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Clan MacIain


Thanks to James Pringle Weavers for the following information

THE MACIAINS (MACDONALDS) OF ARDNAMURCHAN trace descent from Iain Sprangach (John the Bold), the 3rd son of Angus Mor of the Isles, and brother of Bruce's ally, Angus Og. His early affiliations appear to have been with the English cause and it is uncertain whether his original grant of Ardnamurchan came from the 'puppet' Baliol, or from his illustrious brother. The MacIains supported the Macdonald Lordship of the Isles until it was forfeited to the Crown in 1493, and their early history is largely merged with that of the principal family. Alexander, 3rd Chief,is said to have been killed while fighting with the Islesmen at Harlaw in 1411, while his son,John, was present with Donald Balloch at Inverlochy in 1431, after which he was awarded lands in Islay and Jura which were later confirmed by one of many royal charters granted in 1499 to John, 6th Chief, whose treacherous deeds against the Macdonalds of Dunnyveg and Sir Alexander MacDonald of Lochalsh, led to his death at the hands of his avenging kinsmen in 1518. The 8th Chief fought with his Clanranald kinsmen at Blar Leine in 1544 when Ranald Gallda was removed from the usurped chiefship of Clanranald. After the loss of their lands c.1618, through the duplicity of the Campbells, the fortunes of the Clan Iain declined until they were obliged seek to their fortunes elsewhere in Scotland. Some became involved in piratical acts but, by 1625, many had settled in Moidart under Clanranald, while others migrated East to Badenoch where, some years later, two graves were discovered in Kingussie said to be those of Alexander Macdonald, father and son, "Sometime representing the ancient family of Ardnamourach." This was dated 13th April,1719. TARTAN: The sett often sold as 'Macdonald of Ardnamurchan' is more usually named 'Mackeane' or 'MacIain'. It has also been attributed to the MacIain MacDonalds of Glencoe. Owing to the fact that it has also been identified in a portrait of Alastair Ruadh, 13th of Glengarry, it would perhaps be wisest to adopt the general 'Clan Donald' pattern. CREST: An eagle's head couped sable, beaked gules, between two wings erect of the first. . These arms were recorded in Lyon Court by Rev.William J. MacKain in 1905, as representer of the ancient, but dispersed, MacIains of Ardnamurchan.


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