THE Chief of the Clan Robertson, known also as the Clann Donnachaidh, was Donnachadh Reamhar, otherwise known as Duncan de Atholia, who was male descendant of the ancient Celtic Earls of Atholl. The clan, however, count their Chiefs from Duncan, under whom they first appear as a clan in support of Robert the Bruce Duncan’s friend and kinsman. “The Robertsons of Struan,” says Skene, “are unquestionably the oldest family in Scotland, being the sole remaining branch of the Royal House which occupied the throne of Scotland during the eleventh and twelfth centuries.” From first to last the clan is noted for its loyalty to the Stewarts. On the murder of James I at Perth, it was Robert, the Chief of Clann Donnachaidh, who captured his murderers, for which act he had many honours conferred on him by King James I’s successor; and to further commemorate this, father and son took the name of Robertson, which the clan has since retained. Their territory, it is said, at one time extended from the watershed of Rannoch Moor to the gates of Perth. One of the most famous Chiefs was Alexander Robertson of Struan, known as the “Poet Chief.” The Chiefs had castles in Rannoch and at Invervack, near Struan; later, and up to 1860, their principal residence was Dunalastair; other residences were Carie, Dall and Rannoch Barracks. The Chief of the clan is styled Struan-Robertson.
THE MacKenzie clan is of Celtic origin. Its home has ever been in Ross-shire; and it rose to power under a great Chief, Alexander lonraech, 7th Chief of Kintail, who ruled in 1427. His grandson, John, 9th Chief, followed James IV to Flodden, and lived to fight for Mary Queen of Scots, at Langside. Kenneth, the next Chief, was in 1609 created Lord Mackenzie of Kintail, and his son Colin, Earl of Seaforth in 1623. William, 5th Earl, was forfeited as a Jacobite in 1715; but his grandson was re-created Earl of Seaforth in 1771, and raised the old Seaforth Highlanders in 1778. His cousin and eventual successor, Francis Humberstone Mackenzie, was re-created Lord Seaforth in 1797; and at his death in 1815 his daughter Mary, Lady Stuart Mackenzie of Seaforth, became Caberfeidh and Chief of the clan. Her grandson, James Stewart-Mackenzie, Lord Seaforth of Brahan 1921, was the last chief to hold a peerage, but his heir of line, the Laird of Seaforth, Chief of the Clan MacKenzie, still holds sway in their castle of Brahan.
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.
In the 13th century Iver Crom possessed some lands in Argyllshire and it is claimed he conquered the lands of Cowal for King Alexander II. He possessed the lands of Asknish, Lergachonzie and Glassary in Cowal. His son or grandson, Malcolm MacIver had lands in 1292 and about 1500 Iver MacIver of Lergachonzie was chief …
THE name Campbell first appears in 1216, in connection with a proprietor of lands in Stirling; but the first of importance was Neil Campbell, who, in 1296, was made King Edward’s Baillie over lands in Argyll. His great-grandson was created Lord Campbell by James II, and was the first of the family to take the title of Argyll. His grandson, Colin, was made Earl of Argyll in 1457, and Baron of Lorn in 1470. The Marquis of Argyll was the great leader of the Covenanters during the Civil Wars in the reigns of Charles I and Charles II. The 8th Earl was created Duke of Argyll in 1701. The Peerages and estate descended to John, second Duke of Argyll and Earl of Greenwich (died 1743). He was succeeded by his brother, who died without issue, and so the title devolved upon his cousin, General John Campbell of Mamore. Inveraray Castle is the seat of the Campbell Chiefs, whose designation is MacCailein Mhor.