MacLean of Duart

THE Macleans of Duart are Celtic. They claim descent from a famous Celtic warrior, Gillean of the Battle Axe, and have lived in Mull from a very remote time. They were vassals of the Lords of the Isles, but became independent on the forfeiture of the latter in 1476. In many old deeds and Acts of Parliament their chief is styled “Laird of Maclean.” Duart Castle, facing Lismore, is their family stronghold. Their Chief, Hector, was slain at Flodden. Lachlan Cattanach Maclean of Duart left his wife on a low rock, hoping that the returning tide would drown her, but she was rescued, and her husband was assassinated in Edinburgh by her brother, Sir John Campbell. Another Lachlan harried the other Macleans and the MacDonalds. He fell in battle with the MacDonalds of Islay in 1598. Sir John Maclean fought with Claverhouse at Killiecrankie and with Mar at Sheriffmuir. The clan was in the front line at Culloden under the Duke of Perth. On the death of Sir Hector Maclean in 1750 the title passed to his cousin, great-grandson of Maclean of Brolass, from whom descended the centenarian Chief, Colonel Fitzroy Donald Maclean of Duart and Morvern, Bart., who restored the ancestral castle of Duart in Mull.


THIS clan claim descent from Gregor, a son of King Alpin, who ruled about 787. They had great possessions in Perthshire and Argyllshire. They held their lands by the sword, fighting bravely for their homes, and gave their enemies such good excuse to urge their dispossession that their name was suppressed by Parliament. In the thirteenth century they held the lands of Glenorchy. Later they appear as tenants of the Campbells. Patrick, who succeeded in 1390, had two younger sonsΒ— John Dhu MacGregor of Glenstrae; and Gregor MacGregor of Roro, in Glenlyon. Ultimately the chieftainship went to the Glenstrae branch. In 1502 the line of Roro was dispossessed by the Campbells. In 1603 the MacGregors overthrew their oppressors, the Colquhouns of Luss, at Glenfruin, For this they were outlawed, and their Chief, Alexander MacGregor, with many of his followers, was executed in Edinburgh in 1604 ; but as late as 1744 MacGregor of Glengyle drew blackmail on the Highland Borders. The suppression of the name was annulled by Parliament in 1774. Rob Roy was of the House of Glengyle. Scott proved that the MacGregors were the real “Children of the Mist.” MacGregor of MacGregor and Balquhidder, whose line holds a Baronetcy, has been officially recognised as Chief of the clan.