Sketches of The
Character, Manners, and Present State of the Highlanders of Scotland Explanatory of the Map of the Clans
It is proper to state, that
the divisions into which the clans are arranged on the Map, are not
intended to indicate that the chiefs, or heads of the principal branches
of all the clans, were the sole proprietors of the lands classed under
their respective names. In several instances, they were only occupiers and
tenants at will of the lands on which they and their forefathers had lived
for ages. But while the clansmen obeyed and followed the chiefs of their
family and kindred, the superiors and proprietors of their lands seldom
held any authority or feudal control, except in cases where the superior
and his people entertained similar political views and sentiments.
[Nothing can be more erroneous than an opinion, often repeated, and
therefore sometimes believed, that whatever side the feudal superior took
in any great political question or contest, he was invariably followed by
his subservient adherents. Many instances to the contrary are stated in
these Sketches, and I could produce many more, all highly creditable to
the spirit of independence which long distinguished the clansmen.] The
lands thus occupied by different clans and tribes, either as proprietors
or tenants, are generally called their "Country" or territory; Brae
Lochaber, for example, which was occupied for nearly five hundred years by
the Macdonells of Keppoch, and their numerous descendants, is called "Keppoch's
Country," although the fee-simple of the property had been vested for the
greater part of the period in the families of Gordon and Mackintosh. The
Dukes of Gordon and Argyle were feudal superiors of the whole of the
Camerons' Country, the former nobleman being also proprietor of part of
the lands, as also of a considerable portion of Badenoch, the "Country of
the Macphersons," many of whom are his Grace's tenants. Indeed, this clan
is so numerous in that extensive district, that, except in the case of an
accidental emigration from the Duke's Lowland estates, there is not a
tenant of the name of Gordon throughout its whole extent.
The Duke of Atholl
possesses a very extensive property in Athole; but the district has, for
centuries, been called the Country of the Stewarts, Robertsons, Fergusons,
&c. With the exception of the Duke, there is not in the whole district a
proprietor or occupier of land of the name of Murray; but many
descendants, whose forefathers sprung from the Atholl family prior to the
change of their name from Stewart to Murray, are still resident in the
glens of Athole.
Part of two large parishes
on the estate of Sutherland, including Strathnaver, from which the earldom
of Sutherland derives its secondary title, is situated in Lord Reay's
Country, or, as it is called in Gaelic, the Territory of the Mackays. The
ranks of the Sutherland regiment of 1793 bore evidence to the propriety of
this appellation, as one hundred and four William Mackays, almost all of
them from Strathnaver, were in the corps, and seventeen in one company,
Captain Sackville Sutherland's.
The small clans of
Maclarens of Balquhidder in Perthshire, Macintyres of Argyle, Macreas of
Ross, Gunns of Sutherland, and several others, were not proprietors, but,
from the earliest history of the clans, till a very recent period,
occupied their lands in undisturbed succession.
In defining the divisions
and different territories on the Map, it was impossible to attain the
correctness of a measured plan; consequently, there are some large
estates, belonging to other proprietors, included in districts designated
as the territory of a particular clan; but I hope this outline will afford
a general, and tolerably correct, idea of the locality of the Highland
clans, and will tend to illustrate the Lord President Forbes's Memorial on
their Territories, Military Force, and Patronymics. As this document,
which will be seen in the Appendix, was drawn up in 1746 and 1747, the
divisions are in general made to suit that period. Thus the estates
attached to the Castles of Comrie and Shian, and the lands of Aberfeldy,
are included in the Country of Menzies, as they were in 1746, although
they are now the property of the Earl of Breadalbane. There have been many
other changes of property since that period, which it is unnecessary to
Note: I intend to get a proper scan of this
map but in the meantime this is a picture of it.
REFERENCES TO THE MAP OF
3. Sutherlands, including the Gunns, or Clan-Guinn.
4. Rosses; formerly, when the chiefs of this clan were Earls of Ross, they
possessed a large portion of the county.
6. Mackenzies, including their ancient followers, the Macraes, Maclennans,
7. Macleods. This clan formerly possessed the Island of Lewis, and the
district of Assynt, in the county of Ross.
8. Macdonalds of Sleate.
10. Macdonells of Glengarry.
11. Macdonald of Clanronald. [Although the chieftains of Macdonald are
separately numbered, agreeably to the President's Memorial, they form only
one clan. The branches of the Stewart family are likewise, numbered
separately, although they are but one clan. This applies to other clans
when the name is repeated.]
13. Macdonells of Keppoch.
16. Grant of Glenmoriston.
18. Mackintoshes, including the Macgillivrays, Macbeans, and Macqueens.
19. Grants of Grant.
20. Gordons. In Glenlivet, and in the Braes of Moray, Banff, and Aberdeen,
the Gordons, Stewarts, and Forbeses, are so intermixed, that their lands
cannot be separately classed.
22. Stewarts of Athole, including the Robertsons, Fergusons, Rattrays,
Spaldings; also the Stewarts of Grandtully.
24. Menzies. It has been mentioned that Glenquaich, and other parts of the
estate of Breadalbane, were the property of this clan. They have also been
for a long period superiors of part of Glenlyon. The Macdiarmids, in the
latter glen, are considered one of the most ancient names in the
26. Macgregors. This clan was once numerous in Balquhidder and Monteith,
also in Glenorchy, and they are still in great numbers in the district of
Fearnan, on the north side of Loch Tay,on the south side of Glenlyon,in
Fortingal,and on the north side of Loch Rannoch.
27. In Monteith and Strathearn, the Grahams, Stewarts, and Drummonds, are
intermixed in the same manner as the landholders and tenants in the Braes
of Banff and Aberdeen.
28. Buchanans. The lands of this clan formerly extended eastward to Kippen,
31. Stuarts of Bute.
32. Lamonts. This family formerly held considerable superiorities in
Knapdale and Cowal.
33. Maclachlans. The superiorities of this clan were also more extensive.
35. Campbells. The property of the chief, chieftains, and gentlemen of
this clan, extends from the south point of Kintyre, in Argyleshire, to the
district of Grandtully, in Perthshire, two miles below Tay Bridge. The
Lamonts, Maclachlans, Macnabs, and others, are occasionally intermixed,
but their lands bear a small proportion to the great tract of country
possessed or occupied by the clan Campbell. The extent of Lord
Breadalbane's property will be seen by glancing over the Map, from the
Island of Eisdale, in Argyleshire, to Grandtully Castle in Perthshire.
36. Macdougalls. The lands occupied by this clan are so scattered, that,
except the estate of the chief, and two others in his immediate
neighbourhood, they cannot be distinguished. The Macdougalls once
possessed the whole of the district of Lorn. These countries were
afterwards transferred to the Stewart family, and from them, by marriage,
to the Campbells.
37. Macdonalds of Glenco.
38. Stewarts of Appin.
39. Macleans, including the Macquarries. Morven on the Mainland, and part
of the Isle of Mull, now the property of the Duke of Argyle, was formerly
the inheritance of this clan.
40. MacNeills of Barra.
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