‘Highland Host’

The referendum on Scottish Independence is the hot topic in 2014. This page looks at the highly significant part that Scottish Highlanders played in bringing about union of Scotland with England, events that took almost a hundred years from 1603 to play out. The question arises, if Highlanders today (and if being independent spirits like allegedly their ancestors) were to vote along the same lines as their ancestors, would their Highland vote play into the hands of the British Establishment. Aye, there’s the rub!

The MacFarlane crest at the top of the page (the author of this website is a MacFarlane) illustrates the ambiguous relationship that existed between many clans and the Crown. Which Crown was the MacFarlane defending, that of James VI of Scotland or an ideal of an English Crown that was Presbyterian and that was being threatened by James I of England (both monarchs being one and the same person)?

‘Highland Host’
This term refers to the name that Covenanter Lowlanders in Ayrshire and Galloway in 1638 gave to rampaging West Highland Scots whose mission was to pillage and terrorise Presbyterians, so to pave the way for a Catholic monarchy and Establishment. Closer scrutiny will tend to show that, while there is an element of truth to this narrative, recorded facts appear to suggest a true version of events would be much less dramatic, bogey or overblown. This page explores how Highland Clans felt split two-ways and it will take the clans one-by-one (be patient, it is a work in progress) to suggest how a MacFarlane/MacLaren/MacWhatever might vote today if being true to their ancestors.

Before going any further, visitors to this site are invited to record their vote on the poll below (starting 25th February 2014) and we can see what happens!


2 responses to “‘Highland Host’

  1. Don MacFarlane

    February 26, 2014 at 5:11 pm

    THE HIGHLAND CLANS AND THEIR PART IN THE DISSOLUTION OF INDEPENDENT SCOTLAND (1603-1707) (Work in Progress – the initial overview will be complete by the end of March 2014). To assist the reader to draw conclusions as to how Highland clans played a part from 1603 in the demise of independent Scotland, a compendium of Highland clans has been laid out here, according to the clans’ places of origin and their stomping grounds. Once the facts and premises have been set out in this page, visitors will be invited later to give their tuppence-worth. There is no suggestion that all, or even the majority, of Highland Clans were equally at fault in the break-up of Scotland but, wittingly or not, they all played a major part. The upheaval all took place during a series of Civil Wars in Scotland, starting with the Bishops’ War. Nonetheless, the actions of some of these clans provided crucial assistance to Oliver Cromwell. Without the intervention of these clansmen, Cromwell would have been defeated at the Battle of Marston Moor, the battle that decided the fate of the United Kingdom. The help that Cromwell received also had calamitous results for Ireland where Cromwell was free to indulge his genocidal behaviour against a civilian population. General Hugh MacKay of Scourie (in Sutherland) provided a similar service to Prince William of Orange at the Battle of Aughrim in Galway, as a result of which James VI/I (referred to as ‘Seamus a’ Chac’ – Seamus the Shite – in Ireland) was defeated and the destiny of Ireland and Scotland was predestined right up to the present day. More details on all of these (and more) overlooked historical facts will be revealed later. The romanticised portraits of chiefs were painted by RR MacIan (1803-1856). It is unclear how much, if at all, MacIan drew upon any knowledge that he had of the clans, or how much his portrayals were entirely figments of his imagination. The portraits were drawn around the Victorian period of romanticisation of the clans started byn Sir Walter Scott. Nonetheless, there are little clues that MacIan may not have been too far off the mark. He showed MacLachlan with a bow and sheaf of arrows and the MacLachlans were indeed famous for their prowess with bows. MacNeil is portrayed with a musket, atop a Highland pony, and the MacNeils did indeed suffer very heavy losses at the Battle of Worcester. Gillies MacBain, a hero at Culloden, is shown in his final throes of repelling English soldiers in a gap before being overwhelmed, and so on. The ‘Highland Host’ vignettes, the main means whereby arguments will be built to draw conclusions, draw heavily from ‘The Highland Clans of Scotland’ by Eyre-Todd (1923). The Gaelic Proverbs and Sayings of TD MacDonald provide some insights into how different clans were viewed by each other and into how their personal qualities were admired or despised. Clearly, for example, lesser clans such as the MacRaes and MacLachlans, could be so admired for their constancy and warlike prowess that they could depend upon the support and protection of the likes of greater clans like the Campbells, MacKenzies and Frasers. This, for these lesser clans, was quite a balancing act. Greater clans were often occupied and at odds with each other in territorial expansion and in currying favour with successive Royal Courts and Parliaments. Swathes of clans could be caught up in sudden switches of allegiance. This could be from the Jacobite cause one decade to Cromwellian the next, and back again, or vice versa and often with disastrous results if miscalculated. The clans that got it completely wrong and suffered the most were the MacNeils, the Boyds, the MacGregors, the Comyns, the MacDougalls, the MacIntoshes, the MacBains, the MacFarlanes, the MacGillivrays and the MacKinnons. All of these clans paid a very heavy price and they can be exonerated from having taken any part in selling their country down the river. The clans that took most part against the Covenanters have their Highland host entries highlighted in bold. The most treacherous and disloyal clans were, as is commonly known, the Campbells and the MacKays. BACKGROUND TO CLANS Clans without land became known as ‘broken clans’ A man without a clan had a choice between becoming a vagrant, a beggar or a robber Clans of Irish (Ulster) Origin BUCHANAN Buchanan (dormant)– Clan Buchanan can trace its origin back to a son of a King of Ulster who landed in Argyll. Clan Buchanan took no part in the Jacobite uprisings, probably due to their proximity to the land of the more powerful Campbells who fought with the Hanoverians and due to a break in the line of the chieftainship of the clan. There is no current chief. Highland Host: The chief of Clan Buchanan was very learned and was given charge of the education of the last King of Scotland (James VI of Scotland/I of England). As such, he can be presumed to have at least had anti-Covenanter sympathies. FERGUSON Ferguson (extant, inchoate, domiciled) – The origin of the Fergusons is somewhat lost in the mists of time and they never over the centuries became a fully-formed clan in their own right. The consensus is that they came originally from County Antrim in Northern Ireland and settled in the lower Highlands for a while just above Loch Lomond, until they lost their lands to firstly MacDonalds and then Camerons. Thereafter they lived a strangely nomadic and hapless existence and a branch tagged on to the Kennedys of Ayrshire. Highland Host: The clan went underground and it took no part in the Jacobite wars. The Kennedys were zealous Protestants and Covenanters. Hence, it can be taken that the Fergusons were likewise Cromwellian supporters. IRVINE The first lands by the name of Irvine were in Dumfriesshire. According to family tradition the origin of the clan chief’s family is connected with the early Celtic monarchs of Scotland and they claim further back to be descended from the High Kings of Ireland through the Abbots of Dunkeld. Crinan married a daughter of Malcolm II of Scotland and their son was Duncan I of Scotland. Highland Host: During the Civil War, the Royalist Irvines supported Charles I. However the Irvines lived in a mainly Covenanter district and Drum Castle was therefore an obvious target. The Laird of Drum’s two sons both fought in the Civil War and were both captured. The younger son, Robert, died in the dungeons of Edinburgh Castle, however his brother was freed after the Marquis of Montrose’s victory at the Battle of Kilsyth in 1645. MACINNES MacInnes (dormant)– Clan MacInnes’ ancestors were among the early inhabitants of Islay, Jura and the Kintyre peninsula in Scotland, having appeared as settlers from the north Irish kingdom of Dál Riata (Dalriada). In the mid-14th century, the last chief of Clan MacInnes was killed, along with his sons, by order of John of Islay, Lord of the Isles and Clan MacInnes were dispossessed. In the 1745 Jacobite Rising, MacInnes Clansmen took up arms on both sides. Some stood with the Campbells and the House of Argyll, but others (MacInneses of Morvern, Lochaber and Appin) supported Prince Charles Edward Stuart and fought beside Stewart of Ardshiel who commanded the Appin (Stewart) Regiment. Highland Host: MacInneses fell foul of MacDonald of the Isles long before the Civil War and became dispersed throughout the Highlands, ceasing to be a clan proper. Highly proficient bowmen, they became ‘guns for hire’ and fought on both sides of any battle. Their sympathies during the Civil War were for the Covenanters rather than for the other side. MACLACHLAN MacLachlan * (extant,choate, domiciled)– The clan claims descent from the legendary Niall Noigíallach (Niall of the Nine Hostages), High King of Ireland, who lived from the mid-4th century to early 5th century. The clan took part in the Jacobite Risings as loyal supporters of the Stuarts and the seventeenth chief of the clan was killed in the Battle of Culloden. The current chief is Euan John Maclachlan, Baron of Strathlachlan. Highland Host: The MacLachlans, whose seat on the shores of Loch Fyne was deep into Campbell, were strange bedfellows with their illustrious neighbours. The Campbells, better known for being power-seeking and ruthless land-grabbers, were not only starngely tolerant of the MacLachlans but rescued them from ruination on more than one occasion, despite the MacLachlans being Catholic pro-Jacobite sympathisers and the Campbells being Protestant pro-Government supporters – the ultimate example of ‘live and let live’. MACLAREN MacLaren * (extant,choate, domiciled)– The MacLarens are another clan reputed to be of Irish descent, this time from Dalriada (North East Ulster). The Clan MacLaren supported the Jacobite House of Stuart and fought at the Battle of Sherrifmuir in 1715. The clan also fought in the 1745 to 1746 Jacobite Uprisings at the Battle of Prestonpans and the Battle of Falkirk. They fought at the Battle of Culloden in the Appin regiment under Lord George Murray and, after the battle, clan chief Donald MacLaren remained a fugitive until the amnesty of 1757. The current clan chief is Donald MacLaren of Achleskine. Highland Host: The MacLarens were a peculiar breed; able warriors in fields of battle in support of Jacobite causes (including against the Covenanters) but unable to defend their own territory against their marauding neighbours, the MacGregors. They also seem to have been an ungrateful lot. They sought the protection of the more powerful Campbells who sought to take advantage of their plight through extortion. The MacLarens then had to be rescued by the Government that they later fought against. MACNEIL MacNeil (extant,choate, domiciled)– Clan MacNeil is a Highland Scottish clan, particularly associated with the Outer Hebridean island of Barra. The early history of Clan MacNeil is obscure, however despite this the clan claims to descend from the legendary Irish Niall of the Nine Hostages. The clan itself takes its name from a Niall who belonged to the same dynastic family of Cowal and Knapdale as the ancestors of the Lamonts, MacEwens, Maclachlans and MacSweens. While the clan is centred in Barra in the Outer Hebrides, there is a branch of the clan in Argyll that some historians have speculated was more senior in line, or possibly even unrelated. The current chief is Ian Roderick MacNeil of Barra. Highland Host: The MacNeils were heavily represented at the tide-changing Battle of Worcester against the Cromwellian forces in which three thousand Highland men were killed and a further ten thousand were taken prisoner or soon afterwards. English prisoners amongst the Jacobite forces were dealt with much more leniently than the Highlanders as the English were conscripted into the New Model Army and sent to Ireland. Around eight thousand Scottish prisoners were deported to New England, Bermuda, and the West Indies to work for landowners as indentured labourers. Parliamentary casualties numbered in the low hundreds. MACRAE MacRae (dormant, inchoate)– The Clan Macrae is thought to originate from Ireland and to share a common ancestry with the Mackenzies and Macleans. Over the centuries, they showed allegiance and support to the Mackenzies in recorded times. They played a part in the 1715 uprising but not the 1745. It has no chief and is armigerous. “Cho fad’s a bhios Frrisealaich a stigh Cha bhi MacRath a muigh” ‘So long as there is Fraser inside A MacRae will not be left outside’. Highland Host: During the Civil War the Clan MacRae supported the Royalist cause but under the equivocating Earl of Seaforth firstly fought valiantly on the losing State side at the Battle of Auldearn in May 1645 before following Seaforth to support the royalist James Graham, 1st Marquess of Montrose. MATHESON Matheson (extant,inchoate)– Clan Matheson is thought to have originated in Dalriada in Ulster. Similar to the MacCallums and MacQueens, they were always a fairly anonymous or discrete clan who made few enemies and kept out of harm’s way. The current chief is Sir Fergus Matheson. Highland Host: Clan Matheson were long-term favourites over early centuries of the MacDonalds of the Isles and fought for them first of all the Battle of Harlaw where the clan chief, Alasdair was captured. As the Lords of the Isles lost power so did the Mathesons. The Mathesons then found themselves caught in the middle of the feuding between the Clan MacDonald and the Clan Mackenzie. A chief of the Mathesons was killed while defending the Mackenzie stronghold, Eilean Donan Castle, of which he had become constable after marrying the widow of Sir Dugald Mackenzie. MORRISON Morrison (dormant,inchoate, domiciled) – Clan Morrison are thought to be conglomerate from different sources. The Harris branch are though to be Irish bardic Ó Muirgheasáin who settled on Harris around 1600 in the service of the MacLeods of Harris and Dunvegan. The Lewis branch are thought to have derived their surname from MacGilleMhoire and held the hereditary office of brieve. Morrisons kept out of national warfare and confined themselves to local skirmishes, mainly with the MacAulays. The current chieftainship is still in a state of flux. Highland Host: The Morrisons took no part in the Civil War. MUNRO Munro *(extant, choate)- Clan Munro are thought to have come from County Derry in Ireland when they settled in Scotland in the 11th century and fought as mercenary soldiers. During the Jacobite Rising of 1715, the Munros were in constant skirmishes with the Mackenzies, MacDonalds, Mackinnons, MacRaes and Chisholm. This was as much to do with local rivalries in the far north of Scotland and maintaining territorial advantages rather than pursuance of nobler ideals. They fought for the Government in 1745-46 and this cost them dearly when their chief was killed in battle and their castle destroyed. The current chief is Sir Ian Kenneth Munro, 17th Baronet of Foulis. Highland Host. From 1642 to 1648 General Robert Munro commanded the Scottish Covenanter army in Ireland during the Irish Confederate Wars and there were several Munro officers in regiments that fought on the Covenanter side at the Battle of Philiphaugh in 1645. Sir George Munro fought in Ireland as a Covenanter and later became a Royalist after his uncle Robert Monro was imprisoned by Cromwell in 1648. In September 1648, George Munro and his men defeated the advance forces of the Marquess of Argyll at the Battle of Stirling. In 1649 Colonel John Munro as a Royalist took part in the Siege of Inverness (1649). On hearing of this rising, James Graham, 1st Marquess of Montrose, leader of royalist forces and his invading army of foreigners landed in Ross-shire, hoping for support from the clans. However, he was opposed by the Munros, Rosses and Sutherlands who then chose to support the Scottish Argyll Covenanter Government. The Munros, led by John Munro of Lemlair, together with their allies, comprehensively defeated the invading army at the Battle of Carbisdale in 1650. By 1651 the Scottish Covenantor Government had become disillusioned with the English Parliament and they supported the Royalists instead. William Munroe was one of four Munroes captured at the Battle of Worcester and he transported to America. After the Restoration of Charles II in 1660 the chief’s brother commanded the King’s forces in Scotland from 1674 to 1677. URQUHART Urquhart **(extant, inchoate, displaced)- The first ancestor of Clan Urquhart was Conachar Mor, founder of the Clan, and a scion of a Royal House of Ulster. It has been suggested that Conachar Mor’s two other sons went on to become the founders of Clan Mackay and Clan Forbes. At the battle of Pinkie, nine sons of the Chief died in battle, as did the clan chiefs from Clan Munro, Clan Hunter, Clan Colquhoun, Clan MacFarlane and Clan Farquharson. The Urquharts also supported the Jacobite Risings of 1715, with the 15th chief, James Urquhart of Cromarty, participating at the Battle of Sheriffmuir and later serving the exiled King James. The current chief is Kenneth Urquhart, 27th Chief of Clan Urquhart. Highland Host: Sir Thomas Urquhart of Cromarty was knighted by Charles I of England in 1641. Thomas joined the Royalist army and fought at the Battle of Worcester in 1651 where he was taken prisoner and imprisoned in the Tower of London. After his release he returned to the Continent where he is said to have died from laughter while celebrating the Restoration (1660). Clans of French (Norman) Origin BRUCE Bruce ***(extant, domiciled, ennobled)- The first Bruces were Johnny-come-latelys from Normandy in France who curried favour from King David I in Scotland and enveigled their way into the Royal Household. The continued allegiance to the French caused King David II (a Bruce) to march into England in the interests of France, but he was defeated and imprisoned in England for eleven years. David returned to Scotland after negotiation of a treaty but the line of succession passed to the House of Stewart. The Bruces diappeared from the history books shortly after. The current chief is Andrew Bruce, 11th Earl of Elgin. Highland Host: The Bruces took no part in the Civil War. FRASER Fraser **** (extant,choate, domiciled)- Simon “The Fox” Fraser supported the Jacobites and Bonnie Prince Charlie during The ’45, one very strong reason being that Simon had been created Lord Lovat in the Jacobite Peerage of Scotland by James Stuart in 1740. Frasers were on the front lines of the Jacobite army at the Battle of Falkirk and at the Battle of Culloden where Frasers made up the largest centre regiment of the front line, with 400 men under Charles Fraser of Inverallochy, and Simon Fraser, Master of Lovat. ‘The Fox’ was not present at the battle, reportedly trying to gather dispersed clansmen to fight. Being on the front line, the ferocious Frasers were massacred by the Government. ‘The Fox’ went on the run (as foxes are wont to do), was captured, tried for treason and was executed in London on 9 April 1747. The Fox’s son, Simon Fraser, escaped punishment and was pardoned, later raising a Fraser regiment for the British army which fought in Canada in Quebec. The Clan’s current chief is Simon Fraser, the 16th Lord Lovat, and 25th Chief of Clan Fraser. Highland Host: House of Fraser was a house divided, with the main branch of the family being inconspicuous throughout the centuries other than by being scrupulously attentive to their own affairs and not being drawn into other people’s quarrels. The rogue side of the family, the Frasers of Lovat were an entirely different matter, switching their loyalties at the drop of a hat on many occasions to serve their own interests. Simon ‘The Fox’ was the biggest rogue of them all. The Lovats were always very belligerent and they fought a leading part in battle and scheming against the Parliamentarians in the Civil War. HAY Clan Hay descends from the Norman family of de la Haye (de Haya). Following the Reformation, the Hays remained loyal to Catholicism and were sympathisers of Mary, Queen of Scots, who appointed George Hay, the 7th Earl of Erroll, Lord Lieutenant of all central Scotland. Francis Hay, 9th Earl of Erroll, was involved in a conspiracy with King Philip II of Spain, to overthrow Queen Elizabeth of England, to convert King James VI to Catholicism and so to make Britain a Catholic stronghold. With the defeat of the Spanish Armada, the conspiracy came to nothing. Highland Host: During the Civil War James Hay led his forces as Royalists against the Covenanters at the Battle of Aberdeen in 1644 where they were victorious. Sir William Hay of Delgaite served with James Graham, 1st Marquis of Montrose as his chief of staff during his campaign in support of Charles I of England. However Hay was captured, imprisoned and executed in 1650. HOME During the politics of Mary, Queen of Scots, the Homes like many others, shifted their allegiance more than once. Lord Home supported the marriage of the Earl of Bothwell to Mary, Queen of Scots, but he later led his men at the Battle of Langside against the Queen. His son, Alexander, the sixth Lord Home, was devoted to James VI and he was a royal favourite throughout his life. The third Earl of Home was a staunch supporter of King Charles I and in 1648 he was colonel of the Berwickshire Regiment of Foot. In 1650 when Oliver Cromwell invaded Scotland he made a point of seizing Home’s castle which was then garrisoned by Parliament’s troops. Highland Host: The Earl of Home was a staunch supporter of King Charles I and in 1648 he was Colonel of the Berwickshire Regiment of Foot. In 1650 when Oliver Cromwell invaded Scotland he made a point of seizing Home’s castle which was then garrisoned by Parliament’s troops. LESLIE During the 17th century Lesleys fought in Germany, France, Sweden and in the Baltic as mercenaries. Alexander Leslie, Earl of Leven fought on the Continent and then returned to Scotland to command the Covenanter army. He won a great victory over the English Royalists at the Battle of Newburn in 1640. Another important member of the clan was David Leslie, Lord Newark, who was also a Covenanter and who defeated the Marquess of Montrose at the Battle of Philiphaugh in 1645. However he was later routed by the forces of Oliver Cromwell at the Battle of Dunbar (1650) where he was captured and imprisoned in the Tower of London until the restoration of 1660. LINDSAY The Lindsays first appeared in Scotland in the 1100s and they quickly became important figures by marrying into English nobility. Not much was heard of them afterwards until they became prominent in the Civil War. Highland Host: Ludovic Lindsay, chief of the clan, was a staunch Presbyterians and Covenanters but curiously was also a strong supporter of Charles I – a case of having your bread buttered on both sides? He was High Treasurer and President of the Scottish Parliament but imprisoned by Cromwell. During the Jacobite Wars the Lindsays held the Lowlands of Scotland while the Duke of Cumberland did his worst at Culloden. A Lindsay learned his trade as a soldier on the Continent and fought for Charles I of England during the Civil War, commanding a cavalry regiment at the Battle of Marston Moor. Having made his escape, he was later captured supporting James Graham, 1st Marquis of Montrose at the Battle of Philiphaugh in 1645. MENZIES Menzies (extant,inchoate) – The Menzies clan came from Mesnières in Normandy and a branch gradually moved into the Scottish Highlands, where they first became known by the name Meyneris and eventually as Menzies. They took an active part in the Civil War when they joined forces with Clan Campbell for the Covenanters but during the Jacobite rebellions the main part of Clan Menzies remained neutral. The cururent chief of Clan Menzies is David R.S. Menzies. Highland Host: During the Civil War and despite having royal links to the Stewarts the Clan Menzies opposed Charles I. As a result the Menzies were harried by the Marquess of Montrose. The chief’s son was a Major in the Covenanter army and was killed at the Battle of Inverlochy (1645) while Menzies families in the north fought on the side of Montrose. Sir Gilbert Menzies was with Montrose throughout his campaign and he was also at the Battle of Inverlochy when his chief’s son was killed. Another Menzies son was killed at the Battle of Worcester in 1651. The chiefs of Clan Menzies opposed the policies of James VII of Scotland and when James was forced from his throne in 1688 the Menzies chiefs supported Prince William of Orange. However the clan was again divided as Major Duncan Menzies led his men in the Highland charge at the Battle of Killiecrankie in which they defeated Government troops. Amongst the Government troops at Killiecrankie were hundreds of their Perthshire kinsmen. OLIPHANT Oliphant * (extant)- Clan Oliphant is descended from a Norman nobleman who was favoured by King David I of Scotland. Oliphants fought with distinction in all major battles on Scottish soil. The current chief is Richard Oliphant. Highland Host: Oliphants were Jacobite supporters but took no part in the Civil War. SINCLAIR Sinclair (extant, choate)– Clan Sinclair is a Highland Scottish clan of Norman origin who held lands in the north of Scotland, the Orkney Islands, and the Lothians which they received from the Kings of Scots. The chiefs of the clan were the Barons of Roslin and later became the Earls of Orkney and later the Earls of Caithness. Sir James Sinclair of Rosslyn commanded The Royal Scots on the British Hanoverian government side. About 500 Caithness Sinclairs were ready to join the Jacobites, but instead followed their chief James Sinclair, who supported the British Hanoverians. Highland Host: In 1650 Major Sinclair assisted the Marquess of Montrose at the Battle of Carbisdale where they were defeated. Sir William Sinclair was killed at the Battle of Dunbar (1650) and in 1651 at the Battle of Worcester, Lord Sinclair was captured by Cromwell’s forces and imprisoned in the Tower of London.N Clans of French (Breton) Origin MACBETH MacBeth (Beaton) (dormant, inchoate, dispersed)– As a clan they were particularly associated with the trade of medicine, and hereditary physicians to the Chief of the Clan Macdonald. No less than seventy-six physicians called MacBeth or Beaton were found practising medicine in the Gaidhealtachd between 1300 and 1700. Bethunes, Beatons and MacBeths may all be connected but in the meantime a coat of arms is being held by the Earl of Lindsay whose surname is Lindesay-Bethune. Highland Host: The MacBeths/Bethunes/Beatons took no part in the Civil War. STUART Stuart *** (dormant, inchoate)- Clan Stewart is a Highland Scottish clan of Breton origin. The main part of the Stewart clan is recognised by the Court of the Lord Lyon, however it does not have a clan chief recognised by the Lord Lyon King of Arms. Clan Stuart of Bute is the only ‘Stewart’ clan at present which has a recognised chief, the other two branches, are armigerous. During the rising of 1715 Sir James Stuart of Bute commanded the Bute and Argyll militia at Inveraray, and through his vigilance kept that part of the country peaceful. Because the clan has no chief it can be considered an armigerous clan; however although chiefship is declined the Court of the Lord Lyon recognises two other ‘Stewart’ clans, the main branch and Clan Stewart of Appin. Highland Host: James VI, whose forces opposed the Covenanters, was a Stuart. Clans of Belgian (Flemish) Origin MURRAY Murray ***(extant, choate)- Clan Murray is thought to descend from a Belgian nobleman who is also reputed to be ancestor to Clan Sutherland and Clan Douglas. During the Jacobite Uprisings of 1745 to 1746 many Murrays fought on both sides. The Chief of Clan Murray who was John Murray, 1st Duke of Atholl, supported the British Government but three of his sons chose to support the Jacobites. This resulted in the forces of the chief and his sons fighting against each other in battle. One son, Lord George Murray, was the Jacobite general responsible for the Jacobites’ initial successes during the early part of the 1745–1746 rebellion. Another Jacobite commander, William Murray, landed with Jacobite leader, Prince Charles Edward Stuart, in 1745 at Borodale 25 July. He was the main Jacobite commander at the Battle of Prestonpans, Battle of Falkirk (1746) and the Battle of Culloden. The current clan chief is Lord John Murray, Duke of Atholl. Highland Host: The chief of Clan Murray was initially a strong supporter of Charles and he raised no fewer than eighteen hundred men to fight for the King. It was this addition of men that won Montrose the Battle of Tippermuir in 1644. SUTHERLAND Sutherland **(extant, morganatic, choate) – The progenitor of the Clan Sutherland through one son was also the progenitor of the Clan Murray through another son and was a Flemish nobleman. In 1719, a detachment of men from the Clan Sutherland fought for the British government at the Battle of Glenshiel where they helped to defeat the Jacobites. The Clan Sutherland also supported the British government during the Jacobite uprisings in 1745-1746 and defeated a Jacobite force under the Earl of Cromartie, chief of Clan MacKenzie, as it made its way to join Prince Charlie at Culloden. The current Chief of Clan Sutherland is Elizabeth Millicent, Countess of Sutherland. Highland Host: In the 17th century the Clan Sutherland had the reputation for enthusiastic and pious Protestantism. This is probably what made the Gordon Earls of Sutherland begin to distance themselves from their Gordon Earl of Huntly (Clan Gordon) cousins who were Catholics and later Jacobites. In 1645 John Gordon, 14th Earl of Sutherland led the clan against the royalists at the Battle of Auldearn but was defeated. In 1650, the Clan Sutherland along with the Clan Munro and the Clan Ross joined forces with the Scottish Argyll Government to fight against James Graham, 1st Marquess of Montrose and his royalist army of foreigners, who they defeated at the Battle of Carbisdale. In 1685, John Gordon, 16th Earl of Sutherland, raised men of the Clan Sutherland to oppose the Earl of Argyll’s expedition. Clans of Norwegian Origin GUNN Gunn (dormant)– Clan Gunn is a Scottish clan from Caithness and Sutherland as well as the Orkney Islands. Clan Gunn claim descent from the legendary viking Sweyn Asleifsson and his grandson Gunni. The Gunns did not rise under the standard of the Stuarts during the Jacobite rebellions and supported the government alongside Clan Munro, Clan Campbell, Clan Mackay, Clan Sutherland and Clan Ross. There is no current chief, previously referred to as MacKeamish. Highland Host: As a clan, the Gunns took no concerted part in the Civil War but Gunn individuals fought on the Covenanter side and one notable military man seized Aberdeen from the Marquess of Montrose. Clans of Hungarian Origin DRUMMOND Drummond The first Drummonds (later to become the Earls of Perth) were reputedly of Hungarian origin. At some point the Drummonds became prominent Catholics and staunch Jacobites. The second Chief (Lord) Drummond was a senior officer under the Marquis of Montrose and fought against the Covenanters. Highland Host: Lord Drummond led his forces in support of the Covenanters against the Royalists at the Battle of Tippermuir in 1644. The chief of Clan Drummond, third Earl of Perth, joined James Graham, 1st Marquis of Montrose, in August 1645 and he was taken prisoner at the Battle of Philiphaugh. LESLIE The progenitor of the Clan Leslie is claimed to have been a nobleman from Hungary, who came to Scotland in 1067. This Hungarian was allegedly in the retinue of the brother of Saint Margaret of Scotland, later to become queen of Malcolm III of Scotland. During the 17th century the Leslies became professional soldiers and fought all over Europe as mercenaries. Alexander Leslie, 1st Earl of Leven, then returned to Scotland to command the Covenanter army. He won a great victory over the English Royalists at the Battle of Newburn in 1640. Another Leslie, Walter Leslie, became a Field-Marshal and Imperial Count. Highland Host: David Leslie, Lord Newark, was the Covenanter who defeated James Graham, 1st Marquess of Montrose, at the Battle of Philiphaugh in 1645. Strangely, he was later routed by the forces of Oliver Cromwell at the Battle of Dunbar (1650), captured and imprisoned in the Tower of London where he remained until the restoration of 1660. Clans of Welsh Origin KEITH Clan Keith invited John Knox the religious reformer back to Scotland in 1559. After Charles II of England was crowned in 1651, William Keith, 7th Earl Marischal was captured and imprisoned in the Tower of London. He remained there until the Restoration when the king appointed him a Privy Councillor and later Lord Privy Seal as recompense for what he and his family had suffered in the Royal cause. Highland Host:bWilliam Keith, 3rd Earl of Marischal, invited John Knox the religious reformer back to Scotland in 1559. After Charles II of England was crowned in 1651, William Keith, 7th Earl Marischal was captured and imprisoned in the Tower of London. He remained there until the Restoration when the king appointed him a Privy Councillor and later Lord Privy Seal as recompense for what he and his family had suffered in the Royal cause. MONTGOMERY Montgomery (extant,choate, domiciled)– Clan Montgomery were originally Welsh and during the Jacobite Uprisings, as the Welsh were wont to do on many other occasions, they did the bidding of the British government. The current chief is Archibald Montgomerie, Earl of Eglinton. Highland Host: The second Earl of Eglintoun, chief of Clan Montgomery, tried to secure toleration for Catholics in the wake of the Reformation. Ironically his daughter married Robert Seton of the Clan Seton, the 1st Earl of Winton, who was a loyal Covenanter during the Civil War and who did not accept the religious policies of Charles I. He did accept Charles and was made a colonel of the King’s Lifeguard of Cavalry. He was later captured at Dumbarton and not released unto after the restoration in 1660. At the Battle of Worcester in 1651 much of the Royalist army was under the command of Major General Montgomery who was wounded in the action. WALLACE Wallace **(extant, inchoate)- The first ancestor of Clan Wallace came from Oswestry near Wales, perhaps mistaken for a Welshman, hence the name. During the Civil War, Wallace was captured, subjected to a mock trial in which he was found guilty of treason, and brutally hanged, drawn, and quartered at Smithfield, London in 1305. The clan kept out of any skirmishes or battle ever since. The current chief is Ian Francis Wallace. Highland Host: James Wallace served as a Captain under General Robert Monro when he occupied Huntly Castle of the Clan Gordon in 1640. Sir Hugh Wallace raised a regiment for Charles I in opposition to Oliver Cromwell. Clans of Lowland Scottish Origin ANDERSON Anderson (dormant, inchoate)- A rootless clan without a chief which ‘prospered while the bannocks burned’. In other words, they did not follow any warmongering instincts of a chieftain with a blind allegiance. The downside is that they never had a strong sense of clan identity nor did they attract hangers-on. MacGhilleAindreas, a supposed Gaelic version of their name, is a totally different and unrelated band from Badenoch. Highland Host: The Anderson clan took no part in the Civil War. BOYD Boyd **(extant, domiciled, ennobled)– After the forfeiture of their lands after the Civil War, the Boyds retained the lands and succeeded as Earl of Erroll in 1758 through his mother when he assumed the name of Hay. The eighteenth Earl of Erroll was created Baron of Kilmarnock in the Peerage of the United Kingdom in 1831. In 1941 the twenty-second Earl died in Kenya leaving a daughter who, although entitled to the Scottish earldom of Erroll and the chiefship of the Clan Hay, was unable to succeed the barony of Kilmarnock. Therefore the brother of the twenty-second Earl resumed the name Boyd and succeeded to the barony. Current chief is Dr Robin Boyd, MA (Oxon); MB BS; LRCP, MRCS; DCH; AFOM, 8th Baron Kilmarnock. Highland Host: The clan’s credentials as a Jacobite clan were mixed (they were Royalist by persuasion up till Lord William Boyd fought on the side of Charles Edward Stuart in the 1744 rebellion). In August 1745 he was beheaded at Tower Hill and the titles of the Boyd family were forfeit. COLQUHOUN Colquhoun (extant, inchoate, domiciled)– The clan went underground and took little official part in the Jacobite wars. The current chief is Sir Malcolm Rory Colquhoun of Luss, 9th Baronet of Luss. Highland Host: The Colquhouns fell foul of the machinations of the Campbells, Earls of Argyll, who enveigled King James VI to allow the Colquhouns to be armed against the MacGregors. As a result of the bloodshed that ensued, MacGregors were executed and their clan proscribed for the best part of a hundred years. The chief of the Colquhouns in the meantime married into the family of the Marquess of Montrose and hence was anti-Covenanter. They were by then a toothless clan and would have taken no part in the Civil War with the Coventers. CRICHTON During the Civil War some Crichtons supported the royalist James Graham, 1st Marquis of Montrose and were present at Montrose’s defeat at the Battle of Carbisdale. Highland Host: During the Civil War, James Crichton, Viscount Frendraught, supported the Marquis of Montrose and was present at Montrose’s defeat at the Battle of Carbisdale in 1650. ERSKINE After this rehabilitation, John Erskine, Earl of Mar became known as ‘Bobbing John’ due to his changes of political allegiance as the needs of survival dictated and common to the Scottish nobility. He had been a supporter of the Union, however when he attended court in London in 1714 he was not offered the post of Secretary of State for Scotland, which he considered to be an insult. He returned to his ancestral lands and raised the standard of James VIII (The Old Pretender), calling out his clansmen. Erskine soon gathered an army of over ten thousand clansmen and he led his army of Jacobites at the Battle of Sheriffmuir against the Duke of Argyll, which was fought on the 13th November 1715. The battle was inconclusive although Argyll claimed victory. Either way, the Jacobite rising was a failure and Erskine fled to France. His title and lands were forfeited and in 1724 were purchased by another branch of the family. Highland Host: The Erskines were favourites of Mary, Queen of Scots and she conferred upon them the title of Earls of Mar. The 20th Earl of Mar supported Charles I of England and fought for the Royalists at the Battle of Kilsyth in 1645. For his troubles, the family had their estates uforfeited but these were later restored by Charles II of England in 1660. GRAHAM Graham *** (extant,choate, domiciled)- The Clan Graham took no side in the Jacobite Uprisings and remained neutral throughout. The current chief of Clan Graham is James Graham and Lord Aberruthven. Highland Host: The Grahams played the biggest part of all amongst the clans in the Civil War as the Clan that instigated the rebellion against the Covenanters. Highland Host: The Marquess of Montrose, Chief of Clan Graham, first supported the Covenanters then switched sides to lead the army that defeated the Covenanters at Tippermuir, Inverlochy and Kilsyth, as well as various other battles before his ultimate and surprising defeat at Philiphaugh. He was captured and executed at the tender age of 38. HAMILTON The Duke of Hamilton, Earl of Arran, became Lord Chancellor of Scotland and was made keeper of Edinburgh Castle and Stirling Castle. He was advanced to the rank of Marquess in and his brother was Lord Abercorn who had extensive estates in Northern Ireland. Highland Host: The Duke of Hamilton was a staunch supporter of Charles I and was rewarded with the dukedom in 1643 which made Hamilton the premier peer in Scotland. Hamilton led a royalist army into England but he was defeated at the Battle of Preston (1648) by the Parliamentarians of Oliver Cromwell. Hamilton was later executed in 1649 at Whitehall shortly before the king met the same fate. Hamilton’s brother, William Hamilton, 2nd Duke of Hamilton was also a brave soldier but was killed at the Battle of Worcester in 1651. JOHNSTON Johnstone (extant)– As a Clan, the Johnstones were the scourge of the Scottish borders for centuries while under the protection of the ruling monarchy. They have been anonymous in recent centuries and took no part in the Jacobite uprisings. The Johnstones in the Highlands do not belong to this clan as they are MacIains. The clan chief is the 11th Earl of Annandale, Lord Johnstone. Highland Host: Clan Johnston fought with the Marquis of Montroseafter at the Battle of Kilsyth in 1645 and was captured at the Battle of Philiphaugh. His son, James, was imprisoned for some time in Dumbarton Castle and Edinburgh Castle. KENNEDY Kennedy * (extant,choate, domiciled)– The Clan Kennedy took no side in the Jacobite Uprisings and remained neutral throughout. The current chief is Archibald Kennedy, 8th Marquess of Ailsa and Lord Kennedy. Clans of Speyside Scottish Origin FORBES The Protestant Reformation added to the feud between the Clan Forbes and Clan Gordon in that the Gordons remained Catholic and the Forbeses became Protestant. The traditional enemies of the Forbses such as the Clan Leslie, Clan Irvine and Clan Seton sided with the Gordons while Protestant families such as the Clan Keith, Clan Fraser and Clan Crichton sided with the Clan Forbes. Highland Host: The Clan Forbes took no part in the Civil War. OGILVIE Ogilvie *(extant)- The Ogilvy clan supported both Jacobite Uprisings. A regiment from the Ogilvy Clan, Lord Ogilvy’s Regiment, fought at the Battle of Culloden and, after the defeat, the chief of the Ogilvy Clan escaped to France, and entered royal service there and founded ‘le régiment d’Ogilvie’. At this time the title of Earl of Airlie was lost and not restored by parliament until 1896. David Ogilvy, 13th Earl of Airlie, is the present chief of the Ogilvie clan. Highland Host: In 1639 the seventh Lord Ogilvy was created Earl of Airlie but the clan soon suffered from their service to the Stuart monarchs. The earl and his sons joined James Graham, 1st Marquis of Montrose to oppose enemies of Charles I of England and fought with distinction at the Battle of Kilsyth where Montrose was victorious. Sir Thomas Ogilvy, the earl’s second son, raised his own regiment to fight for the Royalists but he was killed at the Battle of Inverlochy in 1645, a battle which Montrose won. The earl’s eldest son, Lord Ogilvy, fought at the Battle of Philiphaugh in February 1645 where Montrose was taken by surprise by a strong force of Covenanter cavalry under General David Leslie, Lord Newark. GRANT Grant *** (extant,choate, domiciled)- At the Battle of Sheriffmuir in 1715, Grants fought on both sides and many of the Jacobites surrendered to General Grant. The Grants also helped retake Inverness from the Jacobites. In 1725 six Black Watch companies were formed to support the Government; one from Clan Grant, one from Clan Fraser, one from Clan Munro and three from Clan Campbell. One branch of the Clan Grant, the Grants of Glenmoriston, sided with the Jacobites and fought at the Battle of Prestonpans in 1745. The Grants of Glenmoriston also fought as Jacobites at the Battle of Culloden in 1746 and eighty four Grants of Glenmoriston were transported to Barbadoes to be sold as slaves. The current Chief of Clan Grant is Sir James Patrick Trevor Grant, 6th Baron Strathspey. Highland Host: The Grants kept switching sides in the Civil War, first fighting for the Covenanters, then they fought in the Royalist army alongside the Marquess of Montrose. Later on, they fought against Prince Charlie and defeated his forces at the Battle of Cromdale. Much like the Frasers, their house was divided in their sympathy between the Royalist and the Government causes. Clans of North Highlands Origin COMYN Comyn * (extant, inchoate, domiciled)-This once most powerful clan was driven almost to the point of extinction after the War of Independence and never recovered its former glory or its lands. It took with it Clan MacDougall, another once powerful clan, which made a wrong choice in being ally to the Comyns in their bid for power. The current Chief is Sir Alexander “Alastair” Penrose Cumming of Altyre. “Cho fad’s a bhios craobh ‘sa choill Bi foill anns na Chuimeineich”. ‘So long as there are trees in the woods There will be treachery in the Cummings’. [Campbells and MacPhails were considered equally treacherous’. Highland Host: The Comyns (often known as Farquharsons) became a spent force from their constant skirmishes with MacPhersons and MacIntoshes who always bettered them. They took no part in the Civil War. DAVIDSON Clan Davidson, along with Clan MacPherson co-founded the Chattan Confederation, and were an offshoot of Clan Comyn (Cumming). Like Clan Comyn, they took no part in the Civil War. FARQUHARSON Farquharson * (extant, inchoate, domiciled)-During the 1715 Rebellion, John Farquharson of Invercauld supported the Chattan Confederation and was a colonel of the regiment in support of James Francis Edward Stuart. In 1745 Clan Farquharson fought at the Battle of Inverurie but Angus, the chief of Clan MacKintosh, was a serving member of the British Black Watch. While he was away on duty his wife, Lady Anne Mackintosh, was a supporter of Charles Edward Stuart and ensured that 350 members of the Clan Chattan Regiment fought at the Battle of Culloden on the side of the Jacobites. The current Chief of Clan Farquharson is Alwyne Arthur Compton Farquharson of Invercauld, 16th Baron of Invercauld MC. Highland Host: When Civil War broke out between the monarch and his English ans Scottish parliaments, the Farquharsons were firmly on the side of the king. Then, when the Covenant was being signed in 1638 the Farquharsons, who were firmly opposed against the Covenant fought on behalf of the English King and his new liturgy. GORDON Gordon *** (extant,choate, domiciled)- During the Jacobite Uprisings there were Gordons on both sides. The 2nd Duke of Gordon followed the Jacobites in 1715 but the 3rd Duke of Gordon supported the British government by the time of the 1745 uprising. On the other hand his brother, Lord Lewis Gordon, raised two regiments against the Hanoverians, and they fought at the Battle of Inverurie, the Battle of Falkirk and the Battle of Culloden. The Chief of Clan Gordon is known as ‘The Cock of the North’ and the current one is Granville Gordon, 13th Marquess of Huntly and Baron Meldrum of Morven. Highland Host: During the Civil War the second Marquess of Huntly was a fierce Royalist and they figured very prominently in the campaigns of the Marquess of Montrose. Cavalry from the Clan Gordon fought in support of the Royalists at the Battle of Auldearn in 1645 where they helped to defeat the Covenanters of Lord Seaforth. The Clan Gordon also fought at the Battle of Alford in 1645 where they were victorious but the Marquess of Huntly’s eldest son George Gordon fell at this battle. MACKAY MacKay *** (extant,choate, domiciled)- In 1715 the Clan Mackay were anti-Jacobite and they took the side of King George I to defend Inverness Castle. In 1745 the Clan Mackay again supported the British government and later formed the famous “Mackay Regiment” which went on to success in Ireland later in 1795. The current chief is Hugh Mackay, 14th Lord Reay, Baron Mackay van Ophemert and Zennewijnen of the Netherlands. Highland Host:,_Donald_(DNB00) MACKINTOSH Mackintosh **(extant,choate)- During the 18th century the Clan Mackintosh supported the Jacobite cause and fought as Jacobites at the Battle of Sherrifmuir where the Jacobites were defeated by British government forces. By the time of the 1745 rebellion Angus Mackintosh, the chief of Clan Mackintosh, had become a company commander in the British Black Watch regiment. While he was away on duty his wife, Lady Anne Farquharson-MacKintosh rallied men of the Clan Mackintosh and Chattan Confederation to the Jacobite standard at the Battle of Culloden. At Culloden, the Mackintosh Clan was the first to charge the British troops. They broke through the first two ranks, but then found themselves trapped behind the lines. Almost all of the Mackintosh warriors were killed. The present Chief is John Lachlan Mackintosh who teaches in Singapore. “Casan tiorram Chlann-an-Toisich” ‘The MacKintoshes’ dry feet’. Highland Host: During the Scottish Civil War the Mackintoshes fought for the Marquis of Montrose. The Stand-off at the Fords of Arkaig took place in 1665 between the Chattan Confederation led by the Clan MacKintosh against Clan Cameron. ROSS Ross The first of the chiefs was Fearchar, Earl of Ross, from the O’Beolain family. In the Jacobite Rising of 1715, Clan Ross supported the Hanoverian Government during the Jacobite uprisings. He was a staunch Protestant, somewhat more tolerant of Jacobites than his father but definitely pro-Hanoverian. The current chief of Clan Ross is Baron David Campbell Ross. Highland Host: David Ross, 12th of Balnagowan, signed the National Covenant at Inverness on 26 April 1638. He later joined the Royalists for a short time only to become a Covenanter again and was present at the defeat of the Marquess of Montrose at the Battle of Carbisdale in 1650, fighting alongside Clan Ross and Clan Munro. David Ross was later captured at the Battle of Worcester and imprisoned at the Tower of London. He is said to have died there in 1653 and been buried in Westminster. SHAW Shaw * (extant, choate)- The Shaws are an ancient Scottish clan which played a considerable role in early Highland history, and which traces its ancestry to the old Earls of Fife and thus the royal line of the Scottish kings. Initially, prior to the general adoption of surnames and, specifically, the use of the name Shaw for that purpose, the Shaws were the first Chiefs of Clan Mackintosh but they have gradually lost status over the following centuries. The current chief is John Shaw of Tordarroch. Highland Host: Entry being prepared Clans of West Highlands Origin CAMERON Cameron *** (extant, domiciled)– Clan Cameron fought as Jacobites at the Battle of Sheriffmuir in 1715 during the initial early Jacobite uprisings and later at the Battle of Glen Shiel in 1719. Their chief John Cameron of Lochiel, after hiding for a time in the Highlands, made his way back to exile in France. His younger son was Dr Archibald Cameron of Locheil, executed in 1753 for treason (see Culture Page on this website for more). The Clan Cameron fought on the side of the Jacobites against the Hanoverian Army at the Battle of Prestonpans, Battle of Falkirk and on the frontline at the Battle of Culloden. The current chief is Donald Angus Cameron of Lochiel, Lord Lieutenant of Inverness. Highland Host: Camerons of Lochiel were always strong Stuart supporters and they fought against Oliver Cromwell or any other force that challenged that monarchy. At one point, the Cameron chief was held in hostage for years by the Campbells of Argyll who were staunch Hanoverians. [youtube=] CAMPBELL Campbell *(extant, domiciled, ennobled)– British government forces, along with Clan Campbell, fought and defeated the Jacobites at the Battle of Sheriffmuir in 1715. There were a small number of Campbells who took the side of the Jacobites, led by the son of Campbell of Glenlyon whose father had commanded the government troops at the Massacre of the Glencoe MacDonalds 22 years earlier. These two families then swore to be brothers in arms and fought side by side in Sheriffmuir, only to be defeated by the British government forces led by John Campbell, Duke of Argyll. The current chief is Torquil Ian Campbell, 13th Duke of Argyll and Lord Campbell in the peerage of Scotland, Baron Sundbridge in the peerage of Great Britain and Admiral of the Western Coasts and Isles. Highland Host: Gilleasbuig Gruamach Campbell (Surly Archibald), eighth Earl of Argyll and first Marquess, held supreme power in Scotland and was head of the Covenanters. As such it was in his charge to face down the Duke of Montrose, General-in-Command of the Royalist forces supporting James VI. All of this was a bewildering turnabout as Gilleasbuig’s father, Archibald, seventh Earl of Argyll was an ardent Catholic, destined at one point to become a priest. He was also a very treacherous man who brought about the virtual demise of the Colquhouns and MacGregors as clans. He also schemed against the Gordons (Earls of Huntly) and Hays (Earls of Errol), as well as against the MacDonalds. [youtube=] CHISHOLM Chisholm **(extant, domiciled) – Chisholms supported the Jacobite cause at the Battle of Sherrifmuir in 1715 where they were defeated. Much of their lands were forfeited to the Crown. Their chief obtained a royal pardon in 1727 but he was never allowed to regain his estates, which his brother administered until 1743, when it was transferred to Roderick’s eldest son, Alexander Chisholm. During the 1745 rising, Roderick again supported the Jacobites and his son, Roderick Og Chisholm, led the clan at the Battle of Culloden where he was killed along with 30 clansmen. However, two of Roderick’s other sons were Captains in the British Army of the Duke of Cumberland. The present chief is Andrew Francis Hamish Chisholm of Chisholm, thirty-third Chief of Clan Chisholm. Highland Host: Chisholms were better known for their intrigue than their martial prowess and probably took a back seat during battles with the Covenanters. They were staunch Catholics and a number of eminent bishops carried the name, so they were opposed to the Coventanters and the Reformation in general. FLETCHER Fletcher – The Fletchers (Mac an Leisdear) have never been a fully-formed clan in their own right and have depended on their existence through their proficiency as arrow-makers and their allegiances with more powerful clans. A branch established itself as arrow makers for the MacGregors and later with the Stewarts of Appin. The clan came out for the Jacobite risings. There is no current chief. Highland Host: Entry being prepared HENDERSON Henderson (dormant)- The Hendersons from Glencoe became the personal bodyguards of the chief of the Clan MacDonald of Glencoe. Many of them were massacred at Glencoe and they never achieved any strength as a clan in their own right. The current chief is Alistair Donald Henderson from Brisbane, Australia. Highland Host: Entry being prepared LAMONT Lamont (dormant, inchoate, displaced)- The Clan Lamont took no side in the Jacobite Uprisings as it had been virtually wiped out by the Campbells in the Dunoon Massacre. The present chief of the clan is Peter Noel Lamont who is a parish priest in Sydney, New South Wales. Highland Host: Entry being prepared MACALLISTER MacAllister (dormant, inchoate, domiciled)- The Clan MacAllister took no side in the Jacobite Uprisings as by that time it had almost ceased to exist and been subsumed back into Clan Donald. The current chief of the clan is William Somerville-McAlester who lives in England. Highland Host: During the time of the Civil War, their chief was in the pocket of the Marquess of Argyll and managed the Marquess’s affairs. The McAllister chief took no part in the War but many of his clansmen did and they fought under Montrose for Charles I. MACALPINE MacAlpine ***(dormant, inchoate) – As the MacAlpine name is so ancient and was spread in times when the clan system was still evolving there is little evidence of any one direct family line back to Kenneth MacAlpine and his father King Alpin. Many other clans claim to be descended from the accomplished MacAlpines, such as the MacGregors, Grants, MacNabs, MacAuleys, MacKinnons and the MacQuayrries. Highland Host: Entry being prepared MACARTHUR MacArthur *(extant)- The clan is said to be one of the oldest clans in Argyll. Clan Arthur and Clan Campbell share a common origin and at one point the MacArthurs challenged the seniority of the leading Campbell family. A branch of MacArthurs from the Isle of Skye are a sept of the MacDonalds of Sleat and were hereditary pipers for the MacDonalds of the Isles. In the late 18th century the chief of the clan died without an heir, leaving the clan leaderless until the late 20th century. In 1991 a derbfine was organised by armigers of the clan and in 2002, the first chief of Clan Arthur was recognised in about 230 years. James Edward MacArthur was acknowledged as entitled to the chiefship of Clan Arthur and upon his death this passed to his son, John Alexander MacArthur. Highland Host: The Clan McArthur had long since ceased to be a clan of importance and they were of insufficient strength to take part on either side in the Civil War. MACAULEY MacAulay (dormant) – The MacAulays, like Clan Gregor and several other clans, are considered one of the seven clans which make up Siol Alpin. The clan’s fortunes declined in the 17th and 18th centuries and the clan became dormant. With the revival of interest in Scottish clans in the 20th century a movement was organised to revive Clan MacAulay. An attempt was made to unite three unrelated groups of MacAulays, all who bore the surname MacAulay, under one clan and chief but the Lord Lyon ruled that the petitioner did not meet two criteria: anyone without a blood link to a past chief must be Clan Commander for ten years before being considered for recognition, and that the chiefship in question was of a specific branch and not of all MacAulays. To date, Clan MacAulay does not have a chief recognised by the Lord Lyon King of Arms and therefore is an armigerous clan. Highland Host: Entry being prepared MACBAIN MacBain (dormant, inchoate, dispersed)-The Clan MacBain supported the Jacobite Uprisings of 1715 before being captured and transported to the plantations in Virginia, Maryland and South Carolina. The Clan also took the side of the Jacobites during Uprisings of 1745 to 1746 where many of them fought at the Battle of Culloden. After Culloden the chief struggled to keep the remaining clan lands together and they were finally sold in 1760. The current chief is James MacBain of Tucson, Arizona. Highland Host: The MacBains were not fully constituted as a clan till after the Civil War. MACCALLUM MacCallum (extant,inchoate, domiciled)-The MacCallums or Malcolms were always a fairly anonymous or discrete clan from Argyllshire who made few enemies and kept out of harm’s way. The current chitef is Robin Malcolm of Poltalloch. Highland Host: Entry being prepared MACDONALD MacDonald *** (extant,choate, domiciled)- Clan Donald is one of the largest Scottish clans with numerous branches, including several with chiefs recognised by the Lord Lyon King of Arms – MacDonald of Sleat, Clanranald, Glengarry and Keppoch; and several without chiefs – Lochalsh, Glencoe and Ardnamurchan. The majority of Clan Donald fought on the side of the Jacobites during the 1745-1746 uprisings with regiments from Clanranald, Glengarry, Keppoch and Glencoe fighting at the Battles of Prestonpans, Falkirk and Culloden. Although the Clan MacDonald of Sleat branch, who are Protestant, fought for the Jacobites in the 1715 rebellion they formed two battalions in support of the British government during the 1745 rebellion and the Sleat possessions remained intact. The current High Chief of Clan Donald is Godfrey James MacDonald of MacDonald, 8th Lord MacDonald. “Co ris a ni mi mo ghearain ‘S gun Mac-ic-Ailein am Muidart?” ‘To whom can I complain And no Clanranald in Moidart?’ Highland Host: From these links it can be seen that the MacDonalds played a major part in support of the Marquis of Montrose and King Charles, for which they were severely punished later at Dunaverty by the forces of the Marquess of Argyll. MACDOUGALL MacDougall * (extant,inchoate, morganatic)-Like the MacDonalds, the MacDougalls are also descended from Somerled, Lord of the Isles. Unlike the MacDonalds, they were greatly weakened because of their alliance with the Comyns. In the 18th century during the Jacobite Risings the Clan MacDougall supported the Jacobite cause in 1715 and fought at the Battle of Sheriffmuir. The MacDougall chief was forced into exile but later returned to Scotland to live as a fugitive until he was pardoned in 1727. His son and the next chief, Alexander MacDougall, did not take part in the Jacobite Uprisings of 1745 to 1746, although his brother and some of the clansmen fought at the Battle of Culloden. The current chief of the clan is Morag Morley MacDougall. She is a niece of her predecessor, Coline Helen MacDougall, the daughter of Colonel Alexander James MacDougall 29th of Dunollie. Highland Host: Entry being prepared MACFARLANE MacFarlane *(dormant, inchoate) – Gilchrist, the progenitor of Clan MacFarlane, was a younger son of the first Earl of Lennox. Along with Clan Robertson, the MacFarlanes were the first of the clans to have been granted their fiefdom by feudal charter. For many years Clan MacFarlane was one of the most respected and feared clans in the Highlands until the clan was denounced by the English government. The last descendant of the chiefs, in the direct male line, died in 1886, and since the modern clan is without a chief it can be considered armigerous. Since the further persecution of the clan in the 1600s, most of the clan left and settled in Ireland. Highland Host: From being Royalists during the reign of Charles I, then as a result being severely punished by Cromwell, the MacFarlanes then fought on the side of the Covenanters during the Revolutionary War. MACGILLIVRAY MacGillivray *(dormant)-Clann Mhic Gillebràth were dispersed after King Alexander II of Scotland subdued Argyll in the year 1222 and attached itself to the Chattan Confederation. As Episcopalians they were persecuted by Calvinist and Presbyterian neighbours yet fought in both Jacobite uprisings. Chi
  2. Don MacFarlane

    February 26, 2014 at 5:06 pm

    Chiefships up for grabs

    Up for grabs, and not just in the metaphorical sense.

    Even when Lord Lyon has approved a chiefship, this does not appear to bring with it an obligation from the Lyon Court upon a chief to show that he is worthy of the position being granted to him if he can produce the right (non-morganatic) pedigree. This is confirmed by Malcolm Sinclair, Earl of Caithness who unashamedly said “There is no obligation for a Chief towards the Clan in any formal sense”.

    Where there is more than one contender for a chiefship, this has to be settled by Lord Lyon according to set-down procedures after a correct submission has been put forward by leading members of an armigerous (missing a chief) clan. Apart from that, lack of procedure or obligation lays open that chiefs can come to be that in name only, do little to promote the choate (fully-subscribed) welfare of their extant (non-dormant) clan, are not even domiciled in the UK, let alone in Scotland. Nothing unusual there – historically many chiefs only visited their clans to collect rent, otherwise they lived in comfort in London or Edinburgh.

    Even those chiefs who gained prominence by being ennobled, often did so by currying to the British establishment and by quashing rebellion from lesser clans. To cap it all, few chiefs would nowadays be conversant with the living culture of their clansfolk or have any interest in even a basic non-working knowledge of the language (Gaelic).

    Tongue in cheek, a star system of merit for chiefs could reflect good chieftainship according to the minimum standards above. Stronger clans are in bold, weakened clans are in italics


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