Sketches of The
Character, Manners, and Present State of the Highlanders of Scotland
C, Page 27. Territories, Military Force, and
Patronymic Designations of the Chiefs
The Memorial begins with Argyleshire, "the country of
"Campbells—In Gaelic they are called Clan Guin,
or O Duine. The Duke of Argyle is their Chief. He is called in the
Highlands Macaillain Mor. On his own property, and on his kinsmen's lands,
he can raise above 3,000 men; the Earl of Breadalbane, more than 1,000;
and the Barons of the names of Campbell, Ardkinglass, Auchenbreck,
Lochnell, Inneraw, and others, 1,000; so that this clan could bring into
the field above 5,000 men, besides those barons and gentlemen of the name
in Dumbarton, Stirling and Perthshire, and the Laird of Calder in Nairn.
They are at present the richest and most numerous clan in Scotland; their
countries and bounds most extensive; their superiorities, jurisdictions,
and other dependencies, by far the greatest in the kingdom, which makes
the family of the greatest importance in North Britain, and has been so
since the decline of the Douglasses, the total fall of the Cummins, the
extinction of the Earl of Ross's family, and of the Macdonalds of the
"Maclean.—In Gaelic called Clan Lein. Sir Hector
Maclean of Douart is their Chief. He is called in the Highlands Macil-Lein.
This was a very potent clan 200 years ago, and could have raised 800 men;
but now that the Campbells are possessed of their chief's estate, they
will hardly make 500, and even many of that number must be brought out of
the Duke of Argyle's estate.
"Maclachlan.—In Gaelic called Clan Lachlin. The
Laird of Maclachlan is their Chief. He can raise 300 men.
"Stewart of Appin.—The Laird of Appin is their
Chieftain. He holds his lands of the Crown, and can raise 300 followers.
"Macdougall of Lorn.—In Gaelic called
Clanvickuil. Their Chief is the Laird of Macdougall. He is called in the
Highlands Mackuil Laurin. This was a more potent family of old, but is now
much diminished by the Campbells ; they can still (I believe) bring out
"Macdonalds of Sleate—Proceeding northward by
the coast and Isles, we come to the Macdonalds. Sir Alexander Macdonald is
their Chieftain. In Gaelic he is called Mac Connel nan Eilan, simply by
way of pre-eminence; he has a very large estate which he holds of the
Crown. It lies in the Isles of Skye and Uist. He can bring out 700 men.
"Macdonald of Clanranald.—In Gaelic this
Chieftain is called Mack vic Allian, and in English Captain of Clanranald.
He has a very handsome estate, holding most of it from the Crown. It lies
in Moidart and Arisaig on the Continent, and in the Isles of Uist, Ben-becula,
and Rum. He can bring out 700 men.
"Macdonell of Glengarry—The Laird of Glengarry
is their Chieftain. In Gaelic he is called Mac vic Allistair. He has a
good estate, which he holds of the Crown. It lies in Glengarry and
Knoidart. He can bring out 500 men.
"Macdonell of Keppoch—Keppoch is their
Chieftain. In Gaelic he is called Mac vic Raonuil. He is not proprietor of
one ridge of land, but himself, kindred, and followers, are only tacksman
and tenants, holding the most of their possessions from the Laird of
Mackintosh, and the rest from the Duke of Gordon, all being in Lochaber.
He can raise and bring out 300 followers.
"Macdonald of Glenco.-—The Laird of Glenco is their
Chieftain: In Gaelic he is called Mac-vic-Ian: He holds his lands of
Stewart of Appin, and can raise 150 men.
"These five Chieftains of the Macdonalds all claim a
lineal descent from Alexander Macdonald Earl of Ross, successor and
representative of the Macdonalds of the Isles; but none of them have any
clear document to vouch the same, so that that great and aspiring family,
who waged frequent wars with our Scotch Kings, and who acted as sovereigns
themselves, and obliged most of the clans to swear fealty to them, is now
utterly extinct. The last Earl of Ross had no sons, nor any near male
relation to succeed him.
"Cameron.—A very potent clan in Lochaber. The
Laird of Lochiel, called in Gaelic Maconnel Dui, is their Chief. He has a
good estate, but none of it holds of the Crown ; the most of it holds of
the Duke of Argyle, and the rest of the Duke of Gordon. He can bring out
800 men. Of old there were several tribes in that country, viz. Macmartin
of Letterfinlay, and others, branches of the Camerons, who faithfully
followed their chief.
"Macleods—Were two distinct and very potent
families of old, viz. Macleod of Lewis, and Macleod of Harris, but they
are both utterly extinct, and their lands possessed by the Mackenzies. The
present Laird of Macleod is Chief of the name. He is called in. Gaelic,
Macleod. He has a very considerable estate, all holden of the Crown, lying
in Glenelg, on the Continent, and in the Isle of Skye. He can bring out
"Mackinnons.—The Laird of Mackinnon is their
Chief; he holds his lands of the Crown, both in the Isles of Skye and
Mull, and can raise 200 men.
"I again pass to the south to give an account of the
inland Chiefs, beginning again in Argyleshire, and proceeding from thence
northward. There are several persons of rank, as well as gentlemen, who
are chieftains, and who have the command of many Highlanders in Argyle,
Monteith, Dumbarton, Stirling, and Perth shires; such as the Duke of
Montrose, the Earls of Moray and Bute, also the Macfarlanes, Macneil of
Barra, Macnab of Macnab, Buchanans and Colquhouns of Luss, Macnaughtons,
Lamont of Lamont, &c. They can raise among them 5,400 men. Besides these
there are several border families, those of Kilraick, Brodie of Brodie,
Innes of Innes, Irvine of Drum, Lord Forbes, and the Earl of Airley, all
of whom are loyal, except the Ogilvies. Few or none of them have any
followers, except Lord Airley, from his Highland estate.
"Duke of Perth—Is no clan family, although the
Duke is Chief of a considerable number of barons and gentlemen of the name
of Drummond in the Low country. He is brought in here allenarly on account
of his command of about 300 Highlanders in Glenartnie and other glens in
the county of Perth.
"Robertsons—The Laird of Strowan is their Chief.
They are called in Gaelic, Clan Donachie. His lands hold of the Crown, and
lie in Rannoch, and in the Braes of Athole in Perthshire. On his own
estate he can raise about 200 men. There are 500 men more of the
Robertsons in Athole who never follow their chief, being part of the
followers of the Duke of Athole.
"Menzies.—Sir Robert Menzies of Weem is the
Chief. In Gaelic he is called Menairich. He has a very handsome estate,
all holding of the Crown, lying in Rannoch, and Appin Dull in Athole, and
can raise 300 men.
"Stewart of Grandtully—Has a handsome estate in
Strathbrane and Strathtay in Athole, all holding of the Crown, out of
which he can raise 300 followers.
"Clan Gregor.—This name was called down by act
of Parliament. They are now dispersed under the different names of
Drummond, Murray, Graham, and Campbell, and live in the counties of Perth,
Stirling, Dumbarton, &c. &c. They have no present Chief, that being
elective, and continuing no longer than the current expedition. He is
chosen on the principle of detur digniori. They can raise among
them 700 men.
"Duke of Atholl.—The Murrays is no clan family,
though the Duke of Atholl is Chief, and head of a number of barons and
gentlemen of the name of Murray in the Lowlands; but he is deservedly
placed here on account of his extensive following of about 3,000
Highlanders, a good many of them out of his own property, but most of them
from the estates of the barons and gentlemen who hold their land of him on
account of his great superiorities in Athole, Glenalmond, and Balquidder.
The most numerous of these, and the readiest to turn out on all occasions,
are the Stewarts of Athole, in number more than 1,000 men, as also 500
Robertsons, who do not follow their chief; likewise the Fergussons,
Smalls, Spaldings, Rattrays, Mackintoshes in Athole, and Maclarens in
Balquidder, with other broken names in Athole, are all followers of the
Duke of Atholl.
"Crossing the Grampian mountains to Brae Mar.
"Farquharsons—The only clan family in
Aberdeenshire. In Gaelic called Clan Ianla. They can bring out about 500
men. The Laird of Invercauld is their Chief. He has a very handsome estate
holden of the Crown, both in Perthshire and Brae Mar. There are several
other barons of the name that have competent fortunes, such as Monaltrie,
Inverey, Finzean, &c.
"Duke of Gordon—The Gordons is no clan family,
although the Duke is Chief of a very powerful name in the Lowlands. He has
a great posse of cavalry and gentlemen on horseback in Enzie and
Strathbogie, but he is only placed here on account of his Highland
followings in Strathavon and Glenlivet, which are about 300 men; his
extensive jurisdictions and superiorities in the centre Highlands, viz.
Badenoch, Lochaber, and Strathspey, do not yield him any followers. The
tenants on his own property, as well as those who hold their lands of him
in feu, follow their natural-born Chief, of whom they are descended, and
pay no regard either to the master or superior of their lands. Thus the
Camerons follow Lochiel, the Macphersons follow Clunie, and other chiefs
are followed and obeyed in the same manner from respect, family
attachment, and consanguinity.
"Grant.—A considerable name and family in
Strathspey. The Laird of Grant is their Chief. He has a handsome and large
estate both in Strathspey and Urquhart, in the county of Inverness, all
holden of the Crown, except Abernethy, which he holds of the Earl of
Moray. He can raise out of Strathspey 700 men, and out of Urquhart 150. He
has several barons of his name both in Inverness, Moray, Banff, and
Aberdeen shires, such as Dalvey, Ballandal-loch, Rothiemurchus, Cullen,
"Mackintoshes.—This was one of the most potent
clans in Scotland when their residence was at Tor Castle in Lochaber, the
ancient seat of their family (of which country they are still heritable
stewards), but the Camerons having purchased the said estate, their power
is much diminished. The Laird of Mackintosh is their Chief; in Gaelic he
is called Mackintoschach, and in English Captain of Clan Chattan. He can
bring out 800 men, including the small neighbouring clans of Macgillivray,
Macqueen, Macbean, &c. who all own themselves his kinsmen. His countries
are Brae Lochaber, Badenoch, and Strathnearn, in Inverness-shire. He still
retains a very competent estate. He holds Brae Lochaber, Moy, and Largs,
of the Crown, Badenoch of the Duke of Gordon, and most of his kinsmen hold
Strathnearn of the Earl of Moray.
"Macphersons.—Called in Gaelic Clan Vurrich.
Their Chief is the Laird of Clunie. He can raise 400 men. His whole lands,
and all his kinsmen's lands, hold of the Duke of Gordon, and lie in
"Frasers—Are a considerable clan in the
countries of Aird and Stratherrig, in Inverness-shire. Their Chief is Lord
Lovat; in Gaelic he is called Macimmie. He has a large estate held of the
Crown, and can raise 900 men. He has a good number of barons of his name
in Inverness and Aberdeen shires.
"Grant of Glenmoriston—Is Chieftain of a branch
of the Grants, but does not follow his Chief. He brings out 150 men. In
Gaelic he is called Macphadrick. His lands hold of the Crown. In armaments
he frequently joins with the Laird of Glengarry.
"Chisholms.—Their Chief is Chisholm of
Strathglass, in Gaelic called Chisallich. His lands are held of the Crown,
and he can bring out 200 men.
"Mackenzies.—One of the most considerable clans
of one name next to the Campbells in the nation. The Earl of Seaforth is
their Chief. In Gaelic he is called Mac Coinich. Out of his countries of
Kintail, Lochalsh, Lochbroom, Lochcarron, on the Continent, and in the
Isle of Lewis, all in Ross-shire, he can raise 1,000 men. The Earl of
Cromarty, with the Lairds of Gairloch, Scatwell, Kill-cowie, Redcastle,
Comric, &c. &c. can raise among them 1,500 men more.
"Monroes.—Sir Henry Monro of Fowlis is their
Chief. His lands hold of the Crown. He can raise 300 men.
"Rosses.—Lord Ross is their Chief. His lands
hold of the Crown, and he can raise 500 men.
"Sutherlands.—The Earl of Sutherland is their
Chief. In Gaelic he is called Morar Chatto. He can raise 2,000 men.
"Mackays—The Lord Reay is their Chief. He is
called in Gaelic, Macaoi. His estate holds of the Crown, and brings out
"Sinclairs—The Earl of Caithness is their Chief.
He is called in Gaelic, Morar Gallu. He could raise 1,000 men, but many of
his followers arc now under May, Dunbeath, Ulbster, Freswick, &c &c.
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