THE first historic Chief was Angus Du (1380-1429). He was assassinated, and the clan was ruled by his younger son, until the rightful heir obtained his release from captivity on the Bass Rock, 1437. The latter’s son was Chief and led the clan in the cruel fight of Blair Tannic, Caithness. In 1628 Sir Donald Mackay of Strathnaver, Chief of the clan, was created Lord Reay, with remainder to his heirs male bearing the name and arms of Mackay, which, however, have never been recorded. The major portion of the estates was sold in the seventeenth century to pay the cost of maintaining and transporting 2000 men whom Lord Reay recruited for foreign service to assist the Protestant cause in the great Thirty Years’ War. The earliest Gaelic charter extant was granted by Donald, Lord of the Isles, to Brian Vicar Mackay in 1408.
THE MacDonalds are of very ancient origin. The clan founder was the heroic Somerled, who freed his countrymen from the Norse yoke, and rose to power that no subject has equalled. He died in 1164, leaving three sons. The second, Reginald, died in 1207, leaving, with other issue, an eldest son, Donald, from whom the clan takes its name. As Lords of the Isles and Earls of Ross, the Clan Donald were the greatest of the Highland clans, their chief until 1493 ranking as an Island Sovereign. After the fall of the Lords of the Isles, first Glengarry, and then the Lords of Sleat held the chiefship. The Chief of the Glencoe MacDonalds, Mac-Vic-Ian-Mac-Ian, was of Royal descent, and was, with nearly all his clan, massacred by Campbell of Glenlyon in 1692. He had remained constant in his adherence to King James, and loyally took the oath to serve William of Orange, but was rewarded with as foul an act of treachery as was ever perpetrated. Glencoe is the traditional home of the poet Ossian.
THIS is a Celtic clan. Their country was the western shore of Loch Lomond. They took their war cry from Loch Sloy, at the foot of Ben Voirlich. They are descended from Duncan MacGilchrist, mentioned 1296, brother of Mulduin, Earl of Lennox. His grandson was Bartholomew (Gaelic, Parlan), from whom the clan is named. Malcolm received the lands of Arrochar in 1395, but the male line failed, and the lands were forfeited. Andrew MacFarlane married a daughter of the Earl of Lennox, and succeeded in 1493. Sir John MacFarlane fell at Flodden, and Walter MacFarlane of Tarbert was killed at Pinkie in 1547. The clan fought against Queen Mary at Langside. In 1608 they slew Colquhoun of Luss, and were outlawed. In 1644-45 they fought for Montrose. Major-General MacFarlane gallantly captured Ischia, in the Bay of Naples, in 1809. In 1624 many of the clan settled in Aberdeenshire under other names. The last Chief is supposed to have gone to America at the end of the eighteenth century. His house of Arrochar became the property of the Duke of Argyll.
THE Grants are Celtic. “Stad, Chreag Ealachaidh” (“Stand fast, Craigellachie”) is their slogan. They are of the same stock as the MacGregors, and their location has always been Strathspey. Sir Laurence Graunt, Sheriff of Inverness (1249-58), acquired the greater part of Strathspey. Sir Ian Ruadh Grant, Chief of the clan, in 1381 married Matilda de Glencairnie; and for his descendant, John, Am Bard Ruadh, the lands of Freuchie were created a feudal barony. His successor, Sheumas nan Creach, was a friend of Mary Queen of Scots. From John Grant of Freuchie and Grant, a strong supporter of James IV, are descended the Chiefs of Grant and Strathspey, and the Baronets of Corrimony and of Glenmoriston. James Grant of Grant and his son Ludovick were in the clan fight at the Haughs of Cromdale. Glenmoriston fought for Prince Charlie at Culloden. There are three Baronetcies Dalvey, 1688; Monymusk, 1705; and Ballindalloch, 1838. Many of the Glenmoriston Grants were banished to Barbadoes after “the ’45.” They have a distinct tartan. The clan raised the Grant or Strathspey Fencibles in 1793, and the “old 97th” in 1794. The first was disbanded in 1799, and the other was drafted into other Highland regiments in 1795. Lord Strathspey is the Chief of the clan.
THE Camerons are of pure Celtic ancestry; and Cameron of Lochiel is the chief house of the Clan. Ewen, younger son of Ewen, 13th Chief of Lochiel, was the founder of the house of Erracht. Donald, 2nd of Erracht, joined Prince Charlie at Glenfinnan, where, under Lochiel, he was second in command of the Camerons. His daughter married Cameron of Scamadale, and had a son, Lieutenant Alexander Cameron, who led the Camerons during the last three hours of Waterloo. His eldest son, Sir Alan Cameron of Erracht, K.C.B., went to America, and with the 84th, or Royal Emigrants, helped to defend Quebec against Arnold. In 1793 he raised the 79th or Cameron Highlanders. Sir Ewen Cameron of the main line Lochiel was one of the greatest cavaliers during the Civil War. His loyalty was perpetuated in Donald Cameron of Lochiel, one of Prince Charlie’s staunchest friends in 1745. Achnacarry is the seat of the Camerons of Lochiel.