BAGPIPES and THE KILT SHOP, Galashiels present
1: Clans ANDERSON - FRASER of LOVAT
2: Clans GORDON - MacDONELL of GLENGARRY
This page: Clans MacDONELL of KEPPOCH - MacQUARRIE
4: Clans MacQUEEN - WALLACE
Clan MacDonell of Keppoch
hand holding a cross
mare per terras (By sea and by land)
The MacDonells of Keppoch and Garrogach are
descended from Alasdair Carrach, the 3rd son of John, 1st Lord of
the Isles which therefore was a grandson of King Robert II. In 1431 Alasdair
was forfeited for his part in the insurrection of Donald Balloch, and part
of his lands were granted to Mackintosh, chief of Clan Chattan. This caused
a long feud between the two clans, and John, 4th chief of Keppoch,
wass deposed by the clan for delivering a clansman to the Mackintoshs.
He was succeeded by his cousin Donald Glas, whose son Ranald assisted
John of Moidart at the Battle of the Shirts in 1544.
Ranald, 9th chief of Keppoch, was an
outlaw for most of his life and served in the Swedish army, while
Glas, 11th chief, served in the Spanish army. Alexander, 12th chief,
and his brother were murdered in 1663, an event commemorated in Tobair-nan-cean
(Well of the Heads) near Invergarry, where the heads of the seven murderers
were washed before being placed before Lord MacDonell of Invergarry.
Coll, 15th chief, known as "Collof
the Cows", withstood all attempts of the Mackintoshes, assisted by government
troops, to capture him, and for 40 years he held his lands in Lochaber
by right of the sword. He was succeeded by his son Alexander, who,
with his followers, joined Prince Charles Edward and were the first to
strike a blow in the 1745 Rising. Keppoch died fighting single-handed at
a cup an embowed arm in armour, holding a cross
no bàs (To conquer or die)
The MacDougalls take their name from Dugall,
eldest son of Somerled, from whom they are descended. Dugall´s son
received from him the lands of Lorn and his grandson Alexander MacDougall
married a daughter of the Red Comyn who was slain at Dumfries.
In consequence the MacDougalls became bitter
enemies of Robert the Bruce. When Bruce secured the throne, he retaliated
on the MacDougalls for their opposition, and after their defeat, Alexander
submitted to the King but his son John fled to England where he
was appointed an admiral in the English fleet. He was later captured in
the Western Isles and imprisoned first in Dumbarton and afterwards in Lochleven.
On the death of Robert the Bruce, John of Lorn was released and his lands
restored. He married a granddaughter of Robert the Bruce, and his son
John was the last MacDougall of Lorn. He died without male issue, and
his lands passed, through his daughters, to the Stewarts, Lords of Lorn,
In 1457, John Stewart, Lord of Lorn, granted
the lands of Dunollie to John MacAlan MacDougall. The clan was present
at the Battle of Sheriffmuir in the 1715 Rising. On the failure of the
Rising, the chief´s lands were forfeited but restored when the clan
remained loyal to the Crown in 1745.
The eldest daughter of the chief uses to bear
the title "Maid of Lorn".
rampant lion, holding a dagger in his dexter paw
juvat (God assists)
Tradition says that MacDuff was the patronymic
of the Celtic Earls of Fife and that the first Earl was the MacDuff who
opposed MacBeth assisting Malcolm to the throne of Scotland. Whether this
is right or not - this ancient clan certainly played an important part
of ancient Scotland. They had the right to crown the kings, leading the
Scottish army and granting a sanctuary at MacDuff´s Cross at Newburgh
When Robert the Bruce was crowned in 1306,
MacDuff, Earl of Fife, who had married a niece of Edward I., opposed
Bruce, but not he but his sister Isabel, Countess of Buchan, who
was the wife of Bruce´s enemy Comyn, was imprisoned for sever years
In 1353, the old earldom of Fife became extinct
on the death of Duncan, 12th Earl, but nevertheless there are a
lot of traces of prominent MacDuff or Duff families during the following
centuries. In 1759, William Duff, Lord Braco, was created Viscount
MacDuff and Earl of Fife in the Irish peerage, and in 1827 James, 4th
Earl, was raised to the peerage of Great Britain as Baron Fife.
Alexander, Duke of Fife and Earl of MacDuff,
was born in 1849. He was a successful financier and founder of the Chartered
Company of South Africa. In 1889, he married Princess Louise, daughter
of Kind Edward VII. and died in 1912. He was succeeded by his daughter
Alexandra Victoria, who married Price Arthur of Connaught.
trunk of an oak tree from which sprouts forth young branches.
(I grow strong)
Although of ancient origin, there are only
a few records of this clan. Fact is that the MacEwens already exists before
1450 as the MacEwens of Otter. According to another record of 1794,
they had their possessions on the coast of Lochfyne near Kilfinan.
Eòghain na h-Oitrich (Ewen of
Otter), who gave his name to the clan, lived at the beginning of the 13th
ct. Under Gillespie, 5th chief of Otter, the estates were flourishing.
MacEwen, 9th chief, was the last of Otter. He granted lands of Otter
to Duncan Campbell of Lochow in 1432 and resigned the barony of Otter to
King James I. but it was returned to him with remainder of Celestine,
son and heir of Duncan Campbell.
In 1513 King James V. confirmed the baroncy
of Otter to Colin, Earl of Argyll, and thereafter Otter remained
in the possession of the Campbells. Without lands the MacEwens became a
"broken" clan and found their way to many Scottish districts. A large number
settled in Lennox country, others went farther away to Lochaber, Perth,
Isle of Skye and the Lowlands.
warrior holding in his right hand a sword and in his left hand an imperial
The MacFarlanes settled mainly in the Loch
Lomond district. Their progenitor was Gilchrist, brother of Maldowen,
3rd Earl of Lennox, who lived in the 13th ct. His great-grandson
was named Bartholomew, and from the Gaelic equivalent of this name
- Parlan - the clan took its name.
Duncan, 6th chief, obtained the lands
of Arrochar from the Earl of Lennox and, by marriage in 1395, acquired
many of the adjoining estates. When the last Earl of Lennox died without
male issue, MacFarlane claimed the title and lands, but the earldom was
conferred to Sir John Stewart of Darnley which led to an enmity between
the families that ended only when a MacFarlane cadet married a daughter
of the Earl of Lennox in the 15th ct.
In 1493 a MacFarlane of this line assumed
the title of Captain of the Clan MacFarlane, and thereafter the clan supported
the Earls of Lennox. Their war-like spirit took them to Flodden in 1513,
Pinkie in 1547 and Langside in 1568, where they fought against Mary Queen
of Scots and captured three of her standards.
In the 16th and 17th ct. the clan was proscribed
and deprived of lands and name. Some members emigrated to Ireland, and
the last chief is believed to have emigrated to America in the 18th ct.
rege (For the king)
The ancient home of this clan is the Isle
of Colonsay where they are recorded as Macduffies or MacPhees, a
branch of the great Clan Alpine which is said to be descended from Kenneth
MacAlpine, King of Scots.
The early history of the Macfies is unknown.
We know that a Donald Macduffie witnessed a charter at Dingwall
in 1463, and Macfie of Colonsay was one of the principal chiefs
who met Bishop Knox of the Isles and signed the Bond and Statues of Iona
in 1609 which was an attempt to impose law and order in this area.
In 1615 Malcolm Macfie of Colonsay
joined the rebellion of Sir James MacDonald and was dispossessed. Some
of the clan then followed the MacDonalds and others the Camerons of Lochaber
supporting that clan at Culloden.
A famous member of the clan was Ewen MacPhee
who lived in the middle of the 19th ct. He was the last of the Scottish
outlaws. He enlisted in the army but deserted as a result of a misunderstanding
and settled with his family on an island on Loch Quoich. Recognising no
law and no landowner he defended his home with firearms. He held it until,
in his old age, he was ejected for sheep stealing.
This clan is considered to be one of the oldest
branches of Clan Chattan confederation and came originally from Morven
and Lochaber, where they were one of the principal clans in the time of
Somerled, King of the Isles. Like other clans they suffered severely during
the conquest by King Alexander II. in the 13th ct. This may be the reason
why Gillivray, the progenitor of the clan, whose name means "son
of the lover of knowledge", took protection from Farquhard Mackintosh,
5th chief of Mackintosh.
About 1500 the MacGillivrays settled at Dunmaglass
in Strathnairn adding considerably to their possessions in the following
decades. They became very influential and took a permanent part in public
affairs and local clan disputes. They too were active in the 1715 and 1745
Risings, losing their chief and many members at Culloden. The chief´s
brother William MacGillivray survived the fierce battle and, assisted
by another brother, was able to increase the family estate. On the death
of his son there followed lawsuits over the succession which eventually
in 1858 passed to the Dalcrombie line. They soon sold Dunmaglass to leave
the clan landless in its own country by 1890.
erased lion´s head with a crown
rioghal mo dhream (Royal is my race)
The MacGregors are one of the most famous
Highland clans, and the principal branch of the Clan Alpine. They claim
descent from Griogar, son of Alpin, who was King of Dalriata in
the 8th ct. The home of the clan was on the border of Argyll and Perthshire
including Glenorchy, Glenstrae, Glenlyon and Glengyle. The earliest lands
of the clan in Glenorchy was previously owned by the Campbells and then
bestowed on the MacGregors for services rendered to King Alexander II.
in his Argyll conquest.
For a long time the MacGregors kept possession
of their lands by right of the sword, but the enmity of surrounding clans
resulted in attempts to displace them so that there were a lot of bloody
feuds. During these conflicts the Campbells were able to obtain grant of
MacGregor lands with the result that the name of the clan was proscribed,
and severe enactments were passed against them. The members were prosecuted
and persecuted. Charles II. repealed the acts against the MacGregors because
of their support, but when William of Orange succeeded him to the throne
the proscription was renewed, and it was not until 1775 that the penal
statutes against the MacGregors were finally repealed.
Rob Roy MacGregor (1671-1734), the
celebrated freebooter and hero of Sir Walter Scott´s romance, was
a son of Colonel Donald MacGregor of Glengyle.
arm holding a bow
Ghibht Dhè Agus An Righ (Through the grace of God and the King)
This is a Celtic clan of ancient origin. The
earliest known territory was Morven, and they are said to have formed part
of a branch of the Siol Gillebride, believed to be the original inhabitants
of Morven and Ardnamurchan being constables of Kinlochaline Castle until
1645 when the stronghold was besieged and burnt by Coll Kitto MacDonald.
Hugh MacDonald, the Sleat historian of the
17th ct, states in his chapter about Morven that "the principal names in
that country were MacInnes and MacGillivray" and then goes on to describe
how Somerled led these clans and defeated the Norsemen expelling them from
Eventually broken up, the MacInneses of Morven
acknowledged the Clan Dugall Craignish (Campbell) as their chief.
hand holding a skean with an affixed snowball
ardua (Through difficulties)
Mac an t-Saoir means "the son of the carpenter".
However, a prominent member of the clan gives the derivation as from a
MacDonald called Cean-tires because he possessed lands in Kintyre.
His son John MacDonald acquired the lands of Deguish in Lorn and was known
as John Mac-Cein-teire-Dheguish.
A branch of the MacIntyres was a sept of the
Campbells of Craignish. The principal family of the clan were the MacIntyres
who held the lands of Glencoe on Loch Etive for several centuries until
they were forced to part with them in 1806. Clan members emigrated to America.
The clan is notable for its versatility. The
of Glencoe were hereditary foresters to the Stewarts, Lords of Lorn.
The MacIntyres of Badenoch are descended from the bard MacIntyre
whom William, 13th chief of Mackintosh, took under his protection in 1496.
Another family were hereditary pipers to MacDonald of Clanranald, and the
of Rannoch to the chief of Clan Menzies.
Duncan MacIntyre was a famous Gaelic
poet, born in Glenorchy in 1724. He was in government service during the
1745 Rising but was later imprisoned for a poem he wrote against the Act
proscribing Highland dress.
obliviscar (I will never forget)
This clan is said to have been part of the
army of King Alexander II which conquered Argyll in 1221, for which they
received lands in that district. They had come from Glenlyon, and in Argyll
their principal lands were Lergachonzie, Asknish, Lassary and Cowal.
Once arrived in Argyll the clans history is
obscure. In the 13th ct. branches of the clan left Argyll to settle in
Lochaber, Glenelg and Ross and it would appear that the MacIvers were for
some time a "broken" clan without estates.
In 1564 Archibald, 5th Earl of Argyll,
renounced all claims to the "calps" (gifts due to the chief). In 1572 his
successor Duncan MacIver is described as MacIver of Stronshiray
and Superior of Lergechonzie. In 1685 MacIver of Asknish and Stronshiray
forfeited land for aiding Archibald, 9th Earl of Argyll in his rebellion
against King James VII. Following the Glorios Revolution of 1688,
10th Earl, restored the estates of Iver to his son Duncan MacIver
on condition that he and his heirs should bear the name and arms of Campbell.
Therefore he was the last chief of the MacIvers, and Sir Humphrey Campbell
who died in 1818 was the last in the male line of Duncan MacIver of Stronshiray.
Branches of the clan in the north and in Lewis retained the old name.
arm holding a dagger
forti (With a strong hand)
This powerful clan was known as Clan Morgan
or Clann Aoidh. The former name is claimed from Morgan, son of Magnus,
in the early 14th ct, the latter from his grandson Aoidh (Hugh).
The MacKays are descended from the old Royal house of MacEth.
When Donald, 2nd Lord of the Isles, invaded
Sutherland in pursuit of his claim to the earldom of Ross, he was opposed
by Angus Dubh and the Clan MacKay, who were defeated and Angus imprisoned.
He, however, became reconciled and married Elizabeth, daughter of his captor,
with whom he received many lands. Angus eventually was killed at the Battle
of Drumnacoub in 1429.
In 1626 Sir Donald MacKay of Farr raised
an army of 3000 soldiers for service in Bohemia and afterwards in Denmark,
and was created Lord Reay. The lands of Strathnaver were sold in 1642,
and the remainder of the MacKays country was sold in 1829 to the house
Aeneas, grandson of the 1st Lord Reay,
was colonel of the MacKay Dutch regiment and settled in Holland where his
family were ennobled as Barons, and when the Scottish succession ceased,
Eric MacKay van Ophement became 12th Baron Reay.
non uro (I shine, not burn)
The MacKenzies claim to descend from Colin,
progenitor of the Earls of Ross. He died in 1278 and was succeeded by his
son Kenneth. In 1362 Murdoch, son of Kenneth and 3rd Earl, received
the lands of Kintail from King David II.
In 1466 the MacKenzies defeated the MacDonalds
in a battle at Blair-na-park. The clan supported King James IV. at Flodden
in 1513, where the chief was captured by the English, and at the Battle
of Pinkie in 1547 they fought for King James V. Colin, 11th chief,
fought in the army of Queen Mary at Langside in 1568.
Kenneth, 12th chief, received, in 1607,
a charter of the lands of Lochalsh and Lochcarron, and it is said that
at this time all the lands from Ardnamurchan to Strathnaver were in the
possession of the MacKenzies or their vassals. Kenneth was created Lord
MacKenzie of Kintail in 1609.
Colin, 2nd Lord, was created Earl of
Seaforth by James VI. in 1623, and was Secretary of State in Scotland to
Charles II. Kenneth, 4th Earl, was nominated a Knight of the Thistle
by James VII. whom he followed to France. William, 5th Earl, joined
the Earl of Mar in 1715, was present at Sheriffmuir and later escaped to
France. He was attainted and his estates forfeited. In 1726, he was pardoned
by George I. and died in Lewis in 1740. Kenneth, his grandson, repurchased
the forfeited estates and in 1771 was restored to the earldom of Seaforth.
erased boar´s head with a deer´s shankbone in the mouth.
fortuna juvat (Fortune assists the daring)
The MacKinnons, one of the branches of the
Siol Alpine, claim to be descended from Fingon, a great-grandson
of Kenneth MacAlpin. They held lands in Mull and Skye, and appear to have
been vassals of the Lords of the Isles. In 1409, Lachlan MacKinnon
witnessed a charter of Donald, 2nd MacDonald Lord of the Isles. Until the
forfeiture of the Lordship, the history of the MacKinnons were also closely
connected with the ecclesiastical history of Iona, whose last abbot was
MacKinnon, who died in 1550.
In 1542, Chief Ewen MacKinnon received
the lands of Mishnish and Strathardle from King James V. The clan was at
the Battle of Inverlochy under Montrose in 1645. In 1646, the chief, Lauchlan,
and the whole clan supported Charles II at the Battle of Worcester. Lauchlan´s
son Donald emigrated to Antigua, where he died in 1720.
The MacKinnons were out in the Rising of 1715
and again in 1745 in support of the Stuarts. After Culloden, the chief,
old and infirm, was imprisoned in London but was allowed to return home
in 1747. His son Charles had to part with the family estates after
they had been in the clan´s possession for over four centuries. In
1808, the last chief of the main line died, and the chiefship passed to
the family of Donald MacKinnon in Antigua.
not the cat but a glove (=without a glove)
Mac an Toisich means "son of the chief". The
founder of this clan is said to have been a son of MacDuff, ancestor
of the Earls of Fife. They are one of the clans forming the Clan Chattan
confederation, the chiefship of which came to the chiefs of Mackintosh
through the marriage in 1291 of Angus, 6th Laird of Mackintosh,
to Eva, heiress of Clan Chattan.
The first mention of the Mackintoshes as Captain
of Clan Chattan is in a charter granted to William Mackintosh by
the Lord of the Isles in 1337 and confirmed by King David II. in 1359.
In 1639, Mackintosh joined the Covenanters north of the Spey and formed
part of the army opposing Cromwell in 1650. At the Glorious Revolution
in 1688, the Mackintoshes supported the new government and refused to join
They too were prominent in the Jacobite Rising
of 1715 on the government side, but Lady Anne, the wife of the chief,
who was a Farquharson of Invercauld, , raised the clan for Prince Charles
Edward in 1745, and her strategy was responsible for the famous Rout of
Moy in 1746 when 1500 of the government´s troops were put to flight
by a half dozen of "Colonel Anne´s" retainers.
Following the death of the 18th chief
in 1938, the chiefships of Clan Mackintosh and Clan Chattan were separated.
castle with three towers
et fidus (Brave and trusty)
The MacLachlans are of ancient origin. About
1230, Gilchrist MacLachlan witnessed a charter granted by Laumun,
ancestor of the Clan Lamont. In 1291, Gilleskel MacLachlan received
a charter of his lands in Argyll from John Baliol, and in 1308 Gillespie
MacLachlan was a member of the first parliament of Robert the Bruce
in St. Andrews. During the 14th and 15th ct., the chiefs of the clan made
grants to the Preaching Friars of Glasgow from their lands of Kilbride.
The MacLachlans were adherents of the Lordship
of the Isles until its forfeiture, when they became independent. For a
branch of this clan a Campbell connection is argued which provided for
some centuries the hereditary captains of the Campbell castle of Innischonnel,
the chief fortress of Lochow. The Mac Lachlans of Coire-uanan in
Lochaber were hereditary standard-bearers to Cameron of Lochiel.
In 1615, the MacLachlans formed part of the
Earl of Argyll´s army that opposed the forces of Sir James MacDonald
of Isla, and in 1689 they were with Bonnie Dundee at the Battle of Killiecrankie.
During the 1745 Rising the clan supported Prince Charles Edward, and the
chief was killed at Culloden. The estates of the MacLachlans were attainted,
but in 1749 Chief Robert regained them, and from him are descended
the later chiefs.
There are several branches of that clan in
Argyll, Perthshire, Stirlingshire and Lochaber.
Clan MacLaine of Lochbuie
battle-axe with a laurel branch right and a cypress branch left.
vel mori (To conquer or die)
The MacLaines of Lochbuie were descended from
Reaganach, brother of Lachlan, who was the progenitor of the MacLeans
of Duart in the Isle of Mull. He received the lands of Lochbuie from John,
1st Lord of the Isles who was his brother´s father-in-law. Eachan´s
Charles was the progenitor of the MacLeans of Dochgarroch, a sept of
John Og of Lochbuie received charters
from King James IV. confirming the lands and baronies held by his progenitor.
He was killed with two of his sons in a feud with the MacLeans of Duart.
The young surviving son, Murdoch, was taken to Ireland for safety.
Returing home as a man, he captured Lochbuie Castle with the aid of his
childhood nurse, who had recognized him. His son John Mor was an
excellent swordman and fought before king and court in Edinburgh with a
famous Italian fencer who had challenged all Scotland. He killed him.
The MacLaines always were strong supporters
of the Stuarts, formed part in Montrose´s army and fought at Killiecrankie
in 1689 under Viscount Dundee. In later years, they found scope for their
military activities in the European and American wars of the 18th ct.
Donald, 20th chief of Lochbuie, was
born in 1816. He amassed a fortune as an East India merchant and saved
Lochbuie for the family by clearing all the debts. Today Lochbuie isn´t
longer owned by the MacLaines.
lion´s head with a crown surrounded by laurel branches.
an Turie (The Boar´s Rock)
The MacLarens are traditionally descended
from Lorn, son of Erc, who landed in Argyll in the year 503, and
are recorded in the 12th ct. as having lands in Balquhidder and Strathearn.
In the Ragman Rolls of 1296, which lists those giving allegiance to the
English King Edward I., are three names identified as belonging to the
clan - Maurice of Tyrie, Conan of Balquhidder, and Laurin of Ardveche in
In the 14th ct., when the earldom of Strathearn
became vested in the Crown, the MacLarens were reduced from being proprietors
of their lands to perpetual tenants. Nevertheless they remained loyal to
the Crown and fought for King James III. at Sauchieburn in 1488, for James
IV. at Flodden in 1513, and for Queen Mary at Pinkie in 1547. They too
appear in the Rolls of the Clans in 1587 and 1594.
They obviously were a war-like clan and were
involved in a lot of fierce feuds. The greater part of the clan followed
the Stewarts of Appin, others the Murrays of Atholl. The clan was out in
the 1745 Rising and suffered severely at Culloden. MacLaren of Invernenty
was taken prisoner but made a remarkable escape near Moffat when being
taken to Carlisle, an incident described in Sir Walter Scott´s "Redgauntlet".
tall tower with battlements
The Clan MacLean is descended from Gilleathain
ny Tuaidh (=Gillean of the Battleaxe), in the 13th ct. He had two sons,
the first being Lachlan Lubanach who was the progenitor of the MacLeans
of Duart and Eachan Reaganach, progenitor of the MacLaines of Lochbuie.
The MacLeans were supporters of the MacDougalls
of Lorn, but later transferred their allegiance to the MacDonalds, Lords
of the Isles, and became one of their most powerful vassals. They fought
at the Battle of Harlow in 1411, where their chief was killed. On the forfeiture
of the Lordship of the Isles in 1493, the MacLeans became independent.
During the 16th and 17th ct., the MacLeans
were one of the most important clans in the Western Isles. In 1632, Lachlan
MacLean of Morven, who was the heir of Hector MacLean of Duart, was
created a baronet. MacLeans fought under Montrose at Inverlochy in 1645
and at Inverkeithing in 1651. In the latter battle occurred a famous incident
when seven brothers in the clan died to protect their chief, each as he
fell shouting: "Another for Hector!". The sacrifice was unavailing because
Sir Hector was killed too.
Then they supported Viscount Dundee at the
Battle of Killiecrankie in 1689, and joined the Earl of Mar in 1715. Sir
Hector, chief in 1745, was imprisoned in London for two years, but
the clan appeared at Culloden under the Duke of Perth.
bull´s head between two flags
The Clan MacLeod is descended from Leod,
son of Olave the Black, who was King of the Isles and lived in the 13th
ct. Leod´s two sons, Tormod and Torquil, were the founders
of the two main branches of the clan. From Tormod came the MacLeods of
Glenelg, Harris and Dunvegan, and from Torquil the LacLeods of Lewis, Waternish
and Assynt. The latter were dispossessed in the 16th ct.
Tormod supported Robert the Bruce in
the Independence War of the early 14th ct., and about 1343 Malcolm,
son of Tormod, received a charter from King David II. granting him
lands in Glenelg. John, 6th chief of Glenelg, supported the Lord
of the Isles at Harlow in 1411. In 1498, King James IV. granted the lands
of Duirnish and Trotermish to Alexander, 8th chief of Glenelg, and
in this charter his father, William, 7th chief, was described as
MacLeod of Dunvegan.
A distinguished chief was Roderick MacLeod,
16th of Dunvegan, known as "Rory Mor", who, in 1595, took a group of
men to Ulster in Ireland to take part in O´Neill´s revolt.
Knighted by King James VI. in 1603, he was held in high esteem by the clan,
and his death in 1626 was the subject of the famous pibroch "Rory Mor´s
Lament", composed by Patrick Mor MacCrimmon.
The MacLeods supported King Charles I. and
II. and were present at the Battle of Worcester in 1651, when the clan
was almost wiped out. This may account for the MacLeods not taking part
in the later Jacobite Risings.
hands brandishing a two-handed sword
succurrere disco (I learn to succour the distressed)
There are several origins suggested for the
Clan MacMillan, and the fact that they were found in widely separated areas
makers the problem even more difficult. One source suggests a connection
with Clan Chattan, while another claims descent from the Buchanans because
both names have an ecclesiastical origin (MacMillan means "son of the tonsured"
which could be monks).
The clan was in the Loch Arkaig district in
the 12th ct., when it is alleged they were removed to the Crown lands round
Loch Tay. About two centuries later they were driven from Lawers, and the
greater number settled in Knapdale, while others travelled farther south.
The Galloway branch is claimed to be of the latter MacMillans.
MacMillan of Knap was considered to
be the chief of the clan, and when the Knapdale MacMillans died out, the
chiefship passed to the family of Dunmore, an estate on the opposite side
of Loch Tarbet, which also died out.
There were MacMillans in Lochaber too, who
followed Cameron of Lochiel, and others of Urquhart and Glenmoriston who
followed Grant of Glenmoriston. An Argyllshire branch is descended from
the Lochaber MacMillans.
By degree of Lyon Court, the chiefship passed
to the representative of the Laggalgarve line in 1951.
omnis abesto (Let fear be far from all)
The Clan MacNab, a branch of the Siol Alpine,
is of ecclesiastical origin, being termed in Gae´lic "Clann-an-Aba
(children of the abbot)". They claim to descent from the abbots of
Glendochart in Perthshire, where the clan lands were for several centuries.
As early as the 12th ct. they were an important clan, but they joined the
MacDougalls in their disastrous fight against the later King Robert the
After Bannockburn, the MacNabs lost all their
lands except the Barony of Bovain in Glendochart, which was confirmed to
them by a charter from David II. to Gilbert MacNab in 1336. At the
end of the 15th ct., Finlay, 4th chief, added greatly to the family
estates. Finlay, 6th chief, mortgaged most of his lands to Campbell
of Glenorchy, but the clan refused to acknowledge Glenorchy´s superiority.
In 1606, Finlay, 7th chief, entered into a bond of friendship with
his cousin Lachlan MacKinnon of Strathardle, which is often quoted as proof
of their common descent.
The MacNabs, under their chief "Smooth
John", supported the Stuarts during the Civil Wars, and the chief was
killed at the Battle of Worcester in 1651. In 1745, the then chief sided
with the government but the clan supported Prince Charles Edward. Francis,
12th chief, was the last chief in the direct male line. He was a moted
eccentric and, in Highland dress, was the subject of Raeburn´s famous
tall tower with battlements
hope in God
The progenitor of this ancient clan, whose
name means "son of the pure one", is alleged to be Nachtan Mor,
who died in the 10th ct. The clan is supposed to be one of those transferred
by King Malcolm IV. from the Province of Moray to the Crown lands in Strathtay
in Perthshire in the 12th ct. About a century later, they held lands on
Loch Awe and Loch Fyne, and in 1267 King Alexander III. appointed Gilchrist
MacNaughton and his heirs keepers of Fraoch Eileen Castle in Loch Awe.
They also held the castles of Dubh-Loch in Glenshira and Dunderave on Loch
Donald MacNaughton opposed Robert the
Bruce and as a result lost most of his possessions, but in the reign of
David II. the fortunes of the MacNaughtons were somewhat restored by the
grant of lands in Lewis. Chief Alexander, who was knighted by King
James IV., was killed at the Battle of Flodden in 1513. Nevertheless the
MacNaughtons remained loyal to the Stuarts, and after the Restoration,
the then chief Alexander was knighted by King Charles II. His son
MacNaughton fought at Killiecrankie in 1689. About 1691 the estates
passed out of the family, having been forfeited to the Crown.
The last chief of Dunderave died in
Edinburgh in 1773 as a retired Inspector-General of Customs, and after
a gap of 50 years, the chiefship fell to the MacNaughtens, a branch
of the family that had settled in Ireland in the reign of Elizabeth I.
vel mori (To conquer or die)
There were two main branches of the Clan MacNeill
- the MacNeills of Barra and the MacNeills of Gigha. The
clansmen were vassals of the Lord of the Isles, and in 1427 Gilleonan
MacNeill received a charter of Barra and the lands of Boisdale in South
Uist. This charter was confirmed by King James IV. after the forfeiture
of the lands of the Lords of the Isles.
The MacNeills of Barra supported the the MacLeans
of Duart, while the MacNeills of Gigha followed the MacDonalds of Isla.
Because of the feud between the MacLeans and the MacDonalds the two branches
of the MacNeills were often fighting on opposing sides.
General Roderick MacNeill of the Barra
branch was the last of the direct male line. He had to part with the small
island, which he sold in 1838. The chiefship was successfully claimed by
MacNeill, who re-acquired parts of the island in 1938 and restored
Kisimul Castle, the MacNeill´s 13th ct. stronghold which was abandoned
in the 18th ct.
When Neil MacNeill, the last chief
if the Gigha branch, was killed in 1530, the chiefship passed to the MacNeills
of Taynish, and in 1590 Hector MacNeill of Taynish repurchased the
lands of Gigha, which had been sold in 1554. In 1780 Gigha again was sold
to the MacNeills of Colonsay, who had obtained the Isle of Colonsay
from the Duke of Argyll in 1700. The island remained with the MacNeills
Clan MacNicol (Nicolson)
Bhreac (Grey ridge)
In the Statistical Account of Scotland of
1841, Reverend William MacKenzie wrote about Assynt: "Tradition and even
documents declare that Assynt was a forest of the ancient Thanes of Sutherland.
One of these Thanes gave it in vassalage to ome Mackrycul." This "Mackrycul"
has been identified as Gregall, who is also mentioned in an early
genealogy of the MacNicols but on the marriage of Torquil MacLeod with
the daughter of the last of the MacNicol chiefs, Assynt passed to the MacLeods.
Andrew Nicolson was a Norse baron who
distinguished himself at the Battle of Largs in 1263. The MacNicols seem
to have removed to Skye, where they settled at various places on the island.
of Scorrybreac always was regarded as the chief of the clan in the
west, and these lands remained in the family for several centuries. Though
its history is meagre, the clan was certainly of some importance on Skye.
Donald Nicolson, chief of the Scorrybreac family at the end of the
17th ct., was minister of Trotternish and resigned in 1696 only because
of his opposition to the Presbyterian Church of Scotland.
There were Nicolsons in Glenorchy too who
were said to be descended from a Nicol MacPhee who left Lochaber
in the 16th ct.
not the cat but a glove (=without a glove)
MacPherson is a name of ecclesiastical origin,
meaning "son of the parson". The clan formed a branch of the Clan Chattan
confederation and disputed its leadership with the Macintoshes.
There seem to have been several families,
but the family of Cluny in Inverness-shire emerged as the most important.
Andrew MacPherson is recorded in Cluny
in 1603. In 1609 he signed the Clan Chattan Bond, taking on the burden
of the Brin and other families of the MacPhersons. In 1640, Donald MacPherson
of Cluny was a faithful royalist.
In 1745 the MacPhersons were active under
their chief Duncan on the Stuart side, and during the 1745 Rising,
MacPherson of Cluny with 600 clansmen joined Prince Charles Edward.
He acted with great gallantry at several engagements, but did not arrive
in time to take part in the Battle of Culloden. However, he helped the
Prince to escape capture. Consequently, the house of Cluny was burnt to
the ground and for nine years the chief remained in hiding, mainly on his
own estate, in a shelter of trees and brushwood constructed on the side
of Ben Alder. In spite of a reward of 1000 pounds he was never captured
and ultimatively escaped to France in 1755. The estates of Cluny were,
of course, forfeited, but in 1784 they were restored to Ewen´s
son Duncan. Cluny Castle was rebuilt and remained the home of the chief
bent arm out of a crown, holding a dagger
t´Arm breac dearg (The red tartaned army)
The MacQuarries are one of the branches of
the great Clan Alpine, and when King Alexander II. invaded the Western
Highlands in 1249 he was joined by Cormac Mor, chief of MacQuarries,
but it is not until the death of John MacQuarrie of Ulva in 1473
that there is any authentic record of the clan.
In 1493, John´s son Dunslaff
was chief and the clan lands were the island of Ulva and part of Mull.
After the forfeiture of the Lordship of the Isles, the clan acquired independence
and then followed the MacLeans of Duart, although supporting Donald Dubh
MacDonald in his effort to restore the Lordship of the Isles in 1503. In
1505, the MacQuarries, with their leaders, the MacLeans of Duart, submitted
to the government, and in 1517 Dunslaff MacQuarrie was included
in the petition of Lachlan MacLean of Duart for a free remission for all
offences, which was granted by the Privy Council.
The MacQuarries never recovered from the blow
suffered in 1651, when Chief Allan MacQuarrie and most of the clan
were killed at the Battle of Inverkeithing by Cromwell´s troops.
16th chief of Ulva, who had entertained Dr. Johnson and Boswell in
1773, was forced to sell all lands in 1778. He died in 1818, aged 103,
and was the last-known chief.
Major-General Lachlan MacQuarrie was
Govenor of New South Wales in Australia from 1809 to 1821 and is commemmorated