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.
THE Lamonts are a Celtic family. The old seat of the Chief was Castle Toward. This was changed to Ardlamont, between the Kyles of Bute and Loch Fyne, which was the seat of the Chiefs until the close of the nineteenth century. The surname of the clan is from one Lauman. A Duncan MacLamont seems to have been Laird of Lamont in Robert III’s reign. There were also Lamonts of Inverin, the greater part of whose lands was appropriated by the Campbells. John Lamont of Lamont married Lady Jean Campbell, daughter of the Earl of Argyll who fell at Flodden. The Lamonts fought under Montrose at Philiphaugh in 1645. Attacked by the Campbells, they bravely defended themselves in the Castle of Toward, but had to surrender, and were all put to the sword by the victors. In 1685-86 the Laird of Lamont and Archibald Lamont of Silvercraigs were Commissioners in the Parliament at Edinburgh. There were also Lamonts of Willowfield. In course of time the estates passed to Dougal Lamont of Stilaig. His eldest daughter was married to John Lamont of Kilfinnan, and their eldest son succeeded to the estate and chiefship in right of the maternal line.
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.