MACLENNAN OF MACLENNAN, Ruaridh Donald
Ruaridh Donald George MACLENNAN OF MACLENNAN recognised by Lord Lyon King of Arms as Chief
of Clan Maclennan. Educ: Fettes and Univ of Aberdeen; b 22 April 1977, son of Ronald
George Maclennan of Maclennan (decd) and Margaret Anne Maclennan (decd). Address: Oldmill,
Dores, Inverness-shire IV2 6TR.
Chieftan: Greg MacLennan,Australia
The MacLennans are of ancient Celtic origin from Ireland, and in the mist of antiquity we
find Lide MacLennan and his Clan of twelve hundred men in Ossianic poetry. The
MacGillafinnens, or MacLennans, were titled Lords of Loch Erne, Tairg, and Muintir
Peodachain. In Scotland they were appanaged land in Lorne, Mull, Tiree, and Iona. St.
Adamans recorded they were occupying Glenshiel at an early date and were in residence at
Eilean Donnan Castle before 1263. They spread to Strathearn in Perthshire, Kirkcudbright,
Dumbarton and Galloway. In Kintail, they lived with their kin, the MacRuairis, who were
granted ten davochs of Kintail by David II in 1342.
After raiding Tain and Chanonry in 1372 the Clan was defeated by the Frasers
and MacRaes of Aird at Drumderfit, Black Isle. The sept name Lobban originated from this
battle. A further reverse at Lagabraad Conon in 1481 of Chief Duncan and his Clan
terminated the MacDonald association. The name Logan is from the Gaelic word Laggan,
meaning low lying ground, and this sept provided the Knights Sir Robert and Sir Walter
Logan who escorted King Robert the Bruce's heart to the Holy Land. Both died with Sir
James Douglas fighting the Moors in Spain in 1329.
At an early date they held lands in Strathearn, Galloway,
Ulster and later were Barons occupying Restalrig and Fast Castles. Geoffrey, son of Knight
Logan c1150 took the name of his estate GASK from whom those of the name Gass descend.
Duncan MacLennan of Strathearn, who is mentioned in the charter of Alexander II in 1217,
became Laird of Bombie. This spelling over a period of time became MacLellan and there
were no fewer than 14 Knights in Galloway at the beginning of the 15th Century.
The religious strife in Scotland and Ireland brought the Clan together. Chief Ruairidh
Ban, Son of John MacGillafinnen, was in Holland around 1630 in connection with the flight
of the Earls from Ireland. At the Battle of Auldearn in 1645, the Clan (Scottish, Irish
and Logans) failed to receive the order to retreat; were isolated and cut down by the Duke
Gordon's Cavalry; eighteen Captains of the Clan were killed; and brothers of the Chief
(Donald and Duncan MacIan) died defending the Standard. In recognition of the outstanding
bravery of gigantic red-haired Chief Rory Ban, he was offered an honourable surrender;
however, he declined and was shot. As Bothwell observed, the MacRaes married the widows
and became a considerable Clan. A hundred years later at the Battle of Culloden, only
twelve of the Clan took part, including Roderick (grandson of Chief Rory), so the great
losses at Auldearn were still obvious.
Emigration to seek betterment in places throughout the world
saw further disbandment of the Clan. However, the embers of pride in our heritage still
glow as Chief Ruairidh Donald George MacLennan of MacLennan, the 35th Hereditary Chief of
Clan MacLennan, enthusiastically leads the Clan, and along with his sisters Kirsteen and
Lorna, ensures the continuation and grace of our evergreen line.
ORIGINS OF OUR NAME
The following are the three most probable sources from which our surname may have evolved.
There would seem to be a strong argument for the first two, since many Highland Clans
acquired ecclesiastical patronymics in honor of Celtic saints.
· Siol Adamnan (Race of Adamnan) probably in honor of St. Adamnan.
· Siol Finan (Race of Finian) probably in honor of St Finian.
· Siol Liannan (Race of the Sweetheart) possibly referring to an illegitimate offspring.
The MacLennans/Logans consist of two distinct families; one belonging to the Highlands and
the other to the Lowlands. However, as far as it is known, there is no historical evidence
to connect the two families. The Logans of the south held Restalrig near Edinburgh and it
was Sir Robert of that Ilk who married a daughter of Robert II and was made Admiral of
Scotland in 1400. But even before then two knights of the name were recorded as companions
of Sir James Douglas carrying Bruce's heart to the Holy Land. However the Logans did not
remain in favour and the last Logan of Restalrig died an outlaw and the family became
extinct. The Highland Lobans or Logans, "Siol Ghillinnein" (MacLennan),
according to tradition descend from Logan of Drumderfit in Easter Ross. Their legendary
leader Gilligorm in a feud with the Frasers was killed in a sanguiary battle at North
Kessock between the two clans. The widow of Gilligorm was carried off by the Frasers and
later gave birth to a deformed child who was named Crotair Mac Gilligorm (the
hump-backed). He was educated by the monks at Beauly and later joined the church. He
founded the churches of Kilmor in Skye and Kilchrinin in Glenelg. His son was named Gille
Fhinnein, "The Devotee of St. Finnan" of which the Anglicized form is Maclennan.
The Logans of Drumderfit were still in Easter Ross in the early 18th century, and in
Wester Ross they lived neighbouring the Macraes and were followers of the Mackenzies of
Kintail for whom they were Standard Bearers. James Logan was the famous author of the
"Scottish Gael" (1831) which was a record of the Highlands and the first serious
attempt to record the history of Highland dress. The present chief was 12 years old when,
in 1989, he succeeded his father as the 35th chief of Clan MacLennan. He was also the head
chorister at St. Andrew's Episcopal Cathedral, Inverness.
Motto: Dum spiro spero (Latin: While I breathe, I hope)
Badge: A demi-piper all Proper.
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and may not be reproduced without permission.
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