The Highlanders of Scotland, Their Origin, History, and Antiquities; with a Sketch of Their Manners and Customs, and an Account of the Clans into which They Were Divided, and of the State of Society which Existed Among Them. By William F. Skene. Edited by Alexander MacBain.

Vol. 2



Besides the Macdonalds and the Macdogalls, the MS. of 1450 deduces various others of the Argyllshire clans from the same race. According to that ancient document, a certain Gillebride rig eilan, or king of the Isles, lived in the twelfth century, and was descended from a brother of Suibne, the ancestor of the Macdonalds slain in 1034 ; and from Anradan, or Henry, the son of Gillebride, the same authority

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deduces the Macneills, Maclachlans Macewens, and Maclaisrichs. That the genealogy by which this Gillebride is brought from an ancestor of the Maedonells, in the beginning of the eleventh century, is authentic, is perhaps more than we are entitled to assert; but the existence of a traditionary affinity between these clans and the race of Somerled at so early a period, sufficiently proves that they were of the same race. Gillebride, probably, merely possessed the Norwegian title of a Sudreya Konungr, or Hebridean king, which was bestowed on the principal Island chiefs; and the seat of his race appears to have been Locbaber, as the different clans descended from him can in general be traced from thence, and his immediate ancestor is termed " Abrice," or of Lochaber. I have ventured to call this tribe the Siol Gillebride, or Gillevray, as I find an old Sennachy of the Macdonalds stating that in the time of Somerled, " the principal surnames in the country (Morvern, Ardgour, and Lochaber) were Mac Innes and Mae Gillevrays, who were the same as the Mac Innes." It appears from this passage, that the oldest inhabitants of these districts consisted of two clans, the Mae Gillevrays and the Mae Innes, who were of the same race; and as there is a very old traditionary connexion between the clan A Mhaisdir or Mae Innes of Ardgour, and several of the clans descended from Anradan Mae Gillebride, it seems to establish the identity of this tribe with the old Mae Gillevrays of Morvern. The various branches of this


tribe probably formed but one clan, under the name of the clan Gillevray, until the conquest of Argyll by Alexander II., when they fully shared in the ruin which fell upon those who adhered to Somerled, with the exception of the Macneills, who agreed to hold their lands of the crown; and the Maclachlans, who regained their former position by marriage with an heiress of the Lamonds. Ile other branches of this tribe appear, on the breaking up of the clan, to have followed as chief the Macdogall Campbells of Craignisb, a family descended of the kindred race of the Mac Innes of Ardgour, who likewise attained to considerable power.


The Macneills Ent appear in the beginning of the fifteenth century, as a powerful clan in Knapdale; and as this district was not included in the sheriffdom. of Argyll, it is probable that their ancestor bad agreed to hold the district as a vassal of the crown. In the beginning of the preceding century we find that the district of Knapdale had been forfeited and given by Robert Bruce to John de Menteth, and in 1310 there is a letter by the king of England granting to John Terrealnanogh and Murquocgh, the sons of Swen de Ergadia, the lands of Knapdale, " que quondam fait antecessorum dictorum Jobannis Terrealnanogh et Murquogh," and from which they had been driven out by John de Menteth, This Swen appears to be the Swen Ruoidh alluded to in


in possession of Castle Swen, with a considerable tract of the surrounding country. Tradition unquestionably points to Barra as now chief of the clan, and in this family the right to the cbiefship probably exists, although the extreme distance of his possessions, which he appears from the first charter of Barra to have obtained in consequence of a marriage with an heiress of the Macleans from the rest, led many of them to follow the Macneills of Gigha, and made the latter family almost independent.


Quarterly. First. Azure, a lion rampant argent. Second. Or, a band coupee, fess-ways, gules, holding a cross, crosslet, filches, in pale azure. Third. Or, a lymphad sable. Fourth. Parted per fess, argent and vert, to represent the sea, out of which issueth a rock, gules.

Sea Ware.
Principal Seat.
Knapdale, afterwards Barra.
Oldest Cadet.
Macneill of Gigha.
Macneill of Barra.



The Maclachlans are traced, by the manuscript of 1450, to Gilchrist, the son of Dedaalan, who was son of that Anradan from whom all the clans of this tribe are descended, and besides the high authority which this genealogy derives from the circumstance that there


is every reason to think that the author of the manuscript was a Maclacblan, it is farther confirmed by the fact that at the period at which the manuscript mentions a Gillepadrig Mac Gilchrist as one of the chiefs of the clan, we find in the Paisley cbartulary, a charter by "Laumanus filius Malcolmi," the ancestor of the Lamonts, witnessed by Gillpatrick filius Gillcbrist. Universal tradition asserts that they acquired these lands in Cowall, by marriage with an heiress of the Lamonds, and the manuscript apparently indicates the same fact, for it states that this Gilchrist married the daughter of Lachlan Mae Rory, while Lachlan Mae Rory is exactly cotemporary with Angus Mae Rory, lord of Cowall, chief of the Lamonds. Their original seat appears to have been in Lochaber, where a very old branch of the family has from the earliest period been settled as native men of the Camerons. But as this clan soon after their acquisitions in Cowall became dependent upon the Campbells, we axe unable to furnish any history of the subsequent generations. Although the Maclachlans were thus reduced by the Campbells to a species. of dependence, they still remained a clan of considerable strength, and for a long period do not appear to have been subject to any great change in their condition : in the year 1745 their strength was esti ated at three hundred men

Quarterly. First. Or, a lion rampant gules. Second. Argent, a hand coupee fessways, holding a cross, crosslet, fitchee



Mountain ash.
Principal Seat.
Strathlachlane in Cowall.
Oldest Cadet.
Maclachlan of Coruanan, in Lochaber.
Maclachlan of Maclachlan.
In 1745, 300.

The Reverend Mr. Alexander Macfarlane, in his excellent account of the parish of Killfinnan, says, cc on a rocky point on the coast of Lochfine about a mile below the church, is to be seen the vestige of a building called Caesteal Mhic Eobbuin (i. e.) Mac Ewen's castle;" and he adds, " This Mae Ewen was the chief of a clan, and proprietor of the northern division of the parish called Otter." The reverend gentleman professes his inability to discover who this Mae Ewen was, but this omission is supplied by the manuscript of 1450, which contains the genealogy of the clan " Eoghan na Hoitreic," or clan Ewen of Otter, and in which they are brought from Anradan, the common ancestor of the Maclachlans and Macneills.

This family became very soon extinct, and their property gave a title to a branch of the Campbells,


of their history consequently we know nothing whatever.


Under this name are comprised the Macdogall Campbells of Craignish, and Lamonds of Lamond, both of whom are very old clans in Argyllshire and were, as we have reason to think, of the same race.


The policy of the Argyll family led them to employ every means for the acquisition of property and the extension of the clan. One of the arts which they used for the latter purpose, was to compel those clans which bad become dependent upon them, to adopt the name of Campbell, and this, when successful., was generally followed at an after period by the assertion that that clan was descended from the house of Argyll. In general, the clans thus adopted into the race of Campbell, are sufficiently marked out by their being promoted only to the bonour of being an illegitimate branch, but the tradition of the country invariably distinguishes between the real Campbells and those who were compelled to adopt their name. Of this, the Campbells of Craignish afford a remarkable instance; they are said to be descended from Dogall, an illegitimate son of one of the ancestors of the Campbells in the twelfth century, but the universal tradition of the country is that their old name was Mac Eachern, and that they


were of the same race with the Macdonalds. This is partly confirmed by their arms, being the galley of the Isles, from the mast of which bangs a shield, containing the girone of eight pieces or and sable of the Campbells, and still more by the manuscript of 1450, which contains a genealogy of the Mac Eacherns deducing them, not from the Campbells, but from a certain Nicol Mae Murdoch in the twelfth century. When the Mae Gillevrays and Mae Innes of Morvern and Ardgour were dispersed and broken up, we find that many of their septs, especially the Mac Innes, although not residing on any of the Craignish properties, acknowledged that family as their chief. Accordingly, as the Mac Gillevrays and Mae Innes were two branches of the same clan, and separate from each other, as early as the twelfth century ; and as the Mae Eacherns are certainly of the same race, while Murdoch, the first of the clan, is exactly contemporary with Murdoch, the father of Gillebride, the ancestor of the Siol Gillevray, there seems little doubt that the Siol Eachern and the Mae Innes were the same clan. That branch of the Siol Eachern which settled at Craignish in -the ancient sheriffdom. of Argyle called the Clan Dogall Craignisb, and are f said to have obtained this property from the

1.I There was an old family of Mac Eachern of Kingerloch, and as Kingerloch marches with Ardgour, the old property

the Mac Innes, it strongly confirms the hypothesis that the two clans were of the same race.


brother of Campbell of Lochow in the reign of David 11. Certain it is that in that reign, Gillespie Campbell obtained these lands on the forfeiture of his brother Colin Campbell of Lochow, and it is probable that from him the clan Dougall Craignish acquired their right. The Lochow family were afterwards restored from this forfeiture, and the Craignish family were then obliged to bold their lands of the Argyll family.

They remained for some time after this a powerful family, though unable eventually to resist that influence which swept all the neigbbouring clans under the power of the Campbells, where they soon became identified with the other clans which had been compelled to assume the name of Campbell and to give up their existence as a clan, to swell the already overgrown size of that powerful race.


There axe few traditions more universally believed in the Highlands, or which can be traced back to an earlier period, than that the Lamonds were the most ancient proprietors of Cowall, and that the Stewarts, Maclachlans, and Campbells, obtained their possessions in that district by marriage, with daughters of that family. At an early period, we find that a small part of Upper Cowall was included in the sheriffdom of Argyll, while the rest of the district remained in the shire of Perth; it is plain, therefore, that the lord of Lower Cowall


bad, on the conquest of Argyll by Alexander II., submitted to the king, and obtained a crown charter. Towards the end of the same century, we find the high steward in possession of Lower Cowall, and the Maclachlans in that of Strathlachlan ; and as it appears that, in 1242, Alexander the high steward married Jean, the daughter of James, son of Angus Mac Rory, said to be lord of Bute, while the manuscript of 1450 informs us, that about the same period
Gilchrist Maclacblan married the daughter of Lachlan Mae Rory,--it seems probable that this Roderic or Rory was the person who obtained the crown charter of Lower Cowall, and that by these marriages the property passed to the Stewarts and Maclachlans. The identity of these facts with the tradition, at the same time indicate, that Angus Mac Rory was the ancestor of the Lamonds.

After the marriage of the Stewart with his heiress, the next of the Lamonds whom we trace is
"Duncanus filius Fercbar," and " Laumanus filius Malcolmi nepos ejusdem Duncani," who grant a charter to the monks of Paisley, of the lands of Kilmor near Locbgilp, and of the lands " quas nos et antecessores nostri apud Kilmun habuerunt." In the same year there is a charter by Laumanus filius Malcolmi, of Kilfinan, and this last charter is confirmed in 1295 by " Malcolmus filius et haeres domini quondam Laumaiii." That this Laumanus was the ancestor of the Lamonds is proved by an instrument, in 1466, between the monastery of Paisley


and John Lamond of that ilk, regarding the lands of Kilfinan, in which it is expressly said, that these lands had belonged to John Lamond's ancestors. From Laumanus the clan appear to have taken the name of Maclaman or Lamond; and previous to Laumanus they unquestionably bore the name of Macerachar, and clan ic Earachar. The close connexion of this clan with the clan Dougall Craignish is marked out by the same circumstances which have indicated the other branches of that tribe ; for during the power of the Craignisb family, a great portion of the clan ic Earacbar followed that family as their natural chief, although they bad no feudal right to their services. There is one peculiarity connected with the Lamonds, that although by no means a powerful clan, their genealogy can be proved by charters, at a time when most other Highland families are obliged to have recourse to the uncertain lights of tradition, and the genealogies of their ancient sennachies; but their great antiquity could not protect the Lamonds from the encroachments of the Campbells, by whom they were soon reduced to as small a portion of their original possessions in Lower Cowall, as the other Argyllshire clans had been of theirs. As a clan, the Lamonds were of very much the same station as the Maclachlans, and like them, they have still retained a part of their ancient possessions.

Azure, a lion rampant argent.
Crab-apple tree.
Principal Seat.
Lower Cowall.
Lamond of Lamond.

Celtic Scotland : a history of ancient Alban
Published Edinburgh : Edmonston & Douglas, 1876-1880
Skene, W. F. (William Forbes), 1809-1892

Book III p. 340

The Third group consists of clans supposed to be descended from the Hy Neill or race of Neill Naoi giallach, king of ireland, which brings us nearer historical times. They consist of the Lamonds, the Clan Lachlan, the MacEwens of Otter, and a clan Somairle which has not been identified. These clans are all taken back to a certain Aoda Alain, termed Buirche, son of Anrotan, son of Aodha Atlamuin, ancestors of the O'Neills. From Aoda's son Gillacrist the Clan Lachlan came, and from another son Duinsleibe the Lamonds, MacEwens, and Clan Somairle. The genealogy of the Lamonds is authentic as far back as Fearchar, the son of Duinsleibe, but Ferchar's son and grandson are mentioned in a charter in 1246 [footnote 14], while the death of Aodha Alain is recorded in 1047, and thus only three generations are placed in two centuries. This derivation too involves the difficulty of supposing that Cowall was peopled from Ireland in the eleventh century, a colony of which there is not a trace in history; but as these clans are locally grouped together we may acdept the genealogies as indicating that they had a common origin.

14. Charter 'Duncanus filius Ferchar et Laumannus filus Malcolmi nepos ejusdem Duncani' to the monastery of Paisley, of the lands of Kilmor inter 1230-1246. - Chart. of Paisley, 132; confirmed by Angus, son of Duncan, in 1270.


II. Clans supposed to be descended from the Ui Neill or race
of Naill Naoi Giallach (Niall of the nine hostages), king
of Ireland, through Niall Glundubh, head of the northern
Ui Neill and king of Ireland, slain 917.


Genealogy of the Clan Ladmann
or Lamonts

Robert son of Roibert mac
Duncan son of Donchadh mic
John son of Eoin mic
Malcolm son of Giollacolium mic
Ladmann son of Ladmainn mic
Malcolm son of Giollacolium mic
Ferchard son of Fearchair mic
Duinsleibhe son of Duinsleibe mic
Aeda Alain the Buriche, son of Aeda Alain i. Buirche mic
Andradan son of Anradan mic
Flaherty son of Flaithbertaigh mic
Murcertach son of Murcertach mic
Donald son of Domnall mic
Murcertach son of Murcertach mic
Niall Glundubh, or Black Knee. Niall Glundub

footnote: This and the three following are from the MS. 1467 and MacFirbis.


Genealogy of MacLachlan

 Dogenelach mhic Lachlan og

Kenneth son of Caineach mac
John son of Eoin mic
Lachlan son of Lachlan mic
Gillapadrig son of Gillapadruig mic
Lachlan Mor son of Lachlan moir mic
Gillapadrig son of Gillapadruig mic
Gillacrist son of Gillacrist mic
Aeda Alain called Buirche son of Aeda Alain renabarta Buirche mic
Anradan, where it converges with Anradan condregaided
the Clan Niall Naoi Giallach Clanna Neill Nai Giallach
Catherine the daughter of Caitrina ingen
Duncan son of Donchadh mic
Ladmann was mother of Ladmann mathair
Kenneth, Patrick, and Gilespic, Cainig agus Padraig agus Gillaespic
and Agnes the daughter agus Agais ingen
of MacDonald was the mic Domnaill mathair
mother of Eoin agus
John and Ealusaid ingen
Elizabeth daughter of Mormair Comgaill mathair
the Lord of Cowall was Lachlain oig agus
mother of Lachaln og and mathair Gillapadruig ingen
the mother of Gillapadrig Domnall mic
was the daughter of Donald Eiri mic
son of Eric mac Kennedy Lord Ceinnedon tigerna Cairge agus
of Carrick and the daughter of ingen Lachlan mic
Lachaln mac Rory was the Ruaidri mathair
mother of Gillapadric(1), viz., Gillapadruig i. Ateg no M.
Ateg or M.

Genealogy of the Clan Sorley

Genealach Clann Somairle

Donald son of Domnall mac
Gillespic son of Gillaespic mic
Angus son of Aengusa mic
Donald son of Domnaill mic
Somerled son of Somairle mic
Ferchard son of Ferchair mic
Dunslebhe son of Duinsleibe mic
Buirche. Buirche

Genealogy of MacEwen of Otter here

Genelach mhic Eogain na Hoitreac annso

Walter son of Baltluir mac
John son of Eoin mic
Ewen son of Eogain mic
Gillespic son of Gillaespic mic
son of mic
son of mic
Saveran son of Saibairan mic
Dunslebhe son of Duinsleibe mic
Aeda Alain called Aeda Alain renabarta
buirche (clumsy) son of buirche mic
Anradan(1) son of Anradan mic
Flaherty Flathbertaigh