Check all the Clans that have DNA Projects. If your Clan is not in the list there's a way for it to be listed. Electric Scotland's Classified Directory An amazing collection of unique holiday cottages, castles and apartments, all over Scotland in truly amazing locations.

History of the MacIntyre Clan
Part II - Mac Intyre History – c. 800 TO 2000 A.D.


Meaning of the Name
MacIntyre in Gaelic is Mac-an-t-Saoir and means Children of The Wright. In ancient Scotland, wright meant shipwright. Although, saoir also means carpenter, in Scotland there was no need for someone with special skills to build and furnish a simple Highland dwelling. Conversely, there was a clear need for the skills of a wright to build a seaworthy galley.1 This doesn’t mean that Scots who changed their name when they emigrated to England, always changed it to Wright. They may have very well changed it to Carpenter or Joiner, as they moved further south into England.

Traditional Origin Legends
When there is no written history, weight must be given to the stories passed down through the ages by clan bards and seanachies because these individuals were held in high esteem and were trusted with the solemn duty of preserving the history of their chiefs.2 Although many of these tales sound far fetched, we know that new clans and surnames were often established after a heroic act or acquisition of new territory through inheritance or warfare. These stories had common threads and were important enough to be told and retold. Assuming the legends are based on facts, or are allegories representing real events, the following summary seems reasonable.

At the beginning of the 2nd century, Conn of the Hundred Battles was the High King of Scotia.3 Cabris Riada, a grandson or nephew of Conn, established a colony in Argyll and the western islands. One of Cabris’s sons, Colla Uais maintained and enlarged this colony, called Dalriada. Clan Donald and Clan MacDougall claim to be direct male descendants of the Conn-Cabris-Colla line.

In the latter half of the 4th century, a great ruler in Ulster, Nial of the Nine Hostages, The O’Neill, came to the rescue of the Dalriada colony in their battle with the Picts. The MacNeils are the descendants of The O’Neill.

From 800A.D. to1100 A.D., the ancestors of those who would eventually be called MacIntyres, MacDonalds, MacDougalls, and MacNeils, lived on the islands west of Scotland.4 It was from these early times, before written history, that the first MacIntyre legends originated.

The Thumb Carpenter. The origin story favored by Duncan Ban MacIntyre, the Gaelic poet, concerns these earliest ancestors. As the story goes, an ancestor of a MacDonald living in Sleat, finding his boat about to sink from a leak, stuck his thumb in the hole, chopped it off and hammered it firm, so saving the boat and crew. For this heroic act, he was called the thumb carpenter or Saor-na-h-ordaig and, according to custom, his son was the first to be called Mac-an-t-Saoir, son of the carpenter. This story may have simply been Duncan Ban’s poetic license because an almost identical story is told of the illegitimate son of a MacDonald King, Fingal of Islay, who was then called the Thumb Carpenter and whose descendants were called Sons of the Wright. It is the MacDonald version of the story, which has given them the notion that MacIntyres are descendants of the MacDonalds.

Maurice MacNeil and Somerled. The second tale is later and the time it occurred can be accurately pinpointed. In the first half of the 12th century, a man named Somerled was the Thane of Argyll. Somerled claimed direct descent from Colla Uais in the male line but had Norse blood as well. Between 1100-1120, a sister of Somerled married a younger son of the MacNeil chief. From this union of a MacNeil and his "Colla" wife issued a son, Maurice, who was destined to be the progenitor of Clan MacIntyre. This story is recounted in Collectanea de Rebus Albanicis, c. 1450 and is the first MacIntyre legend to be found in print.5 Of course, 

1. The early Highland dwellings had stonewalls, thatched roofs, dirt floors, and minimal furniture.

being first isn’t proof of truth or accuracy, especially since it was written three centuries after the fact. While the account could be partly fictional, the marriage of Somerled to Ragnhild, daughter of Olav, was real and took place c.1140 A.D. It seems that Somerled wanted to wrest possession of the Western Isles from his Norse over ruler, Olav, King of Man, and the Western Isles. Somerled was not strong enough to do this by force so he tried a common alternative - marriage. He offered to support Olav in a raid on the English coast in return for the hand of Olav’s daughter, Ragnhild. Olav refused and Somerled had no choice but to go on the raid anyway.

This is where the story would have ended except Somerled had a nephew, Maurice MacNeil,1 who just happened to be Olav’s foster son.2 In this struggle for power, Maurice had to choose his uncle or to his foster father and he chose his blood relation, Somerled. Maurice devised a plan that took advantage of his being stationed on Olav’s galley. The night before they sailed, while everyone was feasting on the shore, Maurice secretly bored holes just above the waterline and plugged them with tallow. The fleet of galleys set sail in the morning and, as expected, they encountered rough seas just past the point of Ardnamurchan. The strong waves dislodged the tallow plugs in Olav’s ship and it began to sink. Faced with certain death, Olav called to Somerled’s galley for help and gave a solemn pledge of his daughter’s hand in marriage in return for his life. Once Olav was safely aboard Somerled’s galley, Maurice plugged the holes with wooden pegs he had made. For this cunning and heroic act, Maurice was called "The Wright or Saoir" and his descendants were called Mac-an-t-Saoir. 3 Olav died in 1053 and within a few years Somerled was King of the Isles. Sometime thereafter, Maurice "The Wright" became a clan chief and his son the first son of The Wright and Chief of Clan MacIntyre.4

False Origins
Books and commercial pamphlets on clan tartans and histories are replete with false explanations of the origin of Clan MacIntyre. They often contain a kernel of truth and some of the explanations even sound plausible, but so did the idea that the sun revolves around the earth. Nevertheless, these explanations are neither based on historical fact nor supported by the legends.

Trade Name. The most common, yet patently false, explanation is that MacIntyres are a clan of carpenters or shipwrights. In daily conversation, it was normal to refer to someone by his skill, like "John the Baker." However, clans were not trade groups or guilds. If MacIntyres were all shipwrights or carpenters, they would have been found all over Scotland instead of being concentrated in Argyll. This concentrated distribution continues to the present day. No one suggests that Clan MacNab (son of the abbot) was a clan of clergymen although its founder may have been one just as Maurice MacNeil may have been a shipwright.

Ecclesiastical. There were a number of famous Scoti ecclesiastics with the name, MacIntyre. The first to be recorded was Ciaran Mac-an-t-Saoir in 541. Later known as St. Ciaran, he founded the famous monastery of Clonmacnoise, near Athlone, Ireland and was called Mac an-t-Saoir simply because his father was a carpenter or artificicer (one who is skilled in building). St. Ciaran, who died without issue, could not have been the founder of a hereditary Clan MacIntyre.5 There was an added religious significance to their name because Jesus was the son of a carpenter. In the Gaelic New Testament (Matthew XIII, 55) you will find the question, in referring to Jesus, "Nach e so mac an t-saoir?" Is not this the carpenter’s son? Two hundred years later, 

1. Maurice is also referred to as Murdoch, and MacNeil as MacArill or O’Neill.
2. It was a common practice to exchange children (fostering) or marry into families to ensure peace where there might otherwise by enmity.
3. Bibliography 11, page 281.
4. Donald J. MacDonald of Castleton in his 1978 history, Clan Donald, takes his version of this story from an earlier history by the, so-called Sleat Seanachie. This history corroborates the Maurice MacNeil-Somerled story with one significant exception. His first reference to Maurice MacNeil is as a "skillful ship-wright" and a "Saor Sleibhteach (Sleat Carpenter)" who disabled Olav’s galley to achieve Somerled’s marriage to Ragnhild. However, when describing Somerled’s death, there is a second reference to a Maurice MacNeil described as "a near relative" who murdered Somerled for money or land! So, the seanachies of the Donalds give to the MacIntyres with one hand and takes with the other! However, neither the shipwright-hero Maurice nor the murdering relative, Maurice, would qualify MacIntyres as a sept of Clan Donald. There is some sense to the shipwright-hero story, since it would take the skill of a wright to quickly bore the holes in the correct location. For those who would like to think the worst and who love conspiracies, there is this possibility based on the tale by the Sleat Seanachie. In this scenario, Maurice would be both the nephew of Somerled and the skillful shipwright. After developing and executing a daring plan to secure Ragnhild for his uncle, Somerled failed to reward the "Sleat Wright" as promised. After waiting for 14 years for his reward, Maurice accepted a promised of land from King Malcolm III in return for delivering Somerled to him. According to the Donald historian, Maurice murdered his Uncle Somerled but when Somerled’s corpse was kicked by one of the King’s men, Maurice killed the soldier for dishonoring his dead Uncle. Despite this second murder, King Malcolm III fulfilled his promise to Maurice and gave him his reward. Could this have been Glenoe and could King Malcolm III be the king (as told by Duncan Ban) who gave the MacIntyre chiefs their coat of arms? Now that would be some story! Are there two Maurice MacNeils or only one? Surely, we shall never know.
5. Nevertheless, it would have been possible for St. Ciaran to be the founder since the Celtic Church permitted clerics to marry and have families.

in 762, another Ciaran Mac an-t-Saoir was Abbot of Eanach Dhu in the north of Ireland and just a few years later in 773 a Conall Mac an-t-Saoir was named an Abbot of Beannchair. Again, three hundred years, in 1029, another Irish cleric, Mael Brighde was called Mac an-t-Saoir. By this time, it appears that Mac an-t-Saoir had become a sort of title within the Church, to denote wisdom or to venerate St. Ciaran, rather than being a family name.1 Finally, in 1268 there was Michael Mac an-t-Saoir who was Bishop of Clogher in Tryone. Mac an-t-Saior was his family name, but there is no evidence that it was a clan name.

Territorial. Some references falsely state that MacIntyres are descended from MacDonalds of Kintyre. Indeed, there was a MacDonald of Cean-Tire (pronounced Kintyre and meaning headland) because he possessed land in Kintyre. This MacDonald had a son with land near Ben Cruachan and he was known as Donald Mac-Cein-Teire-Cruachan. While this derivation has an English language, "sounds-like" plausibility, the Gaelic spelling is completely different. With few exceptions, clan names were not derived from place names except to distinguish branches of the same clan e.g. Stewart of Appin vs. Stewart of Atholl.

Where From and Where To?

Because the name MacIntyre, was easily derived as the son of a wright or carpenter, it is certainly possible that it could have developed independently in Ireland and Scotland, just as it is also possible that after it was established in Scotland, the name came back to Ireland during multiple waves of immigration from Scotland.

In about 300 A.D., the Scoti came from northeast Ireland to colonized Argyll and the Western Islands including Sleat. These people would have included the ancestors of the MacIntyres as well as the MacDonalds, MacDougalls, and MacNeils. At that time, these clans were not known by these names, with the possible exception of the MacNeils.2 In fact, the use of surnames did not develop until c. 1000. The MacIntyre oral tradition places the homeland of the ancestors of Clan MacIntyre in Sleat at the southern tip of the Isle of Skye. There are two legends about how the MacIntyre’s arrived on the mainland and eventually at Glenoe.

Two Brothers.3,4 Two brothers - one the ancestor of the MacDonalds and the other the ancestor of the MacIntyres - sailed in their galleys from one of the northern islands of Skye. When in sight of the mainland they agreed that the country should be named and owned by the one who should first touch it. They were pretty well matched sailing side by side. When they were nearing the shore, Donald was ahead but his boat sprung a leak. In order to win, he stuck his finger in the hole, cut it off with his dirk, and continued sailing.5 Upon seeing that he was about to lose, the other brother, the Saoir or Wright, cut off his left hand and threw it on the land, thereby claiming first possession. A similar story is found in the MacDonald legends, and before that in the Irish Scoti legends. Let us hope that these heroic amputations were merely allegories representing the separation of the cousins or twins into separate clans.6

Second Sight and Mountain Spirits. An ancestor of the MacIntyres lived in Sleat and was constantly harassed by Viking raids. After one such raid, a white cow was spared, having been overlooked in the snow. In desperation, he sought advice from an old lady gifted with second-sight.7 She told him that he would find peace and happiness if he left Sleat and settled his family where the cow would first lie down after landing. MacIntyre, his wife, two sons, and the white cow (who fortunately was in calf) left Sleat in a galley and landed on the mainland. The well-known Gaelic poet, Ailein Dall of Glencoe said:

MacIntyres were bold, hardy, and fleet,
Though they lost what belonged to the Clan when in Sleat

The Wright arrived on the mainland with his family at a place called Cown-na-Gara 9 where they stayed quite a few years until their white cattle became so numerous that they had to find a place with more pasture. 

1. Analysis by John MacLaughlin and Brian McIntyre (Internet correspondents).
2. It is said that we all have a common ancestor named Adam who lived in the Garden of Eden; yet, we all don’t have the surname MacAdam, unless we have the time and knowledge to recite the names of each generation back to Adam and Eve.
3. From an unpublished manuscript dated 1852, by James, fifth Chief of Record.
4. Bibliography
5. When Clan Donald tell this story it is the ancestor of the MacIntyres who cuts off his thumb (hence the thumb carpenter) and it is the ancestor of the Donalds who cuts off his hand and wins the land. In the Donald’s version the land is Sleat and the MacIntyres have to seek land elsewhere.
6. There are multiple versions of the thumb and hand story with opposing views as to who cut off a hand or thumb and whether is was the right or left. This would change who won the race and claimed the land. The stories also vary as to what land they were trying to reach, Ireland or Sleat or Glenoe.
7. Traditionally Scots have been believers in spirits, fairy-lore, and second-sight.
8. I need the reference to this poem.
9. The location of Cown-na-Gara is unknown.

Arriving at the side of Ben Cruachan on Loch Etiveside, they tried to drive their cattle through several passes but were each time prevented by the Mountain Spirit.1 They persevered until the spirit finally let them pass through an opening (larig) to Glenoe, a beautiful rich grazing valley northeast of the mountain. The Spirit told them to stop and build their house where the cow should first lie down.

In another version, theMacIntyres first landed on the mainland at Bagh-na-Torrach (castle bay) near Dunollie (Fort of Olav) and then followed the shores of Loch Etive until they came to Ben Cruachan. At first, the Mountain Spirit turned them back but let it be made known that it was not from ill will that he repulsed them. He then told them that if they went to the other side of the mountain they would find a habitation where they could settle under his guardianship.2It was to be called, Glenoe.

The legends suggest that the ancestors of the MacIntyres came from the islands off the western shore of Scotland and eventually to Glenoe on the mainland. Combining the legends with known historical facts, gives credence to the idea that around 1150 Clan MacIntyre was formed by Maurice MacNeil, The Wright. We can also be fairly sure that by 1314 there was a recognized Clan MacIntyre, because pipers identified by the Menzies as MacIntyres led them into battle for King Robert the Bruce at Bannockburn.3Supplying hereditary pipers to another clan suggests that MacIntyres were a well-established clan that existed for many generations before 1314. In dealing with traditions such as these, one must give or take a couple of hundred years.4 This scenario gives ample time for the large body of legends to develop and age, like a fine single-malt Scotch in a seasoned oak barrel.


MacIntyre Falls on the River Noe at Glenoe, September 1994

Meadow at Glenoe on Lochetiveside

Cairn at Glenoe to the memory of MacIntyre Chiefs and Chieftains

(Illustration – Map)

Glenoe and the surrounding area



The spot where the cow first lay down to rest was at Glenoe, Loch Etiveside, at the base of Ben Cruachan. The place is still known as Larach-na-ba-Baine, meaning the Site of the White Cow. Glenoe is about three miles long by three broad on the north face of Ben Cruachan. In Gaelic, Glenoe is Glenna Nodha meaning speckled or brindled valley. 5 The origin of this name suggests a variety in the color of the trees including the yew and alder trees that could give this speckled appearance when seen from a distance. 6 Snow from the corries of Ben Cruachan feed the River Noe, which runs down the west side of the glen. Two-thirds of the way down is a beautiful waterfall, which is nameless on the survey map. I have taken the liberty of naming it MacIntyre Falls. Where the River Noe enters Loch Etive, is called Invernoe. Going along the shoreline toward the head of Loch Etive, one comes upon a small meadow where sheep may be grazing. Near the shore is a mound of stones, a memorial cairn that was raised in 1976 to honor the MacIntyre Chiefs. Over the years, visitors have added stones to the cairn from a ready supply on the shore and it has become so large that it is identified on the official 2000 ordinance survey map. Continuing along the shore is a small jetty followed closely by forested hillock covered with alder trees. On the other side of the hillock is a stone house built in1858. This may have been the site of Larach-na-ba-Baine, where the Chief built his first dwelling. Another possible site is 

1. Bibliography 13, page 198?
2. According to Alexander James MacIntyre of Inveraray, Argyll.
3. From the Red and White Book of Menzies page 52 on the Battle of Bannockburn, Monday 24, June 1314. "In front of them (the Menzies) were played the bagpipes by their hereditary pipers, the MacIntyres."
4. Assuming 25 years per generation, the year 1314 would be twenty-eight generations ago and 1150 would be eight generations more, for a total of thirty-four generations.
5. This is only one definition of the meaning of Noe or Nodha, but it makes the most sense to the author. Other meanings ascribed by various authors are: new, verdant, virgin, and north. All of these definitions could apply, since the glen was at one time new to the inhabitants with a green, virgin forest and it is on the North side of Ben Cruachan. However, at one time these other definitions would have applied to thousands of Scotland’s many glens. The special coloration of the variety of trees that were once abundant in this small glen could have inspired the name, Glenoe.
6. When viewed from above on Ben Cruachan or from the other side of Loch Etive.

the remains of a stone structure a short distance up the glen. This ruin could have been a holding pen for livestock but the Highland house served both man and beasts on cold winter nights.1

Loch Etive
Loch Etive is a narrow sea loch2 that enters the Firth of Lorn next to Loch Linnhe. Loch Etive is easy to see on a map because it looks like a bird in flight, a boomerang, or a bent arm depending on your imagination. It is a sea loch, which means it has both fresh and salt water. The fresh water comes from small rivers and streams that enter along its shoreline, starting at its head, Inveretive, where the River Etive enters the loch. Another major source of fresh water is at the elbow (Inverawe), where the River Awe discharges into Loch Etive.

The salt water in Loch Etive comes from a unique opening to the sea at Connel. Twice a day, as the tide comes in, the salty seawater rushes over a natural rock dam into Loch Etive creating the Falls of Lora. Boats and sea life can enter and exit only during the few hours of high tide. The presence of seawater is evidenced by the seals sunbathing on rocky islands in the middle of Loch Etive and sheep eating seaweed on the shoreline.

Ben Cruachan
At 3689 feet, Ben Cruachan is the tallest mountain in Argyll. The large cup-shaped depression on the northwest side above Glenoe is probably from a glacial flow as the ice receded to the North at the end of the last Ice Age. It is from Ben Cruachan’s snow pack that the River Noe originates and flows down to Loch Etive. Even in the early summer, you can find snow deep in the crevices that never see the light of day. Viewed from the south or north, the distinctive twin peaks of Ben Cruachan were formed long before man arrived.In Gaelic, Cruachan mean pointed or conical. With Ben Cruachan on one side and Loch Etive on the other, Glenoe was fairly well protected from the prying eyes of both strangers and neighbors.


The First MacIntyres
We can’t verify when the first MacIntyres arrived in Glenoe or even if they were known as MacIntyres. Various accounts place the MacIntyre settlement of Glenoe from as early as c.800 A.D. The oldest written surviving contemporary document is from 1556 and it refers to an event involving MacIntyres in 1440 at Glenorchy, on the other side of Ben Cruachan from Glenoe. We do know that MacIntyres eventually lived at Glenoe on Loch Etiveside and in the adjoining glens where they were probably the hereditary foresters to those who ruled Lorn. It is likely that the 1314 pipers for the Menzies originally came from Glenoe.

The only information by a member of the Chief’s family is a statement by Mary MacIntyre, a surviving younger sister of the MacIntyre Chief, James (III). She said, "James McIntyre of Gleno . . . with his predecessors … resided upon the farm at Gleno for about 700 years past . . ."4 This is the only account of a member of a MacIntyre Chief’s family that states the approximate length of time that MacIntyres were in Glenoe. She could have said any number of years but she said 700, which would take us back to the 1100s, exactly when Somerled ruled Argyll and could have given Glenoe as a reward to Maurice MacNeil, The Wright. Coll MacDonald of Dalness, 5 a Writer to the Signet6 Signet6 in Edinburgh, said he found documents in the Lyon Registry Office showing that the MacIntyres had occupied Glenoe for upwards of 1000 years. The poem in the dedication to this book says that the apple tree and MacIntyres of Glenoe are the oldest farmers in Scotland, which suggests an early origin. For those who would like to imagine what it might have been like to be a MacIntyre living at Glenoe c. 800-1200 A.D., Alexander James MacIntyre has written an unfinished 

1. The Glenoe property is presently owned by Mr. Heriot-Maitland.
2. A sea loch is subject to tidal changes and the Falls of Lora is a tidal fall created by a rocky area at the narrow mouth of the loch where it enters the sea. When the tide is out, the rocks are a visible barrier to entering or leaving the loch. When the tide comes in, the seawater rushes over the rocks creating the Falls of Lora. At high tide, the water level is above the top of the falls and it is possible to see how small boats can cross in and out over the falls if the boat’s draft is shallow. When the crossing hasn’t been timed correctly with the tides, the results have been disastrous with foundering of the boat and loss of life.
3. Kin are relatives by blood or marriage. They include those who came before (ancestors) and those who came after (descendents). Kith are unrelated neighbors.
4. From an appeal for assistance to Lord Glenorchy in 1810.
5. In 1962, the author (L.D. MacIntyre) saw the tomb of Coll MacDonald of Dalness surrounded by an iron fence and padlocked in the fashion of that period to discourage grave robbers seeking cadavers to sell to medical students for dissection.
6. A judicial officer who prepares warrants, writs, etc; originally a clerk in the office of the Secretary of State.

historical novel based on the stories he was told as a child by his grandmother and great-aunt. Here is a brief excerpt from the story, which is in Part V:

The Tale of the Mystic Brindled Stone

Chapter I - Introduces the reader to three of the principal characters

Alert and eagerly the man and boy searched the rock-strewn shore near high water mark. Now, at the water’s edge, each followed his own path, never uttering a word. They both carried long cromacks in their hands, which they used with a peculiar twist to turn over large stones or to search below the sea tangle. It was evident that a very diligent search was being made for something which they knew was there but was seemingly very difficult to find. Behind them right to the shore stretched the impenetrable Caledonian Forest, tall firs, birches, and ancient oaks mingling together in a confused mass. Complete solitude and utter desolation were it not that in the distance, rising above the trees, could be seen a slight wisp of blue wood smoke almost obscured by the mist, proclaiming that even in the midst of this wilderness of forest, mountain and sea, cosy fires burned to welcome the wanderers home. The short winter’s day was fast drawing to a close; the note of the sea bird’s cry had changed. No longer was the search for food possible; their cry was the roosting cry as they settled to rest in sheltered corners of the shore. Down the steep sides of Cruachan echoes the sharp bark of the she-wolf gathering the pack before setting out to their nightly hunting ground. The searchers continued on their quest (continue in Part V. Legends and Stories)

In studying a Scottish clan, you can go both forward and backwards from the time of the person identified as the progenitor. For the MacIntyres, that person is Maurice MacNeil, The Wright, and the time is c.1150 A.D. The legend of Maurice and Somerled explains how a new chief and clan could be peacefully established on territory already under Somerled’s control. It is important to trace the blood relationships before the time of Somerled in order to understand what happened afterwards.

The table, MacIntyre Ancestors, shows the blood relationships before the clans were formed under their present names. This demonstrates that MacIntyres are cousins to the MacDonalds and MacDougalls on the female side prior to establishment of these names as independent clans. Their common ancestor was Gillebride, father of Somerled, who was paternal grandfather of Dougal (MacDougall), maternal grandfather of Maurice, The Wright (MacIntyre) and paternal great grandfather of Donald (MacDonald). This makes sense of the story about the boat race between the ancestors of the MacDonalds and the MacIntyres but instead of the story being titled "Two Brothers," it should be "Two Cousins." MacIntyres are also cousins to the MacNeils on the male side.

In discussing the origins of Clan MacIntyre, Duncan McIntyre of Australia uses the most conservative criteria -- only what can be safely stated without direct denial. He concludes that Clan MacIntyre developed parallel with the MacDonalds, and therefore, not as their sept or branch. He dates the beginning of Clan MacIntyre as "...not later than 1400", because he feels sure there was a Clan MacIntyre at the beginning of the 1400s, but he feels he can’t accurately say how much earlier. Of course, this does not rule out the possibility that it could be c.1150, in keeping with the Somerled connection, espoused by other clan historians. The location of the Thumb Carpenter legend on the Isle of Skye and its allegorical nature suggests an even earlier origin but there is no way to prove it or date it. The most plausible argument against an earlier date is the fact that Clans Donald and MacDougall were named after ancestors living in the 1100s.

table 1. One Version of the MacIntyre Ancestry

MacIntyre Cadets
After a clan became established, there were situations in which it became necessary or desirable to form a cadet or branch. Cadets were headed by a younger son of the chief who wanted to establish his own identity or had acquired his own land through marriage or inheritance. If this occurred more than once, the first cadet is referred to as the senior cadet and the later ones as junior cadets. Cadets are within the heraldic system and require the same process of recognition and documentation of inheritance. The head of a cadet is usually called a chieftain or representer.

The House of Camus-na-h-Erie is the senior cadet of Glenoe and is presently in its seventeenth generation. It originated before written records when a younger son of an unnamed MacIntyre chief moved to Loch Leven and established himself as a cadet of the House of Glenoe. The Lord Lyon, King of Arms, recognized the Camus-na-h-Erie cadet in 1955 when he awarded Arms to Alastair MacIntyre, as sixteenth Chieftain of the senior cadet of Glenoe.

The House of Stranmore is reputedly the Glenorchy cadet of Glenoe that produced Duncan Ban MacIntyre, the famous MacIntyre Gaelic poet, and James Alexander MacIntyre, a clan historian/storyteller in the first half of the twentieth century. This cadet has not been recognized by the Lyon Court and has no known living descendant.

The House of Etive, if it actually ever existed, would have been located at Dalness near the site of the encampment of Deirdre of the Sorrows. This cadet is not recognized by the Lyon Court and has no known living descendant.

MacIntyre Septs
All of the reasons for calling a group a sept of a clan apply to septs of Clan MacIntyre. In this second edition, Wrightson has been added the list of septs because it means, son of the wright. Of course, Wrightson or Wright could be of English origin, but if the family originated in Scotland, the presumption is that they are MacIntyres. Well-known septs will be discussed with the stories associated with their origin and existence.

MacIntyres of Glenorchy. Glenorchy is on the other side of Ben Cruachan, southeast of Glenoe and north of Loch Awe. Whether they were a sept or a cadet of Clan MacIntyre is not known at this time. However, we do know that they were a large enough to have their own identity and tartan. They were also known as Clan Teir and from a feudal standpoint were under the sway of Campbell of Glenorchy. There is a question as to whether Clan Teir was synonymous with Clan MacIntyre of Glenoe. Even if they owed a feudal allegiance to Glenorchy, they still owed their Gaelic family allegiance to MacIntyre of Glenoe.

A feudal superior held the power of life and death over his subjects. Lord Glenorchy, when he became the Earl of Breadalbane, held court at Taymouth Castle where he gave summary judgment of guilt, which could be quickly executed, from The Hanging Tree. There is an entry in The Black Book of Taymouth1 regarding Clan Teir under date of June 4, 1556. This agreement, called a Bond, was a written confirmation of an oral agreement made between 1410 and 1453. It states that during the minority of King James I or II,2 a person known as Johne Boy M`Ynteir committed cruel slaughter of Johne M`Gillenlag, a foster brother of Sir Colin Campbell of Glenorchy. As punishment, Lord Glenorchy decided that Clan Teir must elect him and his heirs as their feudal chiefs and masters. One hundred and sixteen years later, on June 4, 1556, a meeting was held at the Castle of Glenorchy to have Clan Teir ratify this bond in writing and to pledge to keep the peace. Present as witnesses were the chiefs of two neighboring clans, Alexander Menzies of Rannoch and John MacGregor of MacGregor.3


Duncan M’Olcallum, V’ane V yntere, Gillecrist M’Corkill V Inteir, Johne M’Corkill V. Ynteir, Torkill M’Ane V Inteir, Johne Glas M’Olvorie V. Inteir, and Johne M’Ewin V.Oldouuycht V Inter

. . .foresamekill as our predecessouris for the tyme happinit to commit slauchter upon wmquhile [the late] Sir Colyne Campbell of Glenurquhay, knycht in the minority and less aige of Kyng James the First in the cruel slauchter of ane fostir brothir of the said Sir Colyn callit John M’Gillenlag for sythment and recompens of the said slauchtir our saidis predecessouris to eschew the hatrint and pirsute of the said Sir Colyn deliverit to hym ane of the principile committaris of the said slaughter callit Johne Boy M’Ynteir to be pwnesit at the will of the said Sir Colyne. And may rouer that thai and thair posterite mycht remaine in favouris of the said Sir Colyne electit and tuke hymn and his airis for thair chieffis and masteris … and ….. gev …. to the said Colyn and his airis thair calpis … quhilkis calpis the said Sir Colyne Sir Duncan Campbell of Glenurquhay knycht his sone that decessit at Flowdown and all utheris lardis of Glenurquhay sen syne tuk lirk wp: the Said Clan Teir of new ratify the said Bond in favour of Colyne now of Glenurquhay. Dated at the castle of Glenurquhaybefore witnesses Alexander Menzis of Rannoch, Johne M’Conachy Gregour, John M’Conachy Roy, and Sir Malcum M"Gillequhonill

4 June 1556

1. Bibliography #, p 167
2. Two individuals have made copies of the original document and after the name "King James" one has "the [blank} and the other has "the First." If it was King James I then it was from age one in 1395 to 1413 at age 18, and if it was James II then it was between 1431 and 1448. The significance of this is discussed in the body of the text.
3. The 1556 meeting was most unusual because the representatives of Clan Teir were being held accountable for a crime committed at least 116 years and four to six generations earlier!

The following is a non-literal (but hopefully accurate) translation.

Duncan son of Malcolm son of Joh MacIntyre, Gillecrist son of Torkill MacIntyre, John son of Torkill MacIntyre, and Torkill son of John MacIntyre, and grey-haired John son of Olvorie MacIntyre, and John son of Ewan son of Oldouycht MacIntyre,

For our ancestors, who in the minority of King James I, committed a crime against the late Sir Colin Campbell of Glenorchy, by killing his foster brother, John MacGillenlag, and to compensate for this crime and to relieve the hatred and pursuit of Sir Colin, our ancestors delivered to him the main perpetrator, called John Boy M’Ynteir, to be punished at the will of Sir Colin. And moreover, (agreed) that they and their descendents would remain in favor of Sir Colin and elect and take him and his heirs for their chiefs and masters and give to Sir Colyn and his heirs death duty, the same death duty that Colin, Sir Duncan Campbell of Glenorchy, his son who died at Flodden, and all other Lords of Glenorchy have required since then; the said Clan Teir renews this Bond in favor of Colin, now of Glenorchy. Dated at the Castle of Glenorchy before witnesses Alexander Menzies of Rannoch, John M’Conachy Gregour, and Johne M’Conachy Roy, and Sir Malcolm M’Gillequhonill. 4 June 1556

There is a story that may be connected to this event and could explain why there were so many MacIntyres in the Campbell territories of Glenorchy. The story is about Duncan, a MacIntyre Chief of Glenoe, whose two sons drove their white cattle from Glenoe to Tyndrum, in Glenorchy. They were planning to sell the cattle to some Campbells but a dispute arose in which one or more Campbells were killed. One of the punishments was an annual death duty that was not specified but may have been the snowball and white calf. But there was a more onerous punishment -- the MacIntyre chief’s two adult sons and their families were required to live in Glenorchy under the thumb of the Campbells! WARNING: The rest of this story is in Part V and has a "PG" rating. It is somewhat gruesome and parents should read it first to determine if it is suitable for their children.

This story and the Bond to Lord Glenorchy both deal with the relationship between the MacIntyres and the Campbells. Since the Bond is the first that identifies a Clan Teir or MacIntyre, three writers, Alexander James MacIntyre, L. D. MacIntyre, and Duncan McIntyre, have analyzed its significance with varied interpretations. Each variation will be summarized followed by a fourth one by this author.

In 1936, Alexander of Inveraray copied the Bond in long hand from the original document. He was also the writer who recounted the story of Chief Duncan of Glenoe and his two sons, as told to him by his father.. He treats the story and the Bond as two versions of the same events. Alexander copied that it was during the minority of King James the First (between 1395 – 1412). At that time, MacIntyres at Glenoe were not under the territorial or judicial control of the Campbells. Nevertheless, the Campbells apparently were able to insist on a death duty (calps) to atone for this killing by MacIntyres. Even then, possession was nine parts of the law and they probably possessed the Chief’s sons, which Johne Boy was able to escape. The Bond say that Johne Boy was the primary perpetrator, and the legend suggests that the Chief’s sons were involved and their punishment was permanent house arrest in Glenorchy for them, and their families. Alexander felt that the calps referred to in the Bond may have been the snowball and fatted calf on Midsummer’s Day between Glenoe and Glenorchy at the pass near the summit of Ben Cruachan. Alexander made no mention of the continuing obligation of man-rent or the loss of MacIntyre’s independence or MacIntyres becoming a sept of the Campbells. He does say that this incident was the beginning of the Glenorchy MacIntyres and in a separate place said that it was the end of any chance for MacIntyres to become a powerful Clan. He also tells a number of stories that indicate MacIntyre independence and mutual mistrust between the MacIntyres and the Campbells. In one of these, Donald Fraich (Duncan’s second son and eventually a Chief) was insulted by the Campbells when he delivered the snowball and calf and he never deliver it again. This would have been less than one generation after the death duty was imposed.

In 1987, L. D. MacIntyre used Alexander’s text, but came to a somewhat different conclusion. First, he did not connect the Bond with the Legend of Duncan and his sons. He said that "some of the MacIntyres forfeited their allegiance to the Chief Glen, but while the word Chief is used in the bond, it could be construed to mean that this is a bond of man-rent . . ." This was why Archibald MacIntyre fought along side Sir Colin Campbell at Flodden and brought back his body. He doesn’t acknowledge that Clan Teir is the same as Clan MacIntyre but by putting their under MacIntyres of Glenorchy as in this edition as well, is suggesting that Clan Teir is a Glenorchy sept and the main Clan MacIntyre, is in Glenoe. This interpretation permits the MacIntyes of Glenoe to remain independent while the MacIntyres of Glenorchy may have lost their independence by becoming a sept of Clan Campbell.

In 1991, Duncan MacIntyre of Australia, asserted that the Bond meant that the MacIntyre Chief of Glenoe forfeited his clan’s independence in favor of Clan Campbell, and thenceforth, Glenoe would have only have been a chieftain of a sept of Clan Campbell. This is based on the use of the word chief in describing the relationship of Lord Glenorchy to the members of Clan Teir. It also is based on the assumption that Clan Teir is synonymous with Clan MacIntyre of Glenoe. The bond of man-rent would have required the MacIntyres of Glenorchy and Glenoe to furnish men upon demand to the Lords of Glenorchy.1 It is a matter of record that MacIntyres did fight in the Clan Battles in 1445 and at the Battle of Flodden in 1513. Finally, Duncan of Australia read the original Bond and his copy has one major difference from Alexander’s copy. Where Duncan’s says, "King James the [blank]", Alexander has "Kyng James the First." Duncan feels certain that it was James II and not James I, based on other historical facts, specifically, the date of the first Lord Glenorchy(1432). King James II was in his minority from 1431 to 1448, which would suggest James II. It is also on the basis that Glenoe became a part of Lord Glenorchy’s holdings by 1457 and the Lordship of Lorn became Campbell in 1469.

In 2001, six hundred years after the event, and 450 years after the document was signed, I (the author of the second edition) will make yet another attempt to explain the relationship between the MacIntyres and the Campbells by using the Bond, the legends, historical facts, logic and common sense as guides. There are important questions to be answered. Was the first name on the Bond the name of the MacIntyre Chief (chieftain) of Glenoe? Did his ancestor forfeit the clan’s independence? and if yes, when? after the murders in the 1400s or only after the Bond was signed in 1556? Was Clan Teir synonymous with Clan MacIntyre? Was there a direct connection between the events cited in the Bond and the Legend of Chief Duncan? Why was a written document required for something that the parties agreed happened more than one hundred years earlier and had been faithfully adhered to since that time? Finally, was this event during the time of the minority of James I or James II? Let’s start with the last question first.

Whether it occurred in the minority of James I or II is very important in determining what actually happened and perhaps why a written document was needed over one hundred years later, in 1556. The answer to this question can be further defined by the fact that the person who was murdered was the foster brother of Sir Colin Campbell, the aggrieved party listed in the Bond. We know that Sir Colin could not be born before????. We can assume that his foster brother was younger than he and was of an age when he might be hot headed (16 to 20) and thought he should be shown deference by the older, but less well connected, MacIntyres. The question is, could this have occurred before 1412 or after 1431 and if both, which is more likely? Based on the birth date of Sir Colin and the likely age of his foster brother being over sixteen and under thirty, it is highly unlikely ,if not altogether impossible, for it to be during the minority of King James I. If James II, then the original agreement was under the jurisdiction of Lord Glenorchy who was installed in 1432 and the likely date for the altercation and agreement would be c.1440. Even in 1440, Lord Glenorchy did not have control over Glenoe, which was still under the jurisdiction of the Stewarts of Lorn. This might have been reason enough for the Lord Glenorchy in 1556 to decide to "put it in writing" now that he controlled both Glenoe and Glenorchy. He might have also wanted to force other Clans that bordered on and had prior claims to Glenorchy (especially the MacGregors) to be witness and therefore warned of the consequences if they were to get out of line (as if they needed to be reminded). Why the document was [blank] is not known but it may be possible to check if the size of the blank space is more consistent with the five letter word, "First" or six letter word, "Second."

There are things that can be extrapolated from the Bond, that aren’t controversial or muddled. For example, at the time of the murder, there was a distinction between Glenoe and Glenorchy. It speaks of handing over the principle perpetrator, which means he escaped to a place from which he needed to be extradited (Glenoe?) 

1. In 1595, MacDonald of Keppoch, because he was on the losing side of a battle, had to enter into a bond of service and protection with Campbell of Argyll and surrender his son Angus to ensure compliance. This lasted only two years, the time that the balance of power was in Argyll’s favor.

It also seems curious that in 1556, the Bond makes no mention of Glenoe or a chief/chieftain but it does mention Clan Teir. This suggests that Clan Teir may have been separate from or only a sept of Clan MacIntyre back in 1440 and still in 1556. Finally, there is no evidence that after 1556, MacIntyres from Glenoe were required to fight for the Campbells although MacIntyres of Glenorchy seemed to have done so. It is my conclusion that there was a murder c.1440 involving the MacIntyres of Glenoe and the Campbells of Glenorchy. That MacIntyres were detained in Glenorchy and held accountable for this murder, possibly by house arrest (as in the legend) and certainly by death duties (probably the snowball and fatted calf). The death duty was delivered by the MacIntyre Chief or his heir, on Mid Summer’s Day at the border of Glenoe and Glenorchy. That for an indeterminate period, MacIntyres in Glenorchy and perhaps Glenoe were required to fight at the call of Lord Glenorchy. Finally, these requirements, did not alter the position of the Glenoe, as the Gaelic Chief of Clan MacIntyre. Other than the 1556 Bond, to this present day Clan Campbell has never claimed Clan MacIntyre as one of their septs, and there is no other evidence in the historical documents of Clan Campbell that MacIntyres are their sept.

The 1556 Bond to Glenorchy has some significant historical meaning. First, it is evidence that MacIntyres, or a sept of the MacIntyres, were recognized as a distinct clan as early as 1440 and undoubtedly much earlier. Second, it indicates that they had a significant number of able-bodied men who the Campbells wanted to be on their side in times of trouble. Finally, the need for this document and the attendant meeting, show the importance of MacIntyres to the Campbells.

It has been said that the MacIntyres of Glenorchy, at the height of their strength, could produce 200-300 fighting men. There was occasion to test their prowess when Sir John Campbell of Glenorchy (1635-1716), known as John Glas or Grey, had a dispute with the heir of George Sinclair, sixth Earl of Caithness, whose name and arms he had seized upon Sinclair's death as a settlement of debt. To enforce his claim he sent the fiery cross around Loch Tay to assemble the clansmen to make good his claims. The test of qualification for this expedition was the ability of each man, with full equipment and in marching order, to leap over a double plaid -- a height of 4 feet 9 inches. After this rigorous selection, Sir John had an army of 700 to 800 men with which he invaded Caithness and dispossessed Sinclair of Keiss, the lawful successor.1

There is an old song,2 composed in 1677 on the defeat of the Sinclairs near Wick, in which the MacIntyres are singled out for distinction. The English translation is as follows:

Glenorchy's bold MacIntyres, true shots that will not miss,
Bullets sure hitting that fast slay the carles
There where the river bends, arrows fast pierced you quick,
Many's the house-head that rests without waking.

The full song contains a derisive remark about the Sinclairs – they, being on horseback, wore trews (trousers).

Duncan McIntyre‘s Clan history contains a report by Alexander James MacIntyre of Inveraray, an earlier historian, that there is an unrecognized MacIntyre cadet of Glenoe in Glenorchy called, the House of Stranmore. Among it clansmen were the 18th century Highland bard, Duncan Ban MacIntyre, who will be discussed in detail in Part IV.

MacIntyres of Badenoch. As a rule, those who sought the protection of Clan Campbell were absorbed into the clan and frequently were forced to change their name to Campbell. Examples of this are Clan MacIver, and the MacEacherns of Craignish who were originally a branch of the MacDonalds of the Isles, yet all became Campbells. To avoid such a fate, the Clan Chattan Confederation officially came into being in 1337. It consisted of the MacIntoshes3 and the MacPhersons plus smaller clans who, over the years, joined the confederation for mutual strength and defense without sacrificing their individual identities. An example of this was Bard MacIntyre who, in the year 1496 or 1497, fled the Camerons and sought the protection of William, 13th Chief of Clan MacIntosh, and 14th Chief of Clan Chattan. This family of MacIntyres became the hereditary bards of Clan Chattan while remaining a sept of the MacIntyres of Glenoe. The MacIntyres of Badenoch prospered with land on the sides of Loch Laggan and were the last clan to be admitted to the Clan 

1. Note: Upon "gross and false representation Sir John Campbell of Glenorchy was created Earl of Caithness, Viscount of Breadalbane, etc. with `the name and arms of Sinclair'". King Charles II annulled the patent and reconfirmed Sinclair of Keiss. In 1681 Sir John was issued a new patent as Earl of Breadalbane, Lord Glenorchy, etc. but not Earl of Caithness, though he married George Sinclair's widow in that hope!
2. In L.D.’s earlier research regarding the MacIntyres of Glenorchy, he found a statement that their marching song was The Bold Bad MacIntyre, but the song quoted above is the only reference that he have found that might give color to that assumption.
3. Clan Chattan was a clan in its own right and continues to this day. However, a daughter inherited the chiefship and when she married the MacIntosh Chief, their son embodied two chiefships, Chattan and MacIntosh. When other clans began to associate themselves with Chattan, it became a confederation of clans, many of who had no blood relation to Chattan or MacIntosh.

Chattan Confederation, as No. 16, Clan Intier. MacIntyres are still a member of the Clan Chattan Confederation.

MacIntyres of Craignish. These MacIntyres lived in the same area as the MacEacherns who were mentioned previously as becoming Campbells. The MacIntyres kept their identity even though they were under the necessity of signing a bond of man-rent in 1612 to Campbell of Barrichbyan. This obligated them to give service in time of trouble. While they were, strictly speaking, feudal dependents of the Campbells, they were still a sept of Clan MacIntyre. Malcolm, who signed the bond of man-rent, signed for Clanntyre Vc Coshem as Malcolm M'Donchie (Duncan) Vc Intyre Vc Coshem.1 These MacIntyres have been made famous in literature by Duncan Ban MacIntyre, who called his gun Coshem's Daughter, because he bought it from a kinsman living in Glen Lochay. The name MacCoseam was still known in 1893, so the tradition may be true.

MacIntyres of Rannoch. MacIntyre pipers from Badenoch left to live in Rannoch where they became hereditary pipers for Menzies of Menzies. They had in their possession a set of pipes (or, by this time. portions of pipes) played at Bannockburn in 1314. However, it was more than 300 years after Bannockburn before we know the name of the piper holding this position. He was Donald Mor MacIntyre, piper to Sir Alexander Menzies of Menzies in 1638. Donald Mor took the seven-year course in harmony and composition at the celebrated pipe school of the MacCrimmons at Borreraig in Glendale in the Isle of Skye.2

At the same school, his son John studied under the famous Patrick Og MacCrimmon and composed a salute to Clan Menzies about 1715. John composed the Field of Sheriffmuir and My King Has Landed in Moidart on the landing of Prince Charlie in 1745. These pipe compositions are to be found in Angus MacKay's Collection of Piobaireachd, first published in 1838.3 He also composed Failte Phrionnsa, the Prince’s Salute, on the landing of H.R.H. James, Prince of Wales, in Britain, ANNO 1715. This will be found in Donald MacDonald’s Collection of Pipe Music.

Four hundred years after Bannockburn, John's son, Donald Ban, continued as Menzies’ hereditary piper. He had two sons, Donald and Robert, who were pipers. Robert became were hereditary pipers to W. Robertson MacDonald, 19th Chief of Clan Ronald,4 when the MacIntyres of South Uist, who had filled this position, probably were left without a son. On the death of this Chief, Robert emigrated to America in 1793. He left his bagpipes with Donald MacDonald of Loch Moidart and Mrs. MacDonald-MacVicker of Invermoidart returned them to Clan Menzies.

Meanwhile, Robert’s father, Donald died in Rannoch in 1834 or '35, leaving his eldest son Donald to continue as the hereditary piper to Sir Neil Menzies until 1840, when Donald left his farm Allarich at the top of Loch Rannoch and sailed for America. This ended a hereditary piping position that lasted over 500 years!

MacIntyres of Cladich. There was a colony of weavers, almost all of them named MacIntyre, in the village of Cladich, on the eastern shore of Loch Awe. Their specialty was fine hose and garters, woven in the various clan tartans. At one time, no Highland costume was complete without a pair of Cladich garters, as they were called. The last MacIntyre weaver in Cladich died about 1870. Perhaps these garters were the inspiration for the diamond pattern Argyle socks, that young ladies in the 1940s and 1950s knitted for their sweethearts. The Cladich MacIntyres were probably a sub-group of the MacIntyres of Glenorchy and the source of the MacIntyre tartans.

Other MacIntyres of Argyllshire and Lorn
In the 1600s, the name MacIntyre was so numerous in Argyll that it was second only to Campbell. In the Argyllshire list of fencibles (fighting men) in 1685, MacIntyre comprised over thirty percent, while only six percent had the name Campbell.5 In those days, you could pay someone to take your place and many Campbells could afford to do just that. Among those listed for "Glenoa" were "Duncan MacIntyre, past sixty" Duncan (I), first Chief of record and his son "Donald, younger," later Donald (II).

There were groups of MacIntyres all around Loch Etive and at the head of Loch Awe and in Dalness, the land held by a cadet branch of the MacDonalds of Glencoe. In 1463, after his father was murdered, the recently legitimized Dugald Stewart, under threat from the Campbells, gave up the Lordship of Lorn and was left with 

1. Coshem in Gaelic is spelled Coiseam and is known among obsolete names derived from St. Constantin -- in Gaelic Gille-Constantin. It was transmogrified as a personal name.
2. The MacCrimmon era, 1570-1825, represents the classical solo (Piobaireachd) period of the great Highland bagpipe.
3. Bibliography 20.
4. Clan Ronald is MacDonnell of Keppoch and is not the same as Clan Ranald
5. Sheila MacIntyre of Inveraray from Inveraray historical records.

Appin. "When the rest of Lorn fell to the hated Campbells, the people left the country in such numbers that the event became known as Imeach Mor, or the Great Flitting of Lorn.1 Since the relations between the Stewarts and the MacIntyres had usually been cordial, some of those who "flitted" were MacIntyres. Clan Campbell knew of this tie and how much they were disliked, so they kept a close watch on comings and going of the MacIntyres. The following illustration is taken from the unpublished manuscript of Alexander James MacIntyre of Inveraray:2

"On a certain evening, several of the Glenorchy MacIntyres made up their minds to visit their friends in Cladich. They had not long started when Glenorchy (Campbell) was informed that several members of Clan MacIntyre were on the move. He sent several of his men to stop them, with the result that a free fight ensued, but the MacIntyres kept to the highway and had a jolly evening with their clansmen in Cladich. On their way home, they were headed by a piper who hurled defiance at the Campbells by playing Gabhaidh Sinn an Rathad Mor (MacIntyre March). From this example among others which could be cited, it is evident that the Campbells did not trust Clan MacIntyre very much."


The clans surrounding the MacIntyres of Glenoe were always more populous and more powerful. No matter what the conflict, the MacDonalds were on one side and the Campbells on the other. The MacIntyres at Glenoe were caught in the middle between the warring parties. Just as important, MacIntyres had connections with both sides: marital and feudal connections with the Campbells, but blood and cultural connections with the MacDonalds. Ignoring either of these powerful clans could have been fatal.

This predicament was ultimately to the MacIntyres’ benefit because these two clans kept each other occupied and didn’t have time to trouble the MacIntyres, at least not enough to eliminate them. They may have even viewed MacIntyre as a buffer and honest broker -- friendly to all, beholden to none, and always surviving . . . Per Ardua. At the end of the day, the chiefs of surrounding clans acknowledged MacIntyre of Glenoe as chief of Clan MacIntyre.

As is befitting even distant cousins, MacIntyres and MacDonalds had a friendly relationship and expectations of mutual aid. Among the purely Highland clans descended from the Scoti, Clan Donald (MacDonalds) was pre-eminent in strength and numbers. They took their name from Donald, the grandson of Somerled. It was the power of the MacDonalds, from 1200 – 1400, that allowed them to claim so many other clans as their septs. But their cousins, the MacIntyres of Glenoe, were not, never have been, and are not now a sept of Clan Donald or, for that matter, any other clan.3 The nearest MacDonalds were at Glen Coe, site of the infamous massacre.4 The MacIntyre’s involvement in this event is described in Part V. MacDonell of Keppoch5 played an important part in the continuation of the MacIntyre chiefship as described in Part III.

The MacDougalls were just as close distant cousins of the MacIntyres as the MacDonalds. The connection is through Gillebride, their common grandfather. Beginning with Dugall, their progenitor, they were the Lords of Lorn and the adjoining islands for 300 years. They built two castles; Dunollie at Oban and Dunstaffnage, near the entrance to Loch Etive. They also built the Priory at Ardchattan c. 1230 on the north shore of Loch Etive. This is where the MacDougall chiefs were buried until 1737 and where Duncan (I), the MacIntyre chief, was buried around 1722. The MacDougalls lost Lorn in 1318 for opposing Robert the Bruce, but regained it 

1. Bibliography 6, page 153.
2. Bibliography 8.
3. At Highland games, Clan Donald often lists MacIntyre as one of their septs. This probably started when there was no recognized Chief of Clan MacIntyre and it looked ripe for the picking. This was a less violent way to do what would have been done by force in the past. However, the Court of the Lord Lyon and the Standing Council of Scottish Chiefs recognize the Chief of Clan MacIntyre as an equal of the Chief of the MacDonalds. Published histories of Clan Donald make no claim and present no evidence that MacIntyres are a sept or cadet. The only connection is through a common relative in the female line, which was before the birth of the progenitor of the Donalds. It would make more sense to say that all clans are septs of Clan MacAdams!
4. It is significant that massacres and hospitality were part of the same culture and there was a massacre that required the qualification, "infamous."
5. Another reminder that spelling was not hard and fast in those days, especially family names, so MacDonnell or MacDonald are the same. Even first names such as Donald or Daniel, Peter or Patrick were interchanged just as we do today e.g., Katherine, Kathrine, Catherine or William, Will, and Bill.

in 1344 by marrying The Bruce’s granddaughter. The last MacDougall, Lord of Lorne died in 1388 without a male heir and the Lordship passed through marriage to the Stewarts.

The Stewarts originally came from Brittany with the Norman conquest of England. When King David the First claimed the Scottish throne in 1124, he created an inheritable position of High Steward of Scotland. The first Steward was a military commander in King Malcolm IV’s defeat of Somerled in 1164. Many generations later, one of the Steward’s male descendants married Robert the Bruce’s eldest daughter, Marjory. The only child from this marriage, Robert Stewart, became first Stewart King of Scotland when Bruce’s grandson, David I, died without a son.1 The Stewarts of Appin were descendants of the fourth High Steward but didn’t obtain Appin until the late 1400s. Thus, the Stewarts were not associated with the Highlands by descent but via land obtained through their royal connections and as a reward for their loyal opposition to rival claimants to the Scottish Crown. In 1463, Sir John, the last Stewart Lord of Lorne, was assassinated and by 1470, it belonged to the Campbells.2

Although MacIntyre of Glenoe was now surrounded by Campbells, his position as forester of Lorn remained unchanged.

Like the Stewarts, the Campbells were neither of Scoti nor of Highland origin. They were most likely descended from the Britons which they claim to be King Arthur They always seemed to pick the winning side at the most important times. They sided with Robert the Bruce in the early 1300s and later with the English in the 1745 rebellion. They were equally good at marrying into land, money, and titles, resulting in their eventual control of most of Argyll. The losers were the MacDougalls, the MacGregors, the Stewarts, and eventually the MacDonalds.

The important Campbells were, Neil Campbell, who fought with Robert the Bruce at Bannockburn and against the MacDougalls; Sir Duncan of Lochawe, who married Marjory Stewart, descendant of the Bruce; his grandson, Sir Colin, First Earl of Argyll, 1457 and of Lorn, 1470 and Sir Duncan of Lockawe’s brother, also Sir Colin, First Lord of Glenorchy, later Earls of Breadalbane; and Patrick Dubh Beag of Barcaldine, a son of Lord Glenorchy- 1620s.

Despite being surrounded by the Campbells, with their well-deserved reputation as both acquisitive and ruthless, MacIntyre chiefs were able to retain their name and status as an independent clan. It is probably no accident that MacIntyre chiefs often married the younger daughters or granddaughters of Campbell chiefs.


Before the MacIntyres
We don’t know who the first inhabitants of Glenoe were but there are archeological sites of the Neolithic Stone Age peoples located all over Lorn.3 The next group was probably the Picts. The first literary mention is by a Scoti girl, Deirdre of the Sorrows who came to Loch Etive in Alba from Ireland (Scotia). She stayed for a number of years before returning to Ireland. As her galley left the shores of Loch Etive and passed over the Falls of Lora, she looked back for the last time at the majestic Ben Cruachan and sang this lament "Farewell to Alban."

Glen Eta (Etive), yes! Glen Eta,
garbed in radiant beams;
Where first my virgin home was proudly raised;
Thy leafy woods and Cruachan's grandeur viewing;
Flooded with sunshine rays, made glorious, my Glen Eta.

. . . .

Thou virgin glen! my beauteous green Glen-o (oigh);
To sleep serene embower'd mid'st pastures quiet;
Fish, venison, with rare salted boar our fare;
Plenteous my lot was, in grand tho' lone Glen-o.

1. The spelling for this Royal Branch was changed to Stuart from the French influence. It has also been spelled Steuart for the same reason.
2. Sir John Stewart also had one natural (illegitimate) son by his mistress. He wanted to prevent his Campbell sons-in-law from inheriting his lands and title so when his first wife died, he decided to marry his mistress and legitimize their son. During the ceremony, Sir John was murdered (by a Campbell or some say, a MacDougall). Regardless, with his dying breath, the groom said, "I do", completing the marriage vows. The Campbells got the land anyway from Sir John’s brother ,Walter. Only Appin was retained by his newly legitimate son. So, in the end, all we can say for poor Sir John is, "Good try old chap."
3. Reference the MacDonald book on Lorn.

Before Written History
For up to a thousand years, MacIntyres lived around Ben Cruachan and Loch Etive.2 There are graves and monuments, particularly at the 13th century Priory of Ardchattan, where Duncan, the first Chief of record is buried. Other graves can be found in Kilchrenan, Glenorchy, Dalness, and Glen Kinglass. The center of this circle was Glenoe and MacIntyre of Glenoe was always the chief of Clan MacIntyres.3 There is evidence of this in the history of other clans with which MacIntyres were associated, including the MacDonald, the Campbells, the Clan Chattan Federation, and the Menzies.

The MacIntyres prospered at Glenoe with their herds of white cattle. These white cattle did not look at all like the typical longhaired, red cattle associated with the Highlands. They had high-bridged noses and curly ringlets on their foreheads, making them look like mythical beasts. This unusual physiognomy is still found in white cattle this author has seen near Glenoe. These same white cattle can be found in Ireland, another sign that ancestors of both these cattle and the MacIntyres originated in Ireland. Cattle were a measure of wealth, as it is in most tribal societies. In both the Scot’s and Brehon law, death duties for an unjust killing were usually paid in cows, depending on the station of the deceased.4 White cattle also played an important part in both Druid and Christian ceremonies.5

(PHOTO) A white bull resting on the roadside near Ardchattan Priory, circa 1989.

Snowball and Fatted Calf
This is the best known and most established legend associated with MacIntyres after they were at Glenoe. In the 1400s, following the ascendancy of the Campbells in Argyll, something happened that caused the MacIntyres at Glenoe to make an annual payment to the Campbells. Although there are no written records establishing this payment, there is evidence that it was based on fact. What happened and why was discussed earlier under Glenorchy and will be discussed in detail in Appendix I, Tenure of Glenoe. For the moment, we will concentrate on the payment itself – a snowball and a fatted calf delivered on Midsummer’s Day6 at a place called Clach-an-Laoigh-Bhiat, (Stone of the Fatted Calf). This unusual stone is still at the top of Glenoe in Lairig Noe, the pass that leads from Glenoe to Glenorchy.7 Even in early summer, snow could be found in the deep corries at the back of Ben Cruachan, and a fatted calf could be obtained from the MacIntyres’ fine herd of white cattle.

(PHOTOS) Clach-an-Laoigh-Bhiat or Stone of the Fatted Calf

Snow within sight of the stone on Midsummer’s day, June 24, 2000

According to the legend, the payment of a snowball and calf continued until the early 1700s when John Campbell, 1st Earl of Breadalbane, suggested to Donald (II), the MacIntyre Chief, that there might come a year when there would not be a white fatted calf in the herd and he would lose his rights to Glenoe. It is alleged that the Chief "foolishly" agreed to replace the in-kind payment with a small payment in coin. Unlike a snowball and fatted calf, money rent can be "adjusted" upwards and the amount was raised to the point where the family of the MacIntyre chief had to emigrate to the United States. The factual basis for this story will also be discussed in detail under "Tenure of Glenoe."

1. Cruachan Vistas: Angus Macintyre (Fraoch Geal) John Menzies & Co., Ltd. Edinburgh and Glasgow. Pages 43 and 42.
2. There are those who assert that the Livingstons occupied Glenoe in the early 1300 before moving away.
3. See Part III.
4. Brehon Law is the oral law passed down in the Celtic tradition from the Irish Gaels and brought with them to Scotland. Scot’s Law is the incorporation of portions of the Brehon Law and put into writing. It is called Scot’s law because it differs from the new laws passed by the Scottish Parliament or incorporated from the English Law. The Scot’s Law required giving one cow for the death of a person of the lowest station up to 16 for a prince. Encyclopedia American, 1945
5. The Story of the Irish Race, p?
6. Midsummer’s Day is June 24th and is the day when rent was paid or property vacated. Each year had four of these business days, which coincided with religious, seasonal, and astrological events. Midsummer’s Day was close to the summer solstice.
7. The stone has been broken in ha lf by the weather. Taken together the stone is about 9 feet wide, 14 feet long and 3 feet high with a flat top. The largest section looks like it is two flat stones one placed on top of the other. The perfectly straight horizontal line that goes completely around the middle of the stone could be a natural crack but certainly looks man-made. It is said that the calf was slaughtered followed by a feast. Could this have been an altar or sacrificial stone of the Glenoe stone-age inhabitants? The photographs, courtesy of Colin and Ross McIntyre, were taken on Mid-summer’s Day, June 24, 2000.

Early MacIntyre Chiefs
In the midst of all the momentous changes that took place over the centuries, the MacIntyres continued to live as others did, doing their best to keep up with the times, wending their way through the minefields of clan feuds, and most of all, trying to survive. Many other clans, chiefs, and their clansmen did not survive, -- perishing on the battlefields, succumbing to diseases (especially mothers and newborns in childbirth). They frequently failed to have a living descendant, and this would allow their clan to be swallowed up by a more powerful clan according to the survival of the fittest. Considering these possibilities, the MacIntyre chiefs did very well for their clan.

Almost nothing is known about the MacIntyre chiefs before 1700 because there are almost no records. The few records we do have are of the legal type and they often record unpleasant events, like murder. Perhaps the sparsity of this type of record explains why the MacIntyre chiefs survived.

A table of possible MacIntyre Chiefs according to different sources is in Appendix A. Since the oral tradition is the major source of information, there is both agreement and disagreement among the sources. An analysis shows a repetition of names like Malcolm, Duncan, Ian, Donald, and Angus but these are common given names.

The first MacIntyre chief mentioned in the legends is Maurice, who was to become known as "The Wright" and gave that name to his descendants as Clann Mac an-t-Saoir, descendants of The Wright. If the legend is true, then we can date this in the mid-twelfth century, 1140-1164, between the marriage of Somerled and Ragnhild to the death of Somerled. This early origin of Clan MacIntyre is supported by Mary MacIntyre (a younger sister of James, Third Chief of Record) who wrote in 1810, "that MacIntyres had been at Glenoe for 700 years."

The next name of a MacIntyre chief comes from a legend about a Chief Duncan and his two sons, Duncan Og and Donald Faich. This story is in Part V. Because this story involves the Campbells of Glenorchy, we can assume that it was after 1432 when the Campbells displaced the MacGregors of Glenorchy.

Written History
Due to a tradition of keeping only oral accounts of historical events, written records were a relatively recent practice in the Highlands of Gaelic Scotland.1 In the 14th century, clans began to keep records in a book that was referred to by the color of its binding, usually black.2 The Black Book typically included births, marriages, and deaths. Later, this information was kept in parish church records. The clan book also contained information about important events, both positive and negative. For example, if there were a fatal altercation that required death duties and other penance, it might be in the records of the clan that was wronged. Unfortunately, the MacIntyre’s Black Book of Glenoe was lost. Perhaps some day, it will be found under dusty records in a solicitor's office! This will be discussed later under the history of the individual MacIntyre chiefs.

MacIntyre Chiefs. Without the Black Book of Glenoe, the genealogy of the chiefs of Clan MacIntyre cannot be stated with accuracy before Duncan (I), so called, because he is the first chief for whom a written record is available.3 However, the records of other clans in the neighborhood indicate that the MacIntyre Chiefs and their sons and daughters were connected with many of the Highland families by marriage or descent prior to Duncan (I). There are also legal contracts with their names. There is a record in the 1400s of the marriage of a Fingula MacIntyre to the Chief of the MacGregors, an ancestor of Rob Roy.4 Prior to 1432, the MacGregors controlled Glenorchy, which is on the other side of Ben Cruachan. It was common practice for a chief to marry the daughter of a neighboring chief to maintain peaceful relations. So, by deduction, Fingula MacIntyre was probably a daughter of the unnamed MacIntyre chief.

The first written record that might identify a MacIntyre chief or chieftain by name is the 1556 "Bond to Glenorchy." In this document, the first, and probably most important, MacIntyre listed is Duncan son of Malcolm son of Ian. If Duncan were the Glenoe Chief, then his name tells us the names of the two preceding chiefs, i.e., Malcolm and Ian, his father and grandfather. This would make Ian the first MacIntyre Chief of record and would takes us back two more generations (approximately fifty years) to about 1500.

The next persons we might identify as Chiefs are Donald and Duncan, around the turn of the 16th century. They were the father and grandfather of Duncan (I), 

1. In the 1500s.
2. The book was commonly black and was referred to as "The Black Book of (Clan Name)." The Menzies had a red and white book.
3. See Genealogy chart, Part III on page?.
4. The entire MacGregor Clan was outlawed and Rob Roy was their champion, made famous by his physical prowess and as the leading character in Sir Walter Scott’s novel of the same name. His piper was a MacIntyre.

the first chief of record. In a 1682 document, Duncan (I) is identified as Duncan, son of Donald, son of Duncan. He is further identified as "of Glenoe". His name identifies his father as Donald (f) as and his grandfather as Duncan (gf). By the same reasoning as before, this would make Duncan (gf) as the first Chief of record and his father, Donald (f) as the second Chief of record, and Duncan (I) would become Duncan (III). Because of the lack of information on births and deaths for these individuals, the system for numbering the chiefs will be left unchanged from the first edition. This is not the only confusing factor in the numbering system for the chiefs, as you will see in Part III.1 The other reason for not changing the numbering system is that Duncan (I) was the first Chief of record documented as having Glenoe as a freehold. This is signified by the chief being called, "of Glenoe," rather than "in" Glenoe. "Of" means you possesses the land and "in" means you only live on it. The type of tenure the MacIntyre chiefs had at Glenoe is an important part of the MacIntyre history and is covered in the section "Tenure of Glenoe."

Although we know very little about Duncan (gf) and Donald (f) we can infer that they were relatively well off because Donald (f) made a large "wadset" loan to the eldest son of Lord Glenorchy, his feudal superior. To do this would have required saving substantial amounts of money over a number of generations, presumably from selling their prized white cattle. There were no get-rich-quick schemes in those days, except by "marrying into money."

Of course, the legends tell us that Clan MacIntyre had possession of Glenoe at some earlier time, which was long before the 1432 date that the Campbells came on the scene. Another sign was the large number of MacIntyres in comparison with their position in the pecking order. There are no legends about losing Glenoe to the MacDougalls, Stewarts, or MacGregors. In fact, there was a story that the MacIntyres regained Glenoe from the Stewarts without a story about how they lost it.

Approximate Line and Dates of Accession for MacIntyre Chiefs before Duncan (I)


1432. Duncan (of Duncan and his two sons)

1440 Altercation with Campbells identified in the Bond to Glenorchy and in, Duncan and his Two Sons

1455. Duncan Og

1470. Donald Faich

1500. Ian (son of either Donald Faich or Duncan Og)

1525. Malcolm (if he is MacIntyre in Glenoe and not a MacIntyre in Glenorchy)

1556. Duncan (listed in the Bond to Lord Glenorchy)

1590. Malcolm (important enough to require a bond to guarantee his appearance)

1610. Duncan (identified as grandfather in 1656 wadset agreement)

1635. Donald (identified as father in 1656 wadset agreement)


1650. Duncan (I) [First chief documented as "of Glenoe." In 1656 wadset agreement]

MacIntyres in the Highland Wars
Fortunately, the MacIntyre Chiefs were never adversely affected by the many clan feuds, civil wars, and rebellions. This is despite the fact that geographically, as well as ideologically, they were usually caught in the middle. It is equally true that the MacIntyre Chiefs never gained from the Highland wars.

Civil War. In 1644, James Graham, Marquis of Montrose, gathered MacDonalds, Camerons, and Stewarts in a royalist army on behalf of Charles I, opposing the Covenanting Army2 led by Campbell of Argyll. Montrose sent a detachment3 under Alastair MacColla Ciotach MacDonald to ravage the Campbell territory around Loch Etive with fire and sword. His English name was Sir Alexander MacDonald but he was popularly known by his father's nickname ‘Colkitto’ meaning left-handed Coll or Colla.4 One of his soldiers was about to put a hot coal to the thatched roof of Duncan’s (gf) house at Glenoe, when Colkitto asked to whom the house belonged. When told that it was MacIntyre of Glenoe, he cried out, "Let be, let be, he is of our own blood" and Glenoe was spared. Many MacIntyres joined Colla's army even though (or perhaps because) it was against the Campbells. Among them was the MacIntyre Chief's own piper, whose piping Colla had praised at 

1. Although this numbering system for the MacIntyre Chiefs is not factually correct, it is used in this book to aid the understanding of a genealogical conundrum which will be explained in Part III.
2. They were called "Covenanters" for their support of the National Covenant of the Church of Scotland, which outlawed Episcopacy, the governing form of the Church of England in favor of the more local and democratic form called Presbytery. This put the Scottish Parliament in direct opposition of Charles I, the Stuart King of England and Scotland. As a result, the Covenanters invaded England in 1640 and they entered into combat within Scotland against those clan who supported the King, regardless of all previous alliances. On the surface, it was a religious war, something that Scotland had avoided previously. However, beneath the surface, it was about governance and not dogma, so it was really a political war in the guise of religion.
3. This detachment was composed of MacDonalds from Ulster (Ireland) furnished by the Irish, Earl of Antrim, for the benefit of his Scottish brethren.
4. Named Colla in honor of their claim to descent from Colla Uais, the third century, High King in Ulster.

an entertainment given him by the Chief of Clan MacIntyre. The Chief was honored to have his favorite MacIntyre piper, lead the great Colla into battle. It was probably for this reason rather than the distant blood relations between the MacIntyres and MacDonalds, that Glenoe was spared while the surrounding properties of the Campbells were destroyed. Although Colkitto won the initial battles, the Campbells, in support of the Covenanters, won this segment of the war. During a lull in the fighting, it is said that the Chief of Clan MacIntyre was summoned by Campbell of Glenorchy to explain his assistance to Colla. Failing this, he was sent to Inveraray to explain his conduct to the great Colin, Marquis of Argyll and Chief of all the Campbells. No one knows what was said, but the MacIntyre Chief returned safely to Glenoe.1 However, one may hazard a guess, for at the Battle of Inverlochay in February 1645, Donald (f), the Chief’s son and heir apparent, was fighting side by side with Colin Campbell, the son of Patrick Campbell of Barcaldine. The Marquis of Argyll lost half of his army in this battle and his nephew, Colin, was badly wounded. Colin was carried to Glenoe and Duncan (gf) MacIntyre gave him refuge from the MacDonalds in the same house that earlier had been spared by the MacDonalds! Such were the vicissitudes of Highland life in those times. There is no records of the Glenoe MacIntyres involvement in the fighting to retain James II as King of Scotland, after he was deposed in England by William III of Orange. But Duncan (I) was Chief in 1692 when the Glencoe Massacre took place at the top of Glen Etive when McIain, Chief of the MacDonalds of Glencoe was slaughtered along with most of his clan, supposedly for being late in asking William III’s pardon. (See Part V – Clach Nodha).

The ’15 & ’45 Rebellions. The 1715 rebellion didn’t last long and there is no evidence that the MacIntyre Chief, Duncan (I), age 75 or his heir, Donald (II), age 50, took part in the fighting. However, there is evidence that the Stranmore, the cadet of Glenoe in Glenorchy, were certainly involved in support of the Campbells, who this time chose the wrong side and the MacIntyres paid dearly for it with their lives. According to the genealogy of Alexander James MacIntyre of Inveraray, five of the six sons of Archibald MacIntyre died in this brief rising. This Archibald was the g,g,g,g,g,g-grandson of the Archibald who two hundred years earlier in 1513, had brought back the body of the 2nd Duke of Argyll from Flodden.2 The last great rebellion, known as the ‘45, was an attempt to return to the throne Charles James Stuart, Bonnie Prince Charlie, as Charles III.3 For the Highlanders, it was their final attempt to free Scotland from English domination by force. The MacIntyre Chief, Donald (II) had just died and his son and heir, James (III), was just age eighteen. James (III) wisely chose to remain neutral although he was old enough to bear arms and may have had sympathies for the cause of young Prince Charles.

In the midst of a rebellion, the young James (III) had to manage a farm that was on the border between the warring parties and to carefully consider his divided loyalties. His clan heritage linked him to the Gaelic Highlands and his neighbors, the MacDonalds and Stewarts of Appin, who were primary supporters of Prince Charlie. At the same time, James was surrounded by Campbells, who were the leading clan supporting the Hanoverian government in opposition to the Prince. He was also indebted to them for sponsoring his education. There was one further complication in the form the "wadset" loan made by his grandfather, Duncan (I) to the Campbells. If James chose to side with the Prince and lost, then the loan, which gave him possession of Glenoe would be lost, not to mention his life and his family’s well-being. If he fought for the Crown and lost, he might have been treated more kindly, but his sympathies lay with the Prince.

James (III) had a herd of valuable white cattle and probably some sheep. Because he inherited the Glenoe Wadset, James didn’t pay rent. Compared to his peers he was in a sound financial condition and he would have risked a great deal if he actively supported either side. His mother and two older sisters were totally dependent on him. Being neutral was not treasonous since there were MacIntyres fighting on both sides for reasons of a bond of man-rent or economic gain, and possibly their political or religious persuasions. James’ best bet was to lay low and wait it out, which is exactly what he did.

If James (III) had sided with Prince Charles, the end of the direct line of MacIntyre Chiefs might have been his death at Culloden. At best, James (III) his Glenoe Wadset would have been forfeited and he would have been forced into exile or, like so many others, transported overseas.

1. In the first edition of this book, Duncan (I) was identified as being involved in Civil war of 1644-45. It is now clear that this was incorrect since he was only around four years old in 1644. If his grandfather, Duncan (GF) were still alive, he would have been age 55-60, and his father Donald (F) at a "fighting" age of 30-35. We are pretty sure that Duncan (I) was age twenty-one in 1661, so if his father, Donald (F) married about age twenty five and Duncan (I) was born shortly thereafter, then Donald (F) was born c.1610-15 and would have been thirty to thirty-five years old in 1644. This same method was used to determine that Duncan (GF) would have been 55 - 60 years old during the 1644 battles. If Donald were involved in the fighting, as it seems he was, then he was the last MacIntyre Chief to fight in a Highland war.
2. The remaining son, Alexander, established a business in Inveraray, seat of the Dukes of Argyll and one of his descendants has a business, the MacIntyre Warehouse, in Inveraray.
3. He was known as Prince because his father was still alive. Otherwise, he would have been called King Charles III even if in name only.

On the other side of Ben Cruachan, his cousins in Glenorchy were under pressure to support the Campbells and fight against the rebels. This was a war in which brother fought against brother, either knowingly or unknowingly. In spite of the Campbells, the MacIntyres were found fighting on the side of Prince Charlie at Culloden. It is a matter of record that among the Stewarts of Appin regiment, five MacIntyres were killed and five wounded. D. MacDonell MacDonald reported in Scotland's Magazine of November 1973 that in the 1745 Rising, there were nine prisoners from Clan MacIntyre, including two named Ann MacIntyre and Mary MacIntyre who were "taken at Carlisle." Both women were transported to Antigua in the Caribbean Islands in 1747.

There were some MacIntyres, probably from Glenorchy, who fought beside the Campbells for Hanover King, George II. We know that Duncan Ban MacIntyre of Glenorchy, our famous Gaelic poet, was one of them and was in the Government’s first major battle against the "rebels" at Falkirk. His reasons for fighting were money and a future consideration of employment by Lord Glenorchy, rather than a conviction that one side or the other was in the right. Fortunately for Duncan Ban and for our literary history, Falkirk was Duncan Ban’s first and last battle. From his poems, it would appear that his sympathies were with the Highland way of life, but that way of life had changed forever and probably was gone forever even if Bonnie Prince Charlie had triumphed.

The experiences of Duncan Ban and James (III) and the earlier experiences of the MacIntyre Chiefs during the 1644 civil war and the 1715 rising are evidence that the1440/1556 summary judgment for the bond of man-rent was no longer in force and MacIntyres were not under a feudal obligation to fight for Lord Glenorchy.

The Last MacIntyre Chief at Glenoe
While it is understandable that we don’t know exactly when, why and how the MacIntyres arrived at Glenoe many centuries ago, it is difficult to understand why there should be any mystery surrounding when and why the MacIntyre Chiefs left Glenoe. The story most often told is that the MacIntyre Chief couldn’t afford to pay the rent after foolishly exchanging an annual payment of a snowball and calf for a small monetary sum. Contrary to this story is the fact that James III, the last MacIntyre Chief to rent Glenoe, died there in 1799.

During the period from 1775 to 1825, tenants all over Scotland left the land because they were unable to pay the rising rents or they thought the opportunities were better elsewhere. There were also a series of years from 1781-1783 where there were little or no crops due to drought. The land was becoming valuable in a way that didn’t require the presence of caretakers or depend so heavily on good weather. There was a need for coke to stoke the iron furnaces, including the Bonawe Furnace at Taynuilt, next to Glenoe. The forests on Ben Cruachan, including Glenoe, were quickly denuded to meet the demand for coke. More often than not, the tenants were no longer related or in the same Clan as the owner of the land. Even when they had the same name, the sense of clan obligation had been eroded over the 200 years since the law disallowed clans from owning land. Despite these major economic and social changes, between 1755 and 1795 there was only a small reduction in the population around Glenoe especially when compared with the rest of Scotland and even the rest of Argyll. Also, there is no documentation to support the story that MacIntyres left Glenoe because they could not afford the rent. We do know that in 1770, James (III) was repaid the 3000 merks loaned in 1656 by his great-grandfather Donald to the Earl of Breadalbane’s great grandfather John. With this repayment, Glenoe was no longer a "rent free" wadset, and James (III) had to pay rent. Nevertheless, we have a 1775 rental receipt showing that "James (III) Esquire," sublet one-quarter of Glenoe to another MacIntyre from whom he received rent, both in kind and silver. Thus, while James (III) of Glenoe was paying rent to Breadalbane, he was receiving rent as well.


As a further indication of James (III)’s social status and financial condition, his eldest son, Donald younger and heir apparent, was well-schooled and sent to study medicine at the University of Edinburgh. Perhaps some of the wadset repayment of 3000 merks in 1770 went toward the cost of Donald’s education. In 1783, Donald emigrated to the United States to practice medicine. Although he may not have competed the full course at the medical school, there is no reason to believe that Donald did this because the family needed the money, as has been suggested in some of the references. It is likely that he knew his skills would be in great demand in the New World where there were no medical schools. Left behind at Glenoe were his father, James (III), age fifty-seven, his mother, Lady Ann, and his younger brothers, Duncan, age twenty and Martin, age twelve.

Duncan was a Captain in the Highland Argyllshire Militia when in 1788, Martin died at age seventeen. This may have been the primary reason why Duncan left the Militia and returned with his wife and daughter to manage Glenoe. At age sixty-two, James (III) might have been ready to retire. This meant that the farm at Glenoe could support all of them. In 1792, there was more tragedy when Dr. Donald, the heir apparent, had died in the United States leaving a young widow with four young sons. The eldest son was seven year-old James, the new heir apparent. We know that James (III) lived for another seven years until 1799 carrying on his scholarly pursuits, for which he was well known in Edinburgh and beyond. Lady Ann died the following year. Duncan continued to manage Glenoe until 1806, when he left for Edinburgh with his wife and their daughter, Jane. In all, Duncan had managed Glenoe for eighteen years including seven years after his father’s death. This was during a period when many others Scots in Argyll had already left because they couldn’t make a go of it.

Family correspondence shows that Duncan left Glenoe with the understanding that Doctor Donald’s son, James, the fifth Chief of record and age twenty-one, was coming to Glenoe from America. James was the eldest son of Duncan’s brother, Dr. Donald, who had predeceased their father, James (III) making young James the Chief of Clan MacIntyre.

James was coming to Glenoe and we can only conjecture why at age forty-three, Duncan left instead of sharing the farm with James. He may have wanted to leave years before but felt obligated to stay while his parents were alive and his nephew hadn’t reached his majority. Edinburgh certainly would provide greater social life for his wife and teenage daughter. Other possibilities include the need for medical attention (he died two years later) or a dwindling profit margin. These latter two possibilities are unlikely because Duncan was fit enough to reenlisted in the Army, albeit at a lower grade, and another tacksman farmed Glenoe for the next 20 years and renewed the lease. Duncan apparently took the Black Book of Glenoe with him when he left Glenoe. Duncan left. In 1808, he died while stationed in London. His widow had to pay his debts by selling the family’s furnishings. It’s possible that the Black Book of Glenoe was carefully stored in a desk that was sold. Ann remarried and Jane MacIntyre, died unmarried.

In1806, James (V) set foot for the first time on Glenoe, the birthplace of his father and most of his ancestors. At age twenty-one, he was the same age as his father, was when he left Scotland for America, twenty-three years earlier. We know that when James arrived, Duncan had already left. Two years later, in 1808, James (V) posted a letter from Glenoe to his family and friends in the United States. He said that he just missed meeting his Uncle Duncan in Edinburgh by a single day. He may have met Duncan’s wife and daughter since they were living in Edinburgh while Duncan was stationed in London. It is possible that James and Duncan never met since Duncan died within the year. Records show that in 1810, Glenoe was still being leased in the name of Capt. Duncan, not James, even though Duncan had died in 1808.

James (V), in his unpublished family history, doesn’t tell us what transpired from 1808 until 1816. In his 1808 letter, he said,

"Everything is in a miserable way in this Country just now. Taxes and rents are very high." He goes on to mention the low prices for sheep and cattle and the high cost of all kinds of fodder - listing the price of oats, barley, wheat, and potatoes. He continues, " . . . a number of the farmers have given up their farms about here and I believe Lord Broadalbaine (Breadalbane) and the Duke of Argyle’s tenants are worst off, a number of the finest merchants have failed."

We know James missed his friends and the land of his childhood. He also mentioned his fears that war with the United States was imminent. (The war between the United Kingdom and the United States started in 1812 and didn’t end until 1818).

James probably had left Glenoe by 1810, when John MacIntyre, who had previously leased one-third of the area from Duncan, became the tacksman1 for the entire Glenoe parcel. John MacIntyre renewed the lease in 1826 so apparently he was able to "live off the land" despite the rent. This is another indication that Glenoe wasn’t a losing proposition or the reason Dr. Donald emigrated to America. Many years later, James recounted in his family history that there were white cattle at Glenoe until 1816. We can say with certainty that James (V) was the last MacIntyre Chief to live at Glenoe.

We know that James came to Scotland to see the homeland of his father and perhaps claim his Clan inheritance. We don’t know exactly why he stayed so long. Initially, it was probably from an obligation to his family’s heritage, and perhaps to find a Scottish wife. In his 1808 letter, he lamented the fact that his friends 

1. A tacksman leases land from the owner of a long period of time and is more than just a renter or manager of a farm

were probably getting married. James could have stayed as tacksman of Glenoe instead of going elsewhere, since it was in his Uncle’s name. The reason for his leaving Glenoe is obvious to anyone who has been there. Then, as now, its isolation was not conducive to meeting eligible young ladies or anyone else, for that matter. Although he was a Scottish chief by inheritance, James was an American by birth and upbringing. To learn the ways of the Scots it was necessary to go to a community where there were more people. He was recognized in the surrounding community as the MacIntyre Chief, and was call "James MacIntyre of Glenoe", even when he no longer lived at Glenoe. In 1817, he married a Scottish lassie, Ann Campbell of Corries, at Glenorchy Parish.

Why did James (V) leave Scotland, never to return, sixteen years after he arrived and five years after he married? He probably stayed until their two boys were old enough to travel and his wife finally became resigned to leaving her homeland and family.1 He probably left to rejoin his American family and perhaps in search of better opportunities in the United States where he could hope to own property rather than renting it, as in Scotland.

What became of Glenoe after James left Scotland? We know that a John MacIntyre renewed the lease in 1826. What occurred between 1826 and the 1970s remains to be discovered by diligent research of the records. In the 1970s Glenoe was owned by Lady Wyfold, whose name is associated with the Wyfold Cup at the Henley Regatta and who was related to Ian Fleming of James Bond, 007, fame. Glenoe has changed hands since then and is presently owned by Mr. Heriot-Maitland, who raises sheep, hunts, and lives in Edinburgh.

These stories and historical facts, demonstrate that this small area of Alba around Loch Etive, including Glenoe, is steeped in Scottish history and is rightfully called the birthplace of Scotland and of Clan MacIntyre. It was the home of the MacIntyre Chiefs for up to one thousand years before they left on the tides of history. Perhaps one day, MacIntyres and their white cattle will return and MacIntyres can reclaim Glenoe.


Recent research by a group interested in their origins in Ireland, has been interested in the possibility that in Ireland, the MacAteers and MacIntyres come from the same root. It is well known that transliteration from Gaelic to English, often disguises the original Gaelic name and meaning. To further confuse matters, names were often written in a contracted form that belied the spoken form or the origin. Thus, it is within the realm of possibility that Mateer, MacAteer, and MacIntyre could, in some instances, be the same name in Gaelic, at least in Ireland. Another possibility is that the name and clan developed independently in Scotland and Ireland. This question and research, stands to demonstrate that in the year 2001, the search for ones roots is alive and never completely ends. To demonstrate openness to these possibilities, Mateer and MacAteer have been added as "possible septs" of Clan MacIntyre. This does not represent a conclusion or the type of action taken by at least one clan to improperly include MacIntyres as their sept.

MacIntyres were only a small part of a numerous spurts of emigration from Scotland to the rest of the world. When added together, the numbers were quite large. In addition to America, they went wherever English was spoken: United States, Canada, Ireland, West Indies, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa. In Canada, there were many MacIntyres in Nova Scotia and Ontario as well as the Western Provinces. There is hardly a town of any size in the United States, whose phone book doesn’t have more than one MacIntyre, in its various spellings. They are also found in countries where the English sent Scottish prisoner, such as the islands of the Caribbean.

The first MacIntyres to arrive in the New World were probably prisoners rather than settlers. The earliest record is of "slaves" aboard the ship "Unity" that arrived at Charlestown, Massachusetts, in the spring of 1651. Among the 150 Scots prisoners on board were three brothers, Philip, Robert, and Micum MacIntire. These men had fought a losing battle at Dunbar against Cromwell in a vain attempt to retain Charles II as King of Scotland. They were sold to an Englishman to work in the Saugus Ironworks near Boston, perhaps the first ironworks in the Americas. They were allowed to marry and since they were the first to arrive, it is likely that they are the ancestor of more American MacIntyres then any other MacIntyre immigrant. Their descendants 

1. We know that Ann returned to Scotland for a visit in the 1830s. She was probably visiting her aging parents for the last time.

still meet annually and are called the Micum MacIntires (see under MacIntyre Organizations). Other prisoners were sent to the Caribbean Islands.

There was a group called the Argyll Colony including MacIntyres that arrived at Wilmington, North Carolina in 1739 and settled near Fayetteville. Others arrived individually or in small groups and settled in the southern colonies of Virginia, Carolinas, and Georgia. Canada was a destination, especially for those who might have had sympathies for the Crown.

Australia was another destination of MacIntyres seeking a better life but just as likely, being deported from Scotland or England for breaking the law. An explorer, Allan Cunningham named the Macintyre or McIntyre River, a tributary of the Darling, after his friend, Capt. Peter McIntyre or Macintyre. His descendants are sure that Peter was the grandson of the Highland poet, Duncan Ban MacIntyre.

Another destination for MacIntyres was a return to their Isle of Destiny, Ireland. They went as deportees, workers on the plantations, or adventurers. As early as the late 1200s, MacIntyres may have left Scotland for Ireland as the so-called gallowglass soldiers, in support of the Irish Chiefs in their battles against the English. In the 1600s, after the Covenanting wars, the emigrants were Catholics rather than Protestant.

By discovery, honor, or ownership, MacIntyres have given their name to many places including to Lake MacIntyre in Nova Scotia, Mt. MacIntyre and the MacIntyres Mines in the Adirondacks of New York (after Archibald MacIntyre), in Australia, there is a Glenoe and the Macintyre River. Many went to Tasmania, where they named a mountain `Cruachan' after the one they loved so well.

Search for the Lost Chief

Although the existence and location of the MacIntyre Chief was known in Scotland, in the United States there was no general interest in the Chief and his whereabouts. It was the curiosity of the L. D. MacIntyre in 1931 that led to locating the Chief and generating interest in Clan MacIntyre in the United States. His search for the Chief and for a history of Clan MacIntyre required correspondence with a large number of strangers with the name MacIntyre. In order to pay for the postage, L. D. rendered the Chief’s coat-of-arms based on the knowledge he had at that time. He had it printed as a bookplate and letterhead.1 He sent out a mass mailing with a request for donations to aid him in writing a history. He thought that the enclosed bookplates would be an incentive for a generous donation. In truth, the generous donations from thrifty Scots were only sufficient to cover the printing and postage. However, value isn’t always measured in money. Gold was struck in the form of a letter from one individual who provided the Chief’s address! From this developed a long correspondence between the author and Donald, eighth chief of record. The Chief had already been corresponding with Alexander James MacIntyre of Inveraray, Scotland. It was the Chief, Donald (VIII), who introduced the two budding historians. L. D. and Alexander corresponded intermittently from 1934 to 1964, shortly before Alexander’s death. This early success provided the impetus for the L. D.’s lifelong study of all things Scottish, especially about MacIntyres, which culminated in the first edition of this book. But, what about the MacIntyre Chief and his official recognition?2


Coat and Shield of Arms3
The origin of noble families having an insignia, bearings, or eschuteon is obscure, but it seems to be associated with the feudal system. When the armorial bearings were put on the knight’s shield they were called the shield of arms, and when they were placed on the vest that went over the knights armor, they were called the coat of arms. These bearings were called armorial bearings since they were part of the knight’s armor. The display was to identify the knight whose face was covered by his helmet shield, so both his opponent and friend could identify him.4 This tradition seems to have taken hold on the Continent around the 12th century but may not have arrived in the Gaelic Highlands until the 14th or 15th century. A Highland chief displayed his armorial bearings in his home as a source of pride, distinction, and family history. In the form of the great seal or signet ring, it could also have been used to make an imprint to ensure the authenticity of a document.

1. Gallowglass soldiers were Scots who, unlike the Irish Gaels, were heavily armed and mail-clad; more than a match for the Norman invaders.
2. At that time, he did not know that this use of the coat of arms was strictly proscribed. Of course, he also didn’t know that the Arms weren’t recognized in Scotland, so perhaps the only offense was to the Chief and not the Lyon Court or the Laws of Heraldry in Scotland.
3. Coat of Arms, like tartans, may be a relatively recent artifact and therefore are less likely to be represent historical facts.
4. See glossary for the distinction among the heraldic descriptive terms, such as blazon, coat of arms, an achievement, crest, badge, armiger, motto, supporters, plant badge, wreath, mantling, helmet, coronet, cap of rank, compartment, pinsel, standard, cadet, sept, branch, and armorial bearings

An armorial bearing is not an arbitrary drawing or carving. It starts as a description blazon and the elements of the blazon relate to the family’s history. In 1399, the Scottish Crown established the Lyon Court composed of officers of arms called Heralds and presided over by the principal officer, the Lord Lyon King of Arms. The function of this royal court was to verify the authenticity of the king and nobles (barons and chiefs), including their armorial bearings. It may also have been a means of taxing those who wished to have these symbols of rank and to establish that it was the Crown and not the clans who determined the Who’s Who of the Highlands.

(Photo) Early MacIntyre Coat of Arms

MacIntyre Coat of Arms
There are many similarities among the coats of arms of the Clans that derived from Somerled and from MacNeil. For example, a galley is in the coats of arms of the MacIntyres, MacDonalds, MacDougalls, and MacNeils; an eagle and a crosslet are shared by MacIntyres and MacDonalds; the MacIntyres and MacNeils share a red hand, which was the banner of Niall of the Nine Hostages, the MacNeil progenitor. The red hand could also be the one that was cut off in the legendary race between ancestors of MacIntyres and MacDonalds.1 Despite these similarities, these symbols can be found in the Arms of many other Highland clans that have no direct or legendary connection to the MacIntyres. The differences among the coats of arms are consistent with the premise that the MacIntyres were a related but separate clan from the MacDonalds and MacDougalls. For example, MacIntyres do not have a lion rampant so are not a direct descent from Somerled. The use of the Arms to show a connection or lack thereof, assumes that they were designed from a very early date or at least with a direct line of knowledge.

The Chief of the MacIntyres was entitled to a coat of arms. According to Duncan Ban MacIntyre in his Verses on Arms, the King gave the coat of arms to the Chief.2 The King he referred to could have been Somerled, c. 1154, King Malcolm IV, c.1164, King Robert "The Bruce" in 1318, or "in the name of the King" by the Lyon Court after its establishment in 1399. If a King gave Arms to the Chief of the MacIntyres, it would have been long before the establishment of the Lyon Court’s Public Registry of Arms. MacIntyre of Glenoe was not in the first published Public Registry of Arms in 1675,3 but it was common for chiefs to not re-register their Arms. Duncan of Australia feels that it is just as likely that many Chiefs awarded arms to themselves when it became fashionable to have Arms. Continuing along this line, he feels that the Registry might have been established in 1675 to stop this type of activity or at least to obtain income from it. However, experts have also said that about the tartan design, and even about clans themselves. I tend to side with those who say that traditions are usually older, not younger, than we think.

The Lyon Court4 has been the final authority for awarding and designing the arms of Scottish chiefs and nobility. According to Duncan McIntyre of Australia, many chiefs of Highland clans, including the MacIntyre chiefs, ignored this feudal requirement and continued to display their personal arms among their clansmen and friends. For a number of reasons, to be discussed later, these chiefs either did not accept the authority of the Lyon Court or they feared that, on a technicality, they might not receive recognition and would lose something they held dear.5 For obvious reason, the deposed Royal House of Stewarts has never re-petitioned the Lyon Court for 

1. It has always seemed odd that the MacIntyres has the same war cry as the Campbells. It has been assumed that this was due to the Campbell’s power and the proximity of their territory to Ben Cruachan. However, one would think that if the MacIntyres arrived after the Campbells they would have certainly chosen a different war cry and vice versa. It seems clear that the MacIntyre were there first. It would be understandable that the Campbells might have expropriated the MacIntyre’s war cry, as they did the MacIntyre March. It would seem that having the same war cry would be confusing if you were calling for aid in a battle. This suggests another explanation - perhaps a different MacIntyre war cry, as suggested in a spirited series of letters to the editor of the Oban Times in 1888. The initial debate concerned the origin of the MacIntyre March. One correspondent used the nom de plume, Lamh Dhearg, meaning red hand. As an aside, he said this was the true war cry of the MacIntyres. On a purely rational basis, this would make sense, especially if the MacIntyres were related to the MacNeils on the male side, since the red hand is the banner of the MacNeils and Maurice, The Wright, was the son of a MacNeil.
2. Appendix II; Bibliography 25, pages 234-37; 26, pages 309-12.
3. The Registry was authorized in 1672, the first list was in 1675, and the date of publication was 1678.
4. In 1399, the Lord Lyon King of Arms was delegated authority by his Sovereign over all matters of Scottish Heraldry. In 1672, the Public Register was established for all Arms and Bearings, their matriculation, rights of succession by Clan Chiefs and even the proper clan tartan.
5. Duncan I was living in Scotland in 1672 when the Public Register of all Arms and Bearings in Scotland was established. It is assumed that neighboring Chiefs recognized his arms and that this was sufficient for him.

recognition, although their coat of arms is well known and authenticated. The Duke of Argyll, Clan Campbell, was also among those who didn’t petition for arms, saying that his existed long before there was a Lyon Court. It appears that he too has bowed to the pressures of the time (commercial and otherwise).

Armorial Bearings of MacIntyre of Glenoe1
Between 1672 and 1955, the Public Register of all Arms and Bearings in Scotland did not contain Arms for a MacIntyre Chief or Chieftain. In 1955, Arms were registered for the representer of the Camus-na-h-Erie cadet and in 1991; the Arms for Glenoe, Chief of Clan MacIntyre were registered. The story of how there came to be two coats of arms within 35 years after almost 300 years without any being recognized if material for a soap opera. As with all the previous stories, there are many missing or fuzzy pieces even though it occurred within the last 50 years.

As with many other aspects of the Clan MacIntyre history, the origin and meaning of the armorial bearings of MacIntyre of Glenoe are shrouded in mystery. Until recently, there was even a question as to whether there would be a recognized armorial bearing for MacIntyre of Glenoe and whether the traditional armorial bearings would be the one approved by the Lyon Court.

(Photos) Coat of Arms at St. Conan’s Kirk

There have been many references in published and unpublished documents to the chiefship of Clan MacIntyre and his Arms. An analysis of all of these leaves little doubt as to the main facts. Glenoe was recognized as chief of Clan MacIntyre before the Act of Parliament in 1672, which established A Public Register of all Arms and Bearings in Scotland. The Arms are on the carved wooden great seal and a silver signet ring handed down through the generations from Glenoe to Glenoe. The Arms are also on a great wooden seal and on a gold ring that came from Glenoe and are in the possession of the present Camus-na-h-Erie chieftain. The chancel of St. Conan's Kirk at Loch Awe where stalls carved of Spanish chestnut show the full coats-of-arms of chiefs who held land in the neighborhood.2 The other notables, who have their Arms in the stalls adjoining MacIntyre of Glenoe, indicate the care with which these coat of arms were researched. These are The Duke of Argyll, Chief of the Campbells; his wife, H.R.H. The Princess Louise (daughter of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert); MacCorquodale of Loch Trommlie; and MacGregor of Glen Strae. It is unlikely that they would have allowed incorrect Arms to be used for this purpose since it would have been illegal according to the rules of the Lyon Court. The most notable written document is circa 1765 ‘Verses on Arms’ by Duncan Ban MacIntyre upon seeing the arms when visiting James (III).3 The only other written documentation of the arms is in the 1852 memoirs of James, fifth chief. Finally, the 14th Camus-na-h-Erie acknowledged the traditional arms of Glenoe in his book on Clan MacIntyre.4 There is no doubt that a chief of Clan MacIntyre existed long before the Lyon Court register was established and it is likely that he also had arms which were recognized by his peers. If this were not so, then beginning in 1678 or earlier, the MacIntyre chiefs residing at Glenoe would have been acting outside the law and could have been prosecuted. The Verses of Arms by Duncan Ban MacIntyre gives no hint of subterfuge but instead is open and optimistic in describing the Arms and his acknowledged Chief. It is this author’s opinion that the arms of Glenoe are ancient and carry the weight of tradition.

This may seem a contradiction to what a clerk at the Lord Lyon King of Arms at H.R.H. Registry House, Edinburgh, told L. D. MacIntyre in 1955 L.D. was told uncategorically, that the undifferenced Arms for MacIntyre of Glenoe had never been officially determined. However, he only meant that there was no existing record of a petition for recognition after the establishment of the Public Register. In fact, the most recent book published on the subject, written by a Herald of the Lyon Court, does not include the Royal Clan Stewart as having a recognized chief because no one has re-petitioned the Lyon Court to be recognized as the chief. This does not mean that the Royal Stewarts didn’t have a chief or a coat of arms because they were the Kings of Scotland and had these by definition. One reason for this is that it would be an admission by the Stewart chief 

1. There are two copies shown of the Armorial Bearings, the one awarded to ninth Chief, James in 1991 and the one described in the unpublished 1852 memoirs of James, the fifth Chief. The latter description says it was extracted verbatim from the Lyon Office in Edinburgh although Argent is missing after `3rd'.
2. The Guide Book for Saint Conan’s Kirk Loch Awe, states that this kirk (church) was built expressly for the use of the mother of a Walter Douglas Campbell, younger brother of the First Lord Blythswood. Walter lived with his mother and sister in a mansion-house on the nearby Island of Innischonain in Loch Awe
3. `The Songs of Duncan Ban MacIntyre' Appendix II; Bibliography 25, pages 234-237; 26, pages 309-12.
4. Explanation of Heraldic terms: Or - gold; Eagle displayed - wings expanded and legs spread (in heraldry one of the most noble bearings); Gules - red; Langued - tongue visible, different color; Sable - black; Argent - silver; Sinister - left; Dexter - right; Fesse - projecting from the center of the quarter; Cross crosslet fitched (fitchy) - a cross with a cross at three arms with the lower arm pointed and symbolizes the crois-taraidh used to rally the Clan members; Azure - blue. Proper - natural color; pommeled - having a round knob on the hilt.

that the Stewart (Jacobite) succession to the Crown of the United Kingdom is at an end. It would also appear that the person who has the best claim to Stewart chiefship resides in Germany. It is clear that the MacIntyre chiefs had good company among those who did not petition the Lyon Court for recognition of their Arms. In fact, there are still clans who have not petitioned or may not have enough information to substantiate their claim. There are two reasons to believe that the traditional coat of arms may have been officially recognized before the establishment of the Lyon Court. First, in Duncan Ban MacIntyre’s Verses on Arms, the third and fourth lines of Stanza IV says that the coat of arms had been given to the Chief by the king:

The coat of arms correct and handsome
Which the King for his (the Chief’s) use settled,

Stanza I suggests that Duncan Ban is describing a gold ring with a precious stone in the center.

I saw today the stone of might,
The jewel splendid,
Settings of gold around its light
In Cirque defended; . . .

The ring in the possession of the present Glenoe is a silver signet ring with the armorial bearings etched or carved on the stone. This means that the stone cannot be a precious stone. Of course, precious could be poetic license since the arms are indeed precious, but it is doubtful that he would have substituted gold for silver. A gold ring with a precious center stone did exist and was given to Jean MacIntyre, daughter of James (III) of Glenoe when she married the Rev. Duncan MacIntyre, of Camus-na-h-Erie.1 In Johnston’s 1906 edition of Scottish Clans and Tartans, it says that the ring was said to be, "engraved with the crest and the words, Per Ardua," but there is no mention of the coat of arms. Rather, it states that Duncan Ban wrote his Verses on Arms "descriptive of the ring and the Arms"as if they were separate items.

The second evidence of prior recognition of the Glenoe coat of arms by the Lyon Court is supported by the memoir of James (V), which states that the description was "verbatim, as extracted from the Lyon Office in Edinburgh." James may have visited the Lyon Office on the trip to Edinburgh when he failed, by one day, to meet his Uncle Duncan. Perhaps if they had met, the Black Book of Glenoe would not have been lost. The existence of a coat of arms in the Lyon Office would not alter the chiefs’ claims that they never petitioned nor paid for recognition, and it wouldn’t alter the Lyon Court’s claim, that the coat of arms was never authenticated. It is quite possible that the recognition by the King was an honor bestowed on the first MacIntyre Chief Duncan (I) or an earlier chief, requiring neither petition nor payment. Re-petitioning may have been a requirement for listing it in the 1672 Public Registry, and was ignored by the Duncan (I) as it was by many chiefs. It would seem that Duncan (I) could have afforded the fee, and there is little doubt that he would have known about the registration procedure. Maybe it was a silent protest against the system, which only ended 400 years later in 1987 (and almost didn’t occur then either)?

In 1747, after the Battle of Culloden, the wearing of the kilt was proscribed in the Disclothing Act and clan identity was suppressed. In 1782, the proscription was repealed but by now the clan chiefship was only honorary, without any judicial authority. That was the year before Donald, the heir apparent, emigrated to the United States. At that time, there may have been a need to raise money to support the Lyon Court, and there may have been a fee if a Scottish chief wished to have the status of a noble. Many of them lost their land in the rebellion or never had land of their own. Requiring re-petitioning would have been a way to place the Scottish chiefs on a par with English nobility, raise money, and eliminate some of the smaller, less wealthy Highland chiefs who coincidentally were the same chiefs who fought against the Crown and who were continuing to maintain their Gaelic identity. If this were the case, re-petitioning was either ignored by James (III) and by James (V), or it might not have been required until after James (V) returned to the United States in 1822. A desire to establish a distinction based on social class would be consistent with the feudal system and with English culture, which had replaced the more egalitarian, first among equals, position of the Gaelic chiefs. On the other side of the ledger, re-petitioning could have been a way to force the chiefs who fought against the Crown to acknowledge the King’s authority with their tails between their legs, or be discredited by not doing so.

1. In, Scottish Clans and their Tartans (1906) states that the Glenoe ring, which Duncan Ban examined before writing Verse on Arms, was in possession of Duncan MacIntyre, 14th Camus-na-h-Erie Representer (Chieftain).

Scottish clan chiefs must have used armorial bearings long before 1672, the date when they were first recorded in the Public Register of all Arms and Bearings in Scotland. It is assumed that those claimed by MacIntyre of Glenoe were handed down in the family through the centuries and according to Duncan Ban; the King gave them to the MacIntyre chief. In 1962, L. D. MacIntyre showed the description of the Coat-of-Arms to Colonel H. A. B. Lawson, Lyon Clerk, and Keeper of the Records. After a brief glance, he dismissed the Arms claimed in 1852 by James, fifth Chief, as incorrect and probably from Burke's General Armory in Ireland, which the Lyon Office did not recognize. The descriptions were similar, but not identical, and the first edition of Burke's volume was published in 1884, thirty-two years after James’ memoirs. The description in the memoirs specifically states that they came from the Lyon Office. James (V) visited Edinburgh in 1808, and it is possible that he checked on his heritage at that time or sometime later in the 16 years he lived in Scotland. Duncan of Australia surmises that he received the information from a Camus-na-h-Erie relative with whom he corresponded after returning to the United States. This is based on the premise that no arms were registered by the Lyon Court and therefore they couldn’t have been copied "verbatim "by James (V) or anyone else. It is possible that the Lyon Court had a library that included arms that hadn’t been registered, just in case there was a petition.

Photo of description of Arms in long hand by James (V)

Recognition Of the MacIntyre Chief
When contacted by L.D. MacIntyre in 1933, neither James (VII) or Donald, younger and heir Apparent, expressed interest in applying to the Lyon Court for recognition. As they told L.D. MacIntyre, "Why should we pay someone to tell use what we already know?" For all the preceding MacIntyre chiefs, it had been sufficient recognize their heritage and to possess the symbols of the chiefship. Official recognition had no obvious benefit and included added responsibilities and expenses. By petitioning for recognition, they would have acknowledged the jurisdiction of the Lyon Court over their claim of the chiefship. Long before these relatively modern courts were established, a chiefship was granted at the largess of the King. Before that, it was by Gaelic tradition, where blood relations voted in a meeting called a derbhfine. To petition the Lyon Court for recognition would risk the status quo, including the design of the coat-of-arms -- changes that might not be for the better. Yet, until the Court registered the MacIntyre Chief’s Arms, their use would be under a legal penalty, presumably anywhere in the World. 1,2

Matriculation of the Camus-na-h-Erie Armorial Bearings
In 1967, because there was no MacIntyre chief recognized by the Lyon Court, Sir Ian Moncreiffe of that Ilk, Lord Lyon King of Arms, approved a clan map of Scotland in which MacIntyre was listed as a surname but not as a clan. In his book on Scottish clans, the only reference was to MacIntyres of Badenoch, as Clan Intire, the 16th member of the Clan Chattan Confederation. MacIntyre of Glenoe was not mentioned.

In 19??, with the advent of Sir Thomas Innes of Learney as Lord Lyon King of Arms, the use of any coat-of-arms that wasn’t officially registered with the Lyon Court was considered a breach of the law. The Court decided to start enforcing their rule, which made it illegal to sell or even wear a crest badge of an unrecognized chief or chieftain. This meant that the traditional MacIntyre crest badge of Glenoe could no longer be legally sold in stores and at Scottish games. In the 1952 revision of Sir Thomas’ earlier volume of The Scottish Tartans, the MacIntyre arms were intentionally deleted, although the tartan, slogan, and badge (in error) were still displayed.

This action by the Court automatically stopped the legal sale of the existing crest badges i.e., the crest of the clan chief encircled in a strap and buckle and proper for all clansmen to wear. Until that time, neither Glenoe nor the Representer of the House of Camus-na-h-Erie had petitioned for recognition. This put the companies who sold these items in a legal bind.

It must have been with some relief to the Lyon Court when it received a petition from Alastair MacIntyre, Esquire, for recognition as the 16th Chieftain of Camus-na-h-Erie, senior cadet branch to the MacIntyres of Glenoe. His Arms were matriculated and Letters Patent were granted in 1955. If MacIntyre of Glenoe had been previously recognized as Chief, then the Camus-na-h-Erie Arms would have been almost identical to Glenoe’s except for a bordure or difference, to denote a close relationship with the Chief’s family.3

1. There is another court of heraldry, the Atholl Court, which claims jurisdiction from the time when Scotland was a separate kingdom.
2. It is highly doubtful that anyone, even the Lyon Court, could win a suit in the United States against the Chief using his own coat of arms.
3. "with a bordure or difference" means it is the same arms of the recognized Chief with a small difference to indicate that it is "of the Chief’s family" but not the Chief’s arms.

Photos (2) Camus-na-h-Erie coat of arms and Letters Patent.

Predating 1955, the arms of Glenoe could be found in reference books as well as being described in poetry. In fact, a short history of Clan MacIntyre written by Duncan, 14th Chieftain of the House of Camus-na-h-Erie, included the traditional Glenoe coat-of-arms. No one had challenged the authenticity of the Arms other than the Lyon Court, who only stated the obvious, that there were no record of a petition for their recognition.

This presented a problem for the Lyon Court in designing Arms for the Camus-na-h-Erie cadet. If the Lord Lyon awarded the traditional arms of Glenoe with a difference, it would appear that they were giving de facto recognition of Glenoe’s arms without a Chief recognized by the Court.

Perhaps to avoid giving tacit recognition to Glenoe, he designed and awarded entirely new Arms based on the tombstone that Duncan (I) had designed for his family. It was normal for gravestones to have emblems of activities in which the deceased had taken pleasure. In the case of Duncan (I), this may have been hunting (a stag's head), fishing (a salmon), sports (shinty ball), sailing, or a symbol from his heritage (a galley). There is not doubt that these symbols are displayed on the tomb within the outline of a shield and he could have displayed his coat of arms. The shield lacks a crest and other characteristics of armorial bearings to signify his rank. Perhaps the coat of arms weren’t displayed because Duncan (I) hadn’t petitioned for their recognition? If he had used the traditional Arms, it would have been illegal. The tomb also has a skull and crossbones, that rightly were not included in the Camus-na-h-Erie coat of arms. The Camus-na-h-Erie crest was similar to the original except for the addition of a snowball on the point of the dirk, perhaps representing the snowball that is a prominent part of MacIntyre legend, although not necessary something of which to be proud and not part of their origin legends.

We know that the symbols on Duncan (I)’s tombstone are not the arms carried by James (III) as described by Duncan Ban MacIntyre in 1760s. Further, they are not found on the Camus-na-h-Eire gravestones or anywhere else. Nevertheless, the Camus-na-h-Erie Arms awarded by the Lyon Court are based on the earliest extant visual material that might be considered arms, the shield on the tombstone of Duncan (I) dated 1695.1 The snowball in the crest is a part of MacIntyre legend but not part of the legend describing the Clan’s origin. The result was that, after 1955, the crest badge with a snowball was the only one that could be legally produced and displayed in Scotland.

Once the Camus-na-h-Erie arms were granted, there was every reason to believe, based on tradition, that if a Glenoe were to subsequently successfully petition the Lyon Court for recognition, the Court would grant him the Camus-na-h-Erie arms without a difference. This would mean that the traditional Arms of Glenoe, shown on the Cognizances in the possession of the Chief and the chieftain, would become historical relics. In hindsight, it may have been fortunate that Donald (VIII) did not petition for recognition in 1960s and 1970s.

Matriculation of the Glenoe Armorial Bearings
For L. D. MacIntyre, and for everyone who proudly carried the name MacIntyre (or variations thereof), official recognition of their Chief was important. Somehow, lack of recognition represented a second-class chiefship and clanship and it had already resulted in omission from reference books. The first edition of this book was written to provide recognition to the Chief and clan, which would never occur because official recognition seemed hopeless. First, the chief hadn’t sought recognition, and second, by all indications, the Lyon Court wouldn’t grant recognition, even if there were a bona fide petition. Nevertheless, the clan motto, Per Ardua, demanded that an effort be made in hopes that a compromise could be found to have the Chief recognized and his correct arms matriculated.

Ad Hoc Derbhfine. On 23 March 1982, the Lord Lyon proposed a plan to L. D. MacIntyre for regularizing the Arms of the Chief of Clan MacIntyre. On 5 May1982, L.D. MacIntyre received permission from Donald (VIII) to take steps toward achieving recognition of his hereditary chiefship of Clan MacIntyre by the Lyon Court in Scotland. To have the correct arms matriculated you need well-documented proof from as far back as possible in order for the Lyon Court to be sure there are no other legitimate claimants. The proof usually comes from family Bibles, church, and government records of births and deaths, family correspondence, and legal contracts. All of these can be difficult and expensive to locate. For the MacIntyre chiefs, this would be more difficult to prove because Dr. Donald immigrated to the United States in 1783 and died before his father, James (IV). This meant the chiefship actually skipped a generation from James (III) to James (V). In 1792, when Dr. Donald died in the United States, the recording births, marriages, and deaths was still in its infancy, 

1. If there is any organic material on the great seals, e.g., wood, it would now be possible to date them by scientific methods and determine if they were made before or after 1695. If before, then they would be the oldest example of the coat of arms and would mean that they were the true Arms

as were most governmental functions in a country where the U. S. Constitution has only been ratified five years earlier. The Black Book of Glenoe that might contain the missing information was lost. It appeared that too much crucial information was missing on both sides of the Atlantic for a petition to be successful. Fortunately, or so it seemed at the time, there was an ancient Gaelic alternative method called an ad hoc derbhfine, that was available to the Lyon Court for approving a chief.

A derbhfine is a reference to the time in the Celtic and Gaelic tradition when the clansmen chose their chief from among those eligible males who had a common grandfather. The modern equivalent within the rules of the Lyon Court is a group of seven clansmen who met strict qualifications of being titled or landed. In the absence of a recognized Chief, the ad hoc derhbfine could be assembled under the auspices of the Lyon Court. They would have to unanimously recommend to the Lord Lyon, King of Arms, an individual worthy to be the interim chief. This individual need not be a blood descendant of the chief. If chosen and approved by the Court, the individual would be the Acting Chief for a period of twenty years, during which a petition could be made by a blood descendent based on the normal criteria. If no petition was approved at the end of twenty years, the Acting Chief, would become the recognized chief.

To be a member of the ad hoc derbhfine an individual has to have his or her own registered arms or be landed. "Landed" means more than simply owning land. The land has to be in the countryside of Scotland. In 1983 to avoid what seemed to be an impossible task of tracing Donald (VIII) in New York back to his family’s roots in Glenoe, an advertisement was placed in Scottish newspapers and magazines to find seven individuals who would constituted an ad hoc derbhfine and would agree to recommend Donald (VIII) as the interim chief. In this way, the rightful chief would be recognized as the interim chief, and in due course, would become the permanently recognized Chief as well.

L.D. and Alice MacIntyre went to Scotland to personally locate seven qualified individuals. They located six and signed up four of them. However, in doing so, one of the individuals decided that an "American" shouldn’t be a recognized Scottish chief, and further, that he, himself, would make a fine chief. He began to collect names of individuals in support of his claim. When he actually petitioned for recognition via an ad hoc derbhfine, and it seemed there was, at least, a slight chance that he might succeed, the recognized Camus-na-h-Erie chieftain of the senior cadet, came forward as a more logical candidate living in the United Kingdom. After all, at least he had a recognized blood connection with the Chiefs of Glenoe on both the paternal and maternal side of his family. Now, instead of one claimant for the position of Chief of Clan MacIntyre, there were three, Glenoe, Camus-na-h-Erie, and an unnamed individual.1

The confusion was not over, because there was a mysterious fourth claimant! To the many advertisements seeking persons qualified for the ad hoc derbhfine, there had been just one response, and what a response it was. The postmark on the letter was from France, and the writer claimed that she was the rightful chief (a female heir can become chief under certain circumstances). She said she was the direct descendant of the MacIntyre chief who fled from Scotland to France along with many other chiefs after Culloden in 1746. She explained her long silence by the simple statement "there is still a price on my head!" According to her claim, her ancestor, the chief of Clan MacIntyre, had been proscribed from returning to Scotland on pain of death for his part in supporting Bonnie Prince Charlie. She said that this proscription extended to each succeeding generation until the punishment was meted out (ouch!) and the law had never been repealed. Thus, she was an outlaw chief. The letter did not give the names of her ancestors. Unfortunately, there was no attempt to continue the correspondence or follow-up on her claim, since at the time, it seemed false on its face and it was counter to the intended purpose of the advertisement - the selection of Donald of New York State as the interim chief using an ad hoc derbhfine.

Back in the early 1980s, it appeared highly unlikely that a presumptive Chief, living in the United States, would ever be able to prove his case before the Lyon Court in Edinburgh, which was the reason for having an ad hoc derhbfine. For the ad hoc derhbfine to be successful there needed to be unanimity, and since this was clearly absent, the Lyon Court had no alternative but to stop any further proceeding in this direction. Back to square one.

Research and Petition. It was pure serendipity, that just when the ad hoc derhbfine collapsed, there was a Clan MacIntyre Association ready to step in and provide assistance. Money from a special "Glenoe Fund" was voted to pay for a solicitor in Scotland who was familiar with the Lyon Court. Sir Crispin Agnew,2 and on his 

1. The purpose of this section is to describe what happen and not identify, more than necessary, the individuals involved. If anyone knows any facts that are different from those stated in this section they are free to send them to me and I will take them into consideration, before completing the final draft.
2. Sir Crispin is presently Rothesay Herald on the Lyon Court

recommendation, Hugh Peskett, a professional genealogist, were retained. These individuals proved crucial because their excellent reputations gave added weight to their research and presentation of the findings.

As is usual in these matters, the effort proceeded slowly and the costs mounted, but the Association held firm to its quest. A representative of the Association met with a representative of the Lyon Court and with the two other formal claimants. There was an informal agreement of a one-year deadline for completing the necessary documentation. One year passed and everything that could be done in Scotland had been successfully completed. Unfortunately, there was still missing information that could only be obtained in the United States. The major gap concerned the life and death of Dr. Donald, or Donald (VI) and his children. Without authentication of his death, and evidence that he was the father of James (V), there could be no proof of a continuous hereditary chiefship.

During this final crucial period of research, Donald (VIII) died and his son James (IX) became the chief for whom recognition was being sought. All the prior activities had gone forward with the written consent of Donald, and knowledge of James. However, until this moment, there had been no need for direct involvement on their part. Now, it was necessary to get as much information from the Chief as possible. One individual was assigned this task and because the stated deadline had already passed, urgency seemed to be in order. A number of well-meaning individuals began to make independent inquiries in the hope that "many hands" would make "light work." This resulted in overlapping visits to the family gravesites and increasing contacts with the Chief and his relatives that became more and more intrusive. At one point, the Chief received five requests for the same piece of information. The Chief and his immediate family were overwhelmed by what this might foretell, should the petition be successful.

The necessary information was finally obtained and it seemed to be adequate for a successful petition. However, there was one formality remaining, a written petition from the Chief for recognition by the Lyon Court. Up to this point, the Chief had consented to the efforts on behalf of himself, his ancestors, and his descendants. But now, he and his family were having second thoughts. In addition to the major issue of loss of privacy, the petition for recognition had one major drawback, which could lead to additional problems. Petitioning the Court meant accepting the authority of the Lord Lyon over the Chief’s claim and the possibility that the claim would be denied. If denied, the Court could then approve another claim. From the Chief’s point of view, the status quo was preferable to rejection of his petition. Second, the Lyon Court could approve the petition but award a different coat of arms. It is within the power of the Lyon Court to design and award the coat-of-arms regardless of precedence or the wishes of the Chief, although they try to come to an amicable result. Nevertheless, in this particular instance, there was a strong possibility that the Arms awarded by the Lyon Court as correct might not be the traditional ones. When arms already exist, the normal practice is to award the same arms with a difference. However, in the case of Clan MacIntyre, the Court had already awarded Arms to the Camus-na-h-Erie cadet, and they were not the traditional arms with a difference although they were intended to be the Arms of Glenoe with a difference. In fact, the 40th volume, 1955 of the Public Register of Arms in Scotland contains a not by Lord Lyon Innes of Learney that the Camus-na-h-Erie Arms would be the basis of the undifferenced Arms for MacIntyre of Glenoe, if he made a claim that was approved! This meant that there was a real possibility for Glenoe to be awarded the undifferenced Camus-na-h-Erie Arms, something totally unacceptable to the Chief. After all, he had in his possession the great seal and the signet ring carrying the traditional arms. Once the petition was signed, it would be out of the Chief’s hands and he would be at the mercy of the Court. With all of these possibilities before them, and with the loss of their privacy in the balance, the Chief’s family met and decided to forego recognition in Scotland!

An urgent plea was made to the Chief and his family on behalf of his clansmen, especially on behalf of the ninety year old L. D. MacIntyre. L.D. had spent more than half of his life toward this goal, and had exhibited the highest level of friendship, and loyalty to three generations of Chiefs: James (IX), and to his father, Donald (VIII) and to his grandfather, James (VII). On the verge of the successful culmination of L.D.’s lifelong effort, it would be a crushing blow to have it fail, precipitated by the ill-timed enthusiasm of a few, well-meaning individuals. If Glenoe would but sign the petition to the Lord Lyon, a promise was made to maintain his families’ privacy and to do everything possible to have the traditional Arms approved. Shortly thereafter, Glenoe mailed the signed petition to the Lyon Court.

Success of the Petition and Quest. After what seemed like ages, a draft of the Letters Patent was received from the office of the Lord Lyon, King of Arms and Heraldry in Scotland. The good news was that the crest would be the traditional one, without a snowball to distinguish it from the Camus-na-h-Erie cadet. There were some minor changes in the Arms - a rondel1 on the breast of the eagles and a flaming beacon on top of the mast of the galley. From a distance and to a novice, the proposed Arms appeared to be the same as the traditional one. An unexpected surprise was the awarding of supporters,2 which gave Glenoe a higher status than was anticipated, and membership in the Council of Scottish Chiefs. Glenoe was also awarded a pinsel, and banner.

In 1991, at age ninety-four, L. D. MacIntyre had finally completed the quests he conceived 60 years earlier - location of the MacIntyre Chief, completion of a history of Clan MacIntyre, and recognition of the MacIntyre Chief in Scotland.

(Photo) Letters Patent of MacIntyre of Glenoe and Armorial Bearings

1. A round object, with only decorative significance. It isn’t a snowball although it looks like one.
2. Supporters are animals, monsters, or humans who are on each side of the Shield of Arms, holding it up. They are not awarded to every petitioner and represent a higher level of nobility including automatic membership on the Council of Scottish Chiefs.