crathy, parish of

Laggan, Inverness-shire, have a sword which has been

six hundred years in their possession. It is said to

have been used at the North Inch of Perth. It was

last brought out in 1594, at the battle of Altonlachan

(see MacLean.) Some years ago, the remains of silk

and silver lace were attached to the hilt.

A few particulars concerning the celebrated ClunyMaePherson will fitly conclude our notice of the clan.

This gallant chief was perhaps the greatest of the

sufferers from the ill fortune of the Stewarts, and mani-

fested his attachment and loyalty to them in an ex-

traordinary degree. He at first took the oaths to

Government, and agreed to join Loudon's- Highlanders,

a force of 1250 men, embodied a few weeks before the

breaking out of the rebellion. But finding his clan

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impatient to embrace the cause of their ancient

'•eigns, to which he himself personally inclined, he

yielded to their importunity. His wife, the daughter

of Lord Lovat, and of Jacobitical principles, en-

deavoured to dissuade him from this step, representing

that "nothing could end well which began with

perjury," but his friends reproached her for interfer-

,and the chief determined to side with hie people.

The clan shared all the fortunes of Prince Charles, but

were not present at Culloden, as that battle was

risked before they, and a few other reinforcements,

had arrived on the Held. An old seer is said to have

t.»ld the Duke of Cumberland, that if he waited till

the "bratach uaine," or green banner, came up, he

would 1m- defeated.

Alter this fatal battle, Cluny's castle was burnt to

the ground, and his lands devastated. A reward of

£1000, and to soldiers a step of promotion, was

offered for his apprehension. His life was declared

forfeited to the laws. He concealed himself in a large

hill named Benalder. on his own property, on the

borders of Rannoch, in company with Lochiel, who

had been severely wounded at Culloden. They sent

Lochgarry and Dr. Archibald Cameron to offer Pi

Charles a retreat, iii their asylum, and proposed to meet

him at Adinacarv. ( 'harles. however, was so impatient

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to rejoin these two devoted adherents that he would not

wait there, but set out with Lochgarry, Dr. Cameron,

and two servants, to enter Badenoch. On the 30th

August they reached Mellenaiur, where Lochiel, with

four followers, was residing in a hovel on the side of

the hill. He mistook them for a party of militia sent

to apprehend him, and being unable, from his wounded

condition, to escape, he and his men planted and

levelled their firearms, but, fortunately, recognised the

Prince before firing. In spite of his lameness, he in-

stantly went out to meet Charles, and was about to

kneel, when the other prevented him, saying," There

may be people looking at us from the tops of the hills,

and they will guess who I am." Lochiel then conducted

the Prince into the hut, which contained a plentiful

supply of provisions—a large piece of bacon, dried

beef sausages, butter, cheese, and an anker, i.e. ten

gallons of whisky. The Prince, who had suffered

from scarcity of food during several months, had a

glass of spirits, and minced collops were dressed with

butter in a saucepan, the only cooking utensil that

Cluny and Lochiel possessed, and which they always

carried with them. The pan was set before Charles,

with a silver spoon. He asked Lochiel, after dinner,

if he always enjoyed such good fare,"Yes, Sire,"

replied the chief," I have been for nearly three months

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with my cousin Cluny, he has provided for me bo well,

that I have plenty such as you see, and I thank

heaven your Royal Highness lias got through so many

dangers to take a part." Cluny returned two days

afterwards from Aehnaeary. where he had gom

meet the Prince. He was affectionate] i by

Charles, who embraced him, and expressed his r>

that he had not been at Culloden. The next day,

Cluny thinking it dangerous to remain longer at l£<

naiur, conducted the Prince to a shieling railed risk

chibra, two miles further into Benalder. This place

very smoky, bo they only passed two nights

there. The following day they removed to the i

brated "cage," which had been fitted up by Clue;.

Charles. We quote the chiefs own description of it :—

"It was situated in the face of a very rough, high,

and rocky mountain, called Leiternilichk, a part of

Benalder, full of great stones and crevices, and some

scattered wood interspersed. The habitation called

the 'cage,' in the face of that mountain, was within

a small thick hush of wood. Tic Bome

rows of trees laid down, in order to level a lloor for

the habitation, and, as the place was steep, this r.

the lower side to an equal height with the other; and

trees in the wr

ay of joists or planks, were lev. lied

with earth and gravel. There were betwixt the 11

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growing naturally on their roots, some stakes fixed in

the earth, which, with the trees, were interwoven with

ropes, made ofheath and birch twigs, up to the top of the


cage,' it being of a round or rather of an oval shape, and

and the whole thatched and covered with fog (anglice,

moss.) The whole fabric hung, as it were, by a large tree,

which reclined from the one end all along the roof to

the other, and which gave it the name of the '

cage ;'

and by chance there happened to be two stones at a

small distance from one another, in the side next the

precipice, resembling the pillars of a chimney, where

the fire was placed. The smoke had its vent out here,

all along the face of the rock, which was so much of

the same colour that no one could discover the differ-

ence in the clearest day. The '

cage' was no larger

than to contain six or seven persons, four of whom

were frequently employed in playing at cards, one,

idle, looking out, one baking, and another firing bread

and cooking."

Charles took leave of Cluny on the 13th September,

and set out for the west coast, from which he embarked

on the 20th for France. Two days previous to his de-

parture he wrote the following note, which he sent to

the chief:—

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"Mr. MacPherson of Clunik.

"As we are sensible of your and clan's fidelity

and integrity to us during our adventures in Scotland

and England, in the years 1746 and 1 746, in recovering

our just rights from the Elector of Hanover, by which

you have sustained very great losses both in your in-

terest and person, I therefore promise, when it shall

please God to put it in my power, to make a gretfull

return, sutable to your suferings.

"(Signed) Charles P. R.

MDiralagich, in Glencamyier of Locharkaig,

18th September 1746.''

Cluny remained concealed in the"cage" and other

hiding-places on his own estate. He continued undis-

covered for nine years, though, as it was known he was

somewhere on his own lands, eighty men were con-

stantly stationed on them, besides parties of soldiers

marching into the country to intimidate his tenants.

Upwards of a hundred of his clan knew where he was,

yet never betrayed his place of refuge, but dexterously

contrived to bring him constant supplies of provisions.

It was their labour which had constructed the "cage."

They worked by night, and threw all the stones and

rubbish into a lake, that no traces might be found.

Cluny sometimes stole out by night and spent a few

hours convivially with his friends. On one occasion

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he narrowly escaped capture by getting out at a back

window as the soldiers were entering by the door. At

another time, one of the officers in pursuit, seeing cer-

tain windows of the house always kept closed, broke

in with two loaded pistols, and endangered the life of

a lady and her infant who occupied the apartment.

Cluny afterwards adopted the plan of never disclosing

to his wife where he was going, that she might deny

any knowledge of his retreats.

A sum of money was left in his care by Prince

Charles, and this circ*mstance being known to Dr.

Cameron, he came over in 1749, and insisted on

Cluny giving him 6000 Louis d'ors, for which, how-

ever, the chief obtained a receipt. In 1754 Cluny

received the following letter from Prince Charles :—

" Ye 4th September 1754.

" For C. M. in Scotld -

"Sir,—This is to desire you to come as soon as

you conveniently can to Paris, bringing with you all

the effects whatsoever that I left in your hands when

I was in Scotland, as also whatever money you can

come at, for I happen at present to be in great straits,

which makes me wish that you should delay as little

as possible to meet me for that effect. You are to ad-

dress yourself when arrived in Paris, to Mr. John

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Waters, banker, etc. He will direct you where to

find your sincere friend

"C. P."

lie managed to effect bis escape in 1755, but only

survived his departure, from bis native land about a

year. His life showed, in a remarkable degree, the

ardent, attachment felt by the Highlanders for Prince

Charles, a feeling not yet extinct, but transferred in

an equal degree towards our present sovereign, of

whom they always speak in terms of warm atl'eetion

and loyalty.

Duncan MacPhereon, BonofCluny, wasalieutcnant-

colonel in the 71st regiment, and performed good

Bervice in America in 1776. At the time of his birth

bus mother temporarily resided in an old malt-kiln,

which had been fitted up for the use of the family, the

castle having been burned; and from this circ*mstance

he was known among the Eighlanders by the soubri-

quet of "Duncan of the kiln." He retired in 1791.

It has been remarked of clan Pherson that, whether

in consequence of their talisman, or their own hrai

they have never been in a battle winch was lost, at

least, where the chief was present.

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MACINTOSH.The Macintoshes were constantly at feud with the

Camerons and MacDonalds of Keppoch for more than

three hundred years. Their contests arose from the

fact that in 1336 and 1447, as well as on three subse-

quent occasions, they obtained charters of lands in

Lochaber and Keppoch. This practice of the Govern-

ment, of rewarding one chief at the expense of another,

proved a source of continual dissensions and outbreaks,

and added fresh fuel to the numerous existing disa-

greements among the clans.

In 1526, the chief Lauchlan Macintosh of Dunnach-

tan was assassinated by James Malcolmson, as his strict

rule and rigorous enforcement ofjusticehadrenderedhim

obnoxious to the lawless members of his clan." He

was," says Bishop Lesley," a verrie honest and wyse

gentleman, an barroun of good rent, quha keipit hes

hole ken, friendis, and tennentis in honest and gude

rewll." As his son was an infant, the clan chose Hector,

a brother of the late chief, as their leader pro tempore,

and the Earl of Moray undertook the guardianship of

the infant. • The murderer, Malcolmson, concealed

himself in an island on the lake of Eothiemurchus, but

was discovered and slain by the clan. Hector endea-

voured to obtain possession of his brother's child, for

the purpose of making away with it;and on the earl's

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refusal to part with it, invaded his lands, besieged the

castle of Tarnoway, and plundered the surrounding

country. He then went to the territories of the Ogil-

vies, possessed himself of their castle of Pettens, and

massacred twenty-four gentlemen of the name. The

Bar! of Moray came out against him, attacked his

band, and raptured his hrother William and three

hundred of the Macintoshes. Hector escaped and

concealed himself. The three hundred were off*

their freedom if any of them would betray his hiding-

place; but, with the magnanimity characteristic of

clan Chattan, none would endanger their chief by so

doing, and they were accordingly put to death by

hanging. William was likewise executed, and his

corpse being quartered, the portions were sent to Elgin,

Forres, Aberdeen, and Inverness, as a warning to deter

others from following his example. Hector, by the

advice of Dunbar, Dean of Moray, subsequently sur-

rendered himself to the king, -lames V., and received

pardon. He was afterwards assassinated at St. And:

and the young heir succeeded to the chieftainship.

But, following his lather's strict rules of administration,

he eventually shared the same fate, being slain by

some of his kinsmen.

In 1618 a quarrel arose between George Lord

Gordon, Earl of Enzie, son of the Marquis of Iluntly,

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and Sir Lauchlan Macintosh, chief of the clan. Mac-

intosh had declined to accompany the Earl in an ex-

pedition against the clan Cameron, and, subsequently,

undertaking an inroad into Lochaber on his own

account, had compelled part of his clan, who were

tenants of the Marquis of Huntly, to accompany him.

The Earl therefore took advantage of Macintosh hold-

ing certain lands from him, upon conditions of service,

to lay a number of charges against him before the privy

council. Among other claims he demanded the tithes

of property at Culloden, and sent two messengers-at-

arms to seize the corn. They were driven off by the

servants of Macintosh, and forced to desist. The

Earl then procured from the privy council a denuncia-

tion of Macintosh and his servants as rebels, and col-

lected all his friends to aid him to seize the tithes.

Macintosh fortified his house at Culloden, collected

all the corn within shot, and committed the charge of

the place to his two uncles, Duncan and Lauchlan.

He would not listen to the mediation of Sir Robert

Gordon, who had an interview with him on his wayto the Earl, but set out post-haste for England, to lay

his case before the king. Meanwhile the Earl of

Enzie assembled his forces at Inverness on the 5th of

November, and marched for Culloden. His troops

consisted of 1,100 well-appointed horsem*n, and 600

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foot. As for the Macintoshes, they received prou

of assistance from clans Pherson, Kenzie, and G]

On appearing before the castle, Sir Eobert Gordon

sent to Duncan Macintosh with the n "that

in consequence of his nephew's extraordinary boasting

the Earl had come to put his majesty's laws into

cution, and carry off the corn which of right belonged

to him." Duncan replied "thai the Earl mighl

what belonged to him, bnt that he would defend the

castle committed 1" his charge." On receiving this

answer, the Earl, by Gordon's advice, sent Lord l.<

(who had some influence with Duncan,) Gordon, and

Monroe of Milton, to persuade him to surrender. After

some entreaty he agreed to do so, and the keys were

accordingly sent to the Karl. The latter was so pl(

with the concession that he no! only sent them lack,

but gave the corn to Macintosh's grandmother, who

had the liferents of the lands of Culloden as her

jointure. As none of the Phersons,

appeared, he disbanded his force and returned 1:

Be laid his cause before the king, and sir Lanchlan

was shut up in Edinburgh Castle, bnt was afterwards

reconciled to the Karl, and consented to pay him a sum

of money, part of which the other remitted

Sir Lauchlan's death took place in 1624, and the

chieftainship devolving on a child, the clan resolved

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on an insurrection against the Earl of Moray, having

no one to restrain them from the attempt. They had

been faithful followers of that nobleman for a long

period, and had been requited with valuable grants of

land. They were very active in revenging the death

of Earl James, slain by the Marquis of Huntly, but

his son, having allied himself to the Huntly family,

slighted the clan, and even dispossessed them of the

lands, thinking he had no further need of their services.

On Whitsunday 1624 a gathering took place, and

about 200 gentlemen and 300 followers were assembled.

They were headed by three uncles of the late chief.

Spalding quaintly describes their mode of taking ven-


They keeped the feilds in their Highlandweid upon foot with swordes, bowes, arrowes, targets,

hagbuttis, pistollis, and other armour; and first began to

rob and to spoilzie the earle's tennentes of their haill

goods, geir, insight, plenishing, horse, nolt, sheep, comes,

and cattell. They took their meet and food per force

when they could not gett it willingly, frae freinds alse-

weill as frae their foes, yet still keeped themselves from

shedeing of innocent blood." As this continued some

time, the Earl obtained about 300 men from Monteith

and Balquhidder, and marching to Inverness, sent

them in pursuit of the Macintoshes. Through fear,

it is supposed, they returned," without effecting any-

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thing but causing the Earl great i Be dis-

missed them, and going to Elgin, raised another body,

who were likewise unsuccessful, "though liny pre-

tended they had searched the whole country for tb

The elan now grew more daring, so that the Earl was

obliged to travel to London, where he obtained a com-

mission against them from King James. He then

issued notices, prohibiting anyone from aiding or har-

bouring them. "Upon this many of their friends grew

cold, being apprehensive for their i The Earl

commenced negotiations with them, and ultimately

came to terms. Those who had harboured the depre-

dators were tried by a court constituted by the Karl

at Elgin, and condemned to pay heavy lines to that

nobleman. Some "slight louns,"* followers of the

clan, were tried and executed, but all the principals

were pardoned.

The Macintoshes were among the first to rise in

171"). They had already seized Inverness,

many clans had taken the field. The following

written by the young chief at the commencement of

the insurrection, is preserved among the "Culloden

Papers :"—

A nglice—men of no importance.

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" To the Honble My Ladie Cullodin,

yor . at Cullodin."Madam,—You can'nt be a stranger to the circum-

stances I have put myself in at the tyme, and the

great need I have of my own Men and followers

wherever they may be found. Wherefor I thought

fitt, seeing Cullodin is not at home, by this line to en-

treat you to put no stopp in the way of these Men that

are and have been my followers upon your ground."Madam, your compliance in this will very much


Your most humble Servant," L. Mackintoshe.

" 14th Sept. 1715.

"P.S. Madam, if what I demand will not be granted

I hope I'll be excused to be in my duty."

About 500 men were collected and placed under the

leadership of Macintosh of Borlum, known as Brigadier

Macintosh, an uncle of the chief, and a most zealous


The Brigadier's famous transport over the Forth is

a prominent event in the rebellion. The Earl of Mar

wished to reinforce the English Jacobites; but as

several English men-of-war were lying in the Forth,

the enterprize appeared hazardous, and none of the

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generals would undertake it but "( >ld Ilorlum." Two

thousand picked men (including all the Macintoshes)

were told off, and it was arranged that they should

march with gn 3 through unfrequented \.

to Crail, Pittenweem, and Elie, villages near the

mouth of the Forth. To attract the attention of the

enemy, who were stationed between Leith and Burnt-

island, 500 men were to march openly to Burntisland,

seize a number of boats and appear as if about to cross.

The 2,000 were directed to embark with the flowing

of the tide, as this would delay the men-of-war if they

should pursue them down the Frith.

Both detachments accordingly left Perth on the 9th

of October, the Macintoshes proceeding in a south-

eastern!}' direction, the others crossing the country at

once. On arriving at Burnt island they made a pre-

tence of embarkation, whereupon the men-of-war

manned their boats and sent them out prepared to at-

tack them, whilst the vessels themselves left Leith

roads and stood out to sea. As soon as they approached

tiie insurgentsturnedback and disembarked They next

proceeded to erect a battery, from which shots were fired

till nightfall. Meanwhile, the Brigadier had arrived at

the stations, where boats were in readiness through

the care of friends to the cause, and half of his men

were shipped the same night. The others left the

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next morning (Thursday, 13th Oct.) They were about

twenty miles from the ships, but, when halfway across,

were descried from the topmasts, and the enemy's

boats instantly pursued them. They only succeeded

in capturing two of their boats with forty men, who

were brought to Leith and put into jail. The rest,

with the exception of eight boats, reached the shore

in safety, and disembarked at Gullane, North Ber-

wick, Aberlady, &c. The eight remaining boats,

containing about 200 men, landed on the Isle of May,

then regained the Fife coast, and returned to Perth.

The town of Edinburgh was thrown into great alarm

by the Brigadier's approach. All the citizens enrolled

themselves as volunteers, even the ministers, and the

provost sent an express to the Duke of Argyle at

Stirling, requiring him to come to their aid. Mac-

intosh should have advanced direct to England, but,

desirous of the glory of taking the capital, he marched

to Jock's Lodge, where he arrived on the evening of

Friday the 14th. From thence he entered Leith, re-

leased the forty men from jail, seized a quantity of

brandy and provisions which were in the custom-house,

and crossing the bridge into North Leith, took up his

quarters in the citadel.*

It contained some houses

* Built by Oliver Cromwell.


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intended for sea-bathers, which served as barracks.

As there were no gates for the walls, barricades of

planks and carts filled with earth and stone were

erected, and six pieces of cannon being taken from

some ships in the harbour, were planted on the draw-

bridge and ramparts.

Argyh', meanwhile, advanced with great haste, some

of his cavalry being mounted on cart-horses, and

appeared with 1,200 men on Saturday morning. Be

sent a summons to the citadel, but was answered by

a message of defiance and a discharge of cannon, which

did some damage to the horses. Argyle perceiving

that he could do nothing without artillery, retired to

Edinburgh to prepare for a siege Jn the meantime,

Macintosh seeing that there was no chance of seizing

the city, resolved to depart. lie first sent a boat

across to Fife with despatches to the Karl of Mar,

and fired several shots after her as soon as sin

sail—a ruse which effectually deceived the commanders

of the men-of-war. On the same evening the clan

left the fort at 9 p.m., crossed the rivulet, then knee-

deep, which runs through the harbour at low tide,

and marched along the sands in a south-easterly

direction. The Brigadier was obliged to li

baggage, ammunition, and forty men who had parta-

ken too freely of the custom-house brandy, and were

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consequently captured by Argyle. He marched across

the border, and fought at the disastrous battle of

Preston, where he surrendered along with the other

leaders of the insurgent army. A bill of high treason

was subsequently found against him, and his trial was

fixed for the 4th of May. But at 1 1 o'clock on the

preceding night he and fifteen prisoners broke out of

Newgate, knocking down the keepers, and disarming

the guards. Eight were recaptured, but Macintosh

and seven others escaped.


The Irish annalists speak of Argyle (i.e. Iar-Gael.

western Gael) and the Western Isles as being, from

the dawn of history, inhabited by a people named the

Gall-gael, or Gaelic pirates, as distinguished from the

Norwegian and Danish rovers. The first of their

kings mentioned is Anlaf, called by the Saxon chro-

niclers Rex plurimarum insularum, the son of Sidroc

and a daughter of Ivor, chief of the Danish pirates.

Anlaf aided Constantine, King of Scotland, in an at-

tempt on Northumbria, but they were defeated by the

Saxon king Athelstan in 938. There is little to be told

till the accession of Gillebride MacGille Adamnan. H e

was expelled from his possessions by the Norwegians,

and took refuge in Ireland. He persuaded the Mac-

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Quarries and MacMahons to assist him, and undertook

an expedition to recover his lands, which proved un-

successful His son Somerled, in 1135, retrieved the

fallen fortunes of his house. He put himself at the

head of the inhabitants of Mbrven, expelled the

wegians, and made himself master of Morven, Loch-

aber, and Argyll'. In order to secure the Isles for his

posterity he carried off and married Ragnhilde, the

daughter of Olaf, then the Norwegian King of the

Isles. By this lady he had three sons—Dougall.

Reginald, and Angus. 1 1 is eldest son, Gillecallum,

was by a former marriage.

In an attempt to obtain the earldom of fiioi

his grandsons, Somerled was brought into opposition

to the king, and, encountering a powerful resistance,

he returned to the Isles, which he found in a disturbed

. owing to the tyranny of his Norwegian brother-

in-law, Grodred. A battle was fought on the night of the

Epiphany, which proved indecisive. By a subsequent

treaty, the lordship of the Isles was divided. Somerled

retained all those south of Ardnamurchan, while

Grodred acquired those lying northwards.

Somerled's next enterprise was an endeavour to de-

pose Malcolm IV. in favour ofthe "Boy of Egremont,"*

* The Boy of Kgremont was William, grandson of Duncan, a son

uf Malcolm Canmoi

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in which attempt he was aided by a numerous party

in Scotland. After many conflicts, he was repulsed

by Gilchrist, Earl of Angus, and a peace was concluded

in 1153, held to be of such importance that it formed

an era in dating Scottish charters. In a second rising

in 1164 Somerled collected an army, and appeared at

Eenfrew on the Clyde. He was met there by the

Steward of Scotland, with a large force, and was slain,

with his son, Gillecallum. He is described by the

chroniclers as" a well-tempered man, of a fair piercing

eye, and quick discernment." Gillecallum left a son—Somerled II.—who succeeded to his grandfather's

possessions in the Highlands. Those in the Isles,

being acquired by marriage, went to Dougall, the

eldest son of the second family.

Somerled II. remained undisturbed for a consider-

able period ;but in 1221, having taken part in an in-

surrection, Alexander II. marched against him. The

king collected an army in Lothian and Galloway, and

sailed for Argyle ; but, being overtaken by a storm, he

was driven into the Clyde. In a second attempt he

was more successful, and compelled Somerled to retire

to the Isles. He then erected Argyle into a sheriff-

dom, and appointed Gillespie Campbell of Lochowe

hereditary sheriff.

The two sons of Dougall—

Dugall Scrag and Duncan

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—appear in the Sagas under the name of Sudereyan

kings. They refused to yield even a nominal Ik image

to Haco, King of Norway, who thereupon dispatched

his commander, Uspac, with a fleet to reduce them to

obedience. It was found, however, that Uspac was in

reality a brother of the two kings, and abandoning the

cause of Norway, he united himself to them. Uponthis, Haco himself proceeded against them, and ulti-

mately slew Dugall Scrag, and his ally, Somerled II.

Uspac and Duncan escaped. Uspac was afterwards

slain in Bute. Duncan subsequently re-asserted his

authority, and founded the priory of Ardchattan, in

Lorn. His son and successor, Ewen, preserved his

allegiance to Baco, and when solicited by Alexander

II. to join him in an attempt to recover the Isles, re-

fused. Alexander, nevertheless, collected an army

and set out, but died at Kcrrera, an island on the coast

of Argyle, on the 8th July 1249. Some traditions

mention as the place of his death a small field on the

shore of the mainland, which is still known as Dail-

righ, or the king's field, and marked by a cairn.

Alexander III., on attaining his majority, p

to complete the designs of his father, and sent the Earl

of I v oss against the Isles. Eaco thereupon appeared

with an army, and was joined by many Highland chiefs,

but Ewen had changed his policy, and remained


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neutral. His foresight was justified by the issue of the

battle of Largs in 1266, when the total defeat of the

Norwegians compelled them to abandon the Isles.

Ewen died without male issue, leaving two daughters,

one of whom married the Norwegian King of Man;

and the other Alexander MacDonald, her third cousin.

The lordship of the Isles now passed to the descend-

ants of Eeginald, second son of Somerled I. Uponthe failure of that line by the slaughter of Eanald in

1346, who left no male issue, it was inherited by John

MacDonald, chief of clan Donald, who had married

his third cousin Amy, sister of Eanald; in this

family it remained until the failure of the direct line

by the death of Donald Dhu in 1545. From that

period the power of the great clan MacDonald gradually

declined, and they became divided and broken into

various branches.

James IV. ascended the throne in 1494, and in

the sixth year of his reign assembled a parliament at

Edinburgh, which declared the title and possessions of

John, then Lord of the Isles, forfeited to the crown.

Since that period the title of " Lord of the Isles"has

been borne by the heir-apparent to the Scottish throne.

MACDONALD.Martin's description of the ancient court of the

Clanship and the Clans, Traditions of the Clans of Scotland (n.d.) - [PDF Document] (116)


MacDonalds, Lords of the Isles, is well known. Their

palace was built on the island of Finlagan, situated in

the centre of a lake in Tslay. The chief was crowned

on a large coronation stone, seven feet square, with an

indentation in the centre, in which he stood. I It-

swore to continue his vassals in possession of their

lands, and to render equal justice to all his subjects.

His father's sword was then placed in his hands, and

he was anointed by the bishop of Argyle and seven

priests, in presence of the heads of all the clans of the

isles and mainlands which were his allies orvas

His body-guard dwelt on the side of the lake nearest

the isle. The high court of judicature, consist ii:

fourteen members, held its meetings in Finlagan, and

heard appeals from all the other courts of justi<•

the isles. The eleventh part of any sum in d<

due to the principal judge. The ancient form of i

of lands granted by the chief has been preserved, and

ran as follows:—"I, Donald, chief of the Mac Donalds,

give here in my castle, to a right to,from

this day till to morrow, and so on for ever."

Angus OgMacdonald having protected Bang Robert

Brace during his adversity, in Rachlin, [slay, and I

for nine months, received from that monarch the

privilege, that on the Held of battle his clan should

occupy the right wing of the Scottish army. At

Clanship and the Clans, Traditions of the Clans of Scotland (n.d.) - [PDF Document] (117)


the battle of Harlaw, they waived their claim to

this honour in favour of the chief MacLean, but on

the field of Culloden, having been placed on the

left, not a man would draw the sword but MacDonald

of Keppoch. It would have been better for the

Stewart cause had they followed the example of an

ancient chief of their race, who did not get his due

seat at an entertainment, and observing the guests to

whisper together, cried out,"know, gentlemen, that

wherever the MacDonald sits, that is the head of the


A MacDonald of Keppoch is said to have studied

the black art in Italy at the end of the fifteenth cen-

tury, and to have acquired great proficiency. He was

accustomed to converse with a female brownie called

Glaslig, for whom it is believed he was more than a


Prior to the final decline and disunion of the clan

in 1545, Macdonald of the Isles was one of the most

important personages in Scotland; a powerful and

often rebellious subject. Donald, founder of the race,

is said to have gone to Rome to obtain absolution for

various crimes, and evinced his gratitude by grants of

lands to the monastery of Saddell. His son, Angus

Mor, joined Haco in his expedition against the

Western Isles, which resulted in the battle of Largs.

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Angus left four sons, Alexander, who married one of

the two daughters of Ewen de Ergadia, Angus Og*

Alister, progenitor of clan MacAlister, and John,

ancestor of the Maclans of Ardnamurchan. Alexander

aided John MacDougall of Lorn, in his opposition to

Robert Bruce. Consequently, after that monarch had

subdued MacDougall, he turned his arms against the

Mac Donald, besieged him in Castle Swen, his rem-

dence, and compelled him to surrender. He was

imprisoned in Dttndonald Castle, when; he died. His

possessions were bestowed upon his brother Angus

Og, who had shared all the varied fortunes of

Bruce, and on that monarch's final success, was re-

warded with large grants of land. Angus aj>]

in Scott's "Lord of the Isles," under the name of

Ronald, for the sake of euphony. He died in the

beginning of the fourteenth century, and was suc-

ceeded by his son John. This chief, upon the

slaughter of his brother-in-law, Ranald MacRory of

the Isles, at Perth, by the Earl of Ross, laid claim to

his territories, a demand, which, if it had been granted

by Government, would have united in Ins possession

all the domains of his ancestor Somerled. The re-

sistance he encountered led him to ally himself to the

*Og signifies

" the younger."

Clanship and the Clans, Traditions of the Clans of Scotland (n.d.) - [PDF Document] (119)

i na


party of Baliol, and afterwards to that of the Steward

of Scotland, subsequently King Kohert II., whose

daughter Margaret he married.

King Robert, being desirous to lessen the power of

Clan Donald, persuaded John to make his children,

by Amy MacEory, feudally independent of those by

the second marriage, and from this fatal step may be

dated the commencement of its decline. James I.

and James IV. were equally desirous to reduce the

authority of these ambitious vassals, whose rebellion

would have endangered the stability of the Scottish

throne. James I. entrapped Alexander MacGodfrey

of Garmoran, and his cousin Alexander, Lord of the

Isles, to the parliament at Inverness. MacGodfrey

was beheaded, but Alexander, after a short captivity,

was set at liberty. He flew to arms, and soon

afterwards appeared before Inverness with 10,000

men, seized the town, and razed it to the ground.

James, with equal rapidity, collected a force, overtook

the Highland army before it had regained the isles,

and completely dispersed it. Alexander escaped, but

was afterwards so closely pursued, that he resolved to

throw himself upon the royal clemency. He appeared

before the king and the Scottish court on a great

festival, held at Holyrood, knelt to the monarch, and

implored pardon. His supplication was partly granted,

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for his life was spared, but he was imprisoned in

Tantallon Castle. Donald Balloch, chiefof Clanranald,

in insurrection to release him, but was betrayed,

and his head sent to the king. Alexander was then

it liberty, pardoned, and confirmed in all Idspofl-

ions, to which were added the lands of his cousin

MacGodfrey. This step was adopted by James, on

finding that the absence of their chief, instead of

subduing the clan, rather incited them to insurrection

and revenge.

John, son of Alexander, was with his son Angus< >u\ engaged in continual rebellions and outbreaks

against the. Government. His title and possessions

were finally declared forfeited to the crown, by an

of parliament in the sixth year of King James IV.,

and upon his death, shortly afterwards, his grandson,

Donald Dim, being a minor, there was no one to

succeed ti» his authority, and offer resistance to the

king. The various branches of the family wen

\\-\u\ among themselves, and all the dependant elans

1 the opportunity to declare themselves no Longer

vassals of the MacDoiialds, and to obtain titles to their

lands from the crown. Several attempts were subse-

quently made by the MarDunalds to place a die

the head of the whole tribe, but their efforts were un-

succes.-d'ul, through the resistance of Government, the

Clanship and the Clans, Traditions of the Clans of Scotland (n.d.) - [PDF Document] (121)


jealousies of the different branches of the family, and

the strenous opposition of the enfranchised clans.


The MacDougalls, Lords of Lorn, are, according to

tradition and the MS. of 1450, descended directly

from Dougall, third son of Ranald, son of Somerled

I., Lord of the Isles. Eanald had three sons, Eory,

Donald, and Dougall, from whom respectively sprang

the clans MacEory, MacDonald, and MacDougall.

The first of the family who appears in history, is

Alexander de Ergadia, who attended a convention of

chiefs held in 1284.

They are next mentioned in the time of Eobert

Bruce, when Alexander or Alister possessed the terri-

tory of Lorn, and the castles of Dunollie and Dun-

staffnage. He had married the third daughter of

John Comyn, whom Bruce slew in the Dominican

church at Dumfries, and was therefore opposed to

that monarch. After his defeat at Methven, June

19, 1306, Bruce withdrew to the mountainous district

of Breadalbane, and proceeded to the borders of

Argyleshire, with about 300 men. At Dalree, near

Tyndrum, he was attacked by Alexander at the head

of 1,000 followers, part of whom were MacNabs, a clan

who had espoused the cause of Baliol. After a severe

Clanship and the Clans, Traditions of the Clans of Scotland (n.d.) - [PDF Document] (122)


conflict, Bruce and his followers commenced a hasty

retreat, hut were hotly pursued by the enemy. One

of the MacDougalls came up to the king and seized

him by his plaid. The king killed the man with his

battle-axe, but lost his plaid and brooch, which were

torn off by the dying grasp of his opponent. This

trophy of victory was the far-famed Brooch of Lorn,

celebrated by Scott in his " Lord of the Isles." Tho

size and appearance of the ornament are well-known,

through the numerous facsimiles manufactured by tho

Scottish jewellers. En the original, the central stone

is of large size and curious appearance, Its Bpeci

said to be unknown. General .Stewart, and Browne,

speak of the brooch as having been destroyed when

Donollie was burnt in the 17th century. This is an

error. The widow of a chief retired to ILerrera, hav-

ing the brooch in her possession. Her house was

attacked and plundered by the Campbells of Glenlyon,

who carried off the relic. Their descendants restored it

some years ago to its rightful owner, the late Sir John

MacDougall, at a public dinner given in his honour.

Bruce, on a subsequent occasion, was attacked by

John of Lorn, soil of Alister, and so closely pursued

with bloodhounds that he narrowly escaped from his

relentless foe, and only saved himself with ditliculty.

Consequently, as soon as he was iirndy established on

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the throne, he resolved on revenge. He assembled a

large force, and, being joined by Sir James Douglas,

entered the territory of Lorn. MacDougall was found

posted at the narrow pass of Ben Cruachan, between

Loch Awe and Loch Etive, a position which it seemed

almost impossible to force.

Bruce divided his army into two parts, one consisting

of the archers, which he placed under the command of

Douglas, whom he directed to make a circuit round the

mountain. As soon as this body departed, Bruce entered

the gorge with the other division, and was instantly

attacked by the men of Lorn, who hurled stones from

the surrounding heights. The attack became close on

both sides, but the MacDougalls, being finally attacked

in the rear by the detachment under Douglas, were

thrown into confusionand defeatedwith great slaughter.

Bruce then laid siege to Dunstaffnage, which, after

some resistance, was surrendered by Alexander.

John, his son, received a safeguard and retired to Eng-

land. He was cordially welcomed at the court of

King Edward, and appointed to the command of the

English fleet, which was about to make a descent on

the Scottish coast. Meanwhile the king set out with

the land forces on that expedition which terminated

in the battle of Bannockburn. After that signal

victory, Bruce turned his attention to John of Lorn,

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and in order to avoid doubling the Mull of Kinh i

sailed up Loch Fyne to Tarbet, and caused Ins galleys

to be dragged over the narrow isthmus, which com

Kintyre and Knapdale, by means of smooth planks

laid in parallel lines. This, it is said, he did,

partly because there was a tradition that the I

would never be subdued until the invader should sail

across the isthmus. He succeeded in dispersing the

English fleet, and its commander was imprisoned,

first in Dumbarton, afterwards in Lochlev

where, he subsequently died. The successor of John

married a granddaughter of Boberl Bruce, in the ivi^n

of David II., and through her regained all the ancient

territories of the family, besides acquiring the district

of Glenlyon.

Upon the death of Ewen, the last Lord of Lorn,

who died without male issue, his possessions passed to

the Stewarts of Innermeath, who had married his two

daughters, and who consequently assumed the title of

St.- warts of Lorn. The chieftainship of the clan

scended to Allan MacDougall of Dunollie, brother <>f

Ewen," whose descendants still survive the decay o:

their ancient grandeur." The clan took part in th

rising of 1715, in consequence of which the

were forfeited, but were afterwards partly restored in




Clanship and the Clans, Traditions of the Clans of Scotland (n.d.) - [PDF Document] (125)



The two strongholds of the MacDougalls, Dunstaff-

nage and Dunollie, are buildings of great antiquity.

DunstafFnage appears to have been the principal .castle.

Boece explains the name as"Stephen's Mount," others

hold that its original appellation was " Dun agus dha

inish" the fortified hill with two islands (which lie to

the north). It formerly contained the palladium, or

sacred stone, of Scotland, removed by Kenneth II. to

Scone in 843, and subsequently carried to Westminster

Abbey, where it now reposes under the coronation chair.

On it was inscribed :—

" Ni fallat fatum, Scoti, quocunque locatura,

Invenient lapidem, regnare tenentur ibidem."

Or as Wyntoun,"Cronykil III. 9," renders it :

—" But qyf Werdis falyhand be,*

Quare evyr that stane yhe segyt se

Thare sail ye Scottis be regnandAnd lordis haleoure all that land."

Robert Bruce, by a charter still extant, granted to

Arthur Campbell, fourth son of Sir Colin Campbell

of Lochowe," the constabulary of Dunstaffnage,

whilk Alexander of Argyle had in his hands."

Dunollie is mentioned in the " Annals of Ulster," as

existing as a place of importance before the 7th cen-

* Unless the destinies fail.

Clanship and the Clans, Traditions of the Clans of Scotland (n.d.) - [PDF Document] (126)


tury, under the name of Duon Olla, i.e., the fortress of

Olaf, a common name among the Norwegian ph

It is spoken of several times in the "Annals:"—"

a.d. 685, Combussit tula aman (sic) Duon Olla;

a.d. 700, Destruction of Dunaila by Selvach;a.d. 713,

Dun Olla construitur apud Salvaon; a.d. 733, Talor-

gan, fdius Drosteni comprehensus alligatur juxta arcem

Olla." In the oldest map of Lorn, that of Timothy

Pont, Dunollie is denominated 1 )oun ( )ldyf. Some

rive the name from the (I i tying" rock of ivy."

It was burned in the seventeenth c lien manyancient and valuable family records \\ >yed.

One very curious relic of antiquity, ho^ pre-

served uninjured, as it v isa in

the wall. It is a small bronze equestrian figure of a

chief of MacDougall, who was known as [an Bachach,

or, John the lame. This is shewn in the statue,

where he is represented with one limb laid across Ins

horse, and fixed on the pommel of the saddle." Tra-

dition," says General Stewart, writing in 1821,"


a period of 325 years, or 13 generations of 25 years

each, as the age of this figure."

The castle of Dunollie has long been one of the first

objects of interest to tourists in Argyleshire, and the

manner in which many unworthy persons h

the liberality of the family, who allow access to the

Clanship and the Clans, Traditions of the Clans of Scotland (n.d.) - [PDF Document] (127)


building, is much to be deplored. Formerly, the

massive walls of the dungeon and the higher apart-

ments were covered with a very curious species of

basket-work, exactly fitting to the chamber, on which

the plaster or cement appearing on the surface of the

wall was laid. This has now entirely disappeared,

owing to the spoliation committed. Stones are also

constantly thrown from the walls, or taken away ;and

the eagle, on which Wordsworth composed a sonnet,

died from the ill-usage it received from tourists visit-

ing the castle.

In the garden below the castle rock is a small cave,

in which was found the skeleton of a man and a dog \

the man in a sitting posture, the dog evidently crouch-

ing beside him. These remains fell to pieces on ex-

posure to the air. Pieces of armour and a ring were

also discovered in the ground, as well as a number of

bones, the latter, probably, part of the refuse thrown

over by the garrison of the fortress.

One of the verses in "Brydson's Lines on Dunollie


is well known, as it forms the mottoe on the ornamen-

tal woodwork sold at Oban, and the remainder of the

poem is therefore annexed.

Clanship and the Clans, Traditions of the Clans of Scotland (n.d.) - [PDF Document] (128)


The breezes of this vernal dayCome whispering through thine ancient hall.

And stir—instead of tapestry—

The weed upon the wall.

And bring, from out the murmVing sea,

And bring, from out the vocal wood.

The sound of Nature's joy to thee—Mocking thy solitude.

Yet proudly, midst the tide of years,Thou lift'st on high thine airy form ;

Scene of primeval hopes and fears,

Slow yielding to the storm.

From thy gray portal oft at morn.The ladies and the squires would go ;

While swelled the hunter's bugle horn

In the green glen below.

And minstrel harp at starry night.

Woke the high strain of battle here.

When, with a wild and stern delight,

The warrior stooped to hear.

All fled for ever !—

leaving noughtSave lonely walls in ruin green,

Which dimly lead my wandering thoughtTo moments that have been.

GRANT.Two derivations arc gives (rf this iiaim* of clan Giant

< >ne from the Gaelic traces it to their possession of the

lands of Griantach, or field of the sun, in Straths]

the other assigns to them a Norman origin, derii

the name from the French epithet"

le grand." But

Norman formoftfe Grant was never used by them

Clanship and the Clans, Traditions of the Clans of Scotland (n.d.) - [PDF Document] (129)


before the fifteenth century; prior to that period it was

always Grant, or le Grant, and, earliest of all, dictus

Grant. The clan themselves have universally asserted

that they belong to the Siol Alpine, and are of the

same race as the MacGregors, tracing their descent

from Gregor MacGregor, who lived in the twelfth

century. In the early part of last century, according

to Skene, a meeting of clan Alpine was held during

fourteen days in the Blair of Athole, to consider the

policy of re-uniting the two clans, but it came to nothing

through disputes as to the chieftainship.

The first of the family who appear on record are-

Lawrence and Eobert " dicti Grant," in an agreement

dated September 1258. Stratherrick appears to have

been their original property, which was exchanged

with the Erasers of Lovat for part of Strathspey, almost

the whole of which afterwards belonged to them.

They also acquired a great extent of property by for-

tunate marriages, and " took place," says Skene,"


barons of considerable power." Lawrence Grant was

Sheriff of Inverness in the reign of Alexander III.,

and took a leading part in the transactions of that

period. After the fifteenth century they increased

in extent of possession and power, and through a

marriage with the family of Findlater acquired the

peerage of Seafield in 1811.

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Clanship and the Clans, Traditions of the Clans of Scotland (n.d.) - [PDF Document] (131)

Clanship and the Clans, Traditions of the Clans of Scotland (n.d.) - [PDF Document] (132)

Clanship and the Clans, Traditions of the Clans of Scotland (n.d.) - [PDF Document] (133)

Clanship and the Clans, Traditions of the Clans of Scotland (n.d.) - [PDF Document] (134)


Clanship and the Clans, Traditions of the Clans of Scotland (n.d.) - [PDF Document] (135)







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Clanship and the Clans, Traditions of the Clans of Scotland (n.d.) - [PDF Document] (2024)


What is the most feared Scottish clan? ›

Clan Campbell of Breadalbane is ranked first. The feud between the MacGregors and the Campbells is well known, but Sir Malcolm claimed that this branch of the Campbells was particularly feared due to its dominance over a large swath of Scotland - and its willingness to defend it at any cost.

What are the traditions of the Scottish clan? ›

Clan Gatherings: One of the most common traditions associated with Scottish clans is the gathering of members from all over the world to celebrate their shared heritage and cultural traditions. This often includes highland games, dance performances, traditional music and storytelling, and feasts.

What is the Scottish clan inbreeding? ›

Inbreeding. The Sawney Bean clan was essentially a group of inbred killers and cannibals who procreated and lived isolated from the world for over two decades.

What was the most powerful clan in Scotland? ›

1. Clan Campbell. Clan Campbell was one of the largest and most powerful clans in the Highlands. Based primarily in Argyll, Clan Campbell's chiefs eventually became the Dukes of Argyll.

What clan was banned in Scotland? ›

Following their involvement in various feuds and conflicts, including clashes with rival clans and political upheavals, the surname MacGregor was officially proscribed in 1603. This ban aimed to suppress the clan's power and influence, leading to severe repercussions for those who bore the name.

What is Scotland's oldest clan? ›

Clan Gunn is one of the oldest Scottish Clans, being descended from the Norse Jarls of Orkney and the Pictish Mormaers of Caithness.

Do Scottish clans still exist? ›

Yes, Scottish clans do still exist in the 21st century. Although the historic clan system of politics is a thing of the past, the bonds and connections between clansmen still exists. In Scotland, a clan is still a legally recognised group with an official clan chief.

What makes you part of a Scottish clan? ›

Many men became members of a clan by swearing allegiance to the chieftain in return for protection or work. Scottish clans were usually associated with specific areas of the country. The clan chief functioned as a protector, judge and leader for the inhabitants of each area.

Does every Scottish family have a clan? ›

Not every name in Scotland is attached to a Clan. The Clan is a Highland phenomenon – but by extension the term Clan is applied to those Borders families who were organised and behaved as Clans. Names from the Lowlands are considered to be in Families.

Which Scottish clan betrayed? ›

From the pen of Scotland's master storyteller comes the tale of one of the most shameful acts of betrayal in the history of Britain. In February 1692 the small Clan MacDonald of Glencoe were massacred by Campbell of Glenlyon's troops under orders from the English Government.

What Scottish clan does the queen belong to? ›

Queen Elizabeth was descended from a Scottish family, the Stuart family. Elizabeth II was a descendant of the first King of Scotland, Kenneth MacAlpin, (810 – 858).

Who are the Scottish genetically closest to? ›

Most Scots from its west coast tend to share a very strong genetical linkage with the Irish, going back over 1500 years to the first migrations of the ancient Gaelic/stone age Irish tribes from northeast & northwest Ireland.

What is the oldest family name in Scotland? ›

Clan Donnachaidh, which is Scots Gaelic for Clan Robertson, is often cited as the oldest Scottish clan and last name.

Who was the fiercest Scottish clan? ›

History of The Clan Campbell

The clan grew in power and influence over the centuries, becoming one of the largest and most powerful clans in Scotland. The Campbell clan played a significant role in Scottish history, particularly during the Wars of Scottish Independence and the Jacobite rebellions.

What is the Scottish motto? ›

Nemo me impune lacessit (Latin for 'No one provokes me with impunity') is the national motto of Scotland.

What is the most badass Scottish clan? ›

Clan MacGregor is one of Scotland's most famous clans, with a history that dates back to the medieval period. The MacGregors were a proud and independent Highland clan, known for their courage and skill in battle.

What is the most fierce Scottish clan? ›

According to Sir Malcolm MacGregor of MacGregor, convener of the Standing Council of Scottish Chiefs, there are a number of possible contenders for the title of the most feared clan. Number one is Clan Campbell of Breadalbane.

Which Scottish Clans have Viking roots? ›

Several Scottish clans have Norse–Gaelic roots, such as Clan MacDonald, Clan MacDougall and Clan MacLeod. The elite mercenary warriors known as the gallowglass (gallóglaigh) emerged from these Norse–Gaelic clans and became an important part of Irish warfare.

Who was the strongest Scottish warrior? ›

William Wallace was one of Scotland's greatest national heroes. He led the Scottish resistance forces during the first years of the long and ultimately successful struggle to free Scotland from English rule.

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