Cleland / Clelland /
MacClelland etc. A small family with a great history. From our earliest recorded and
therefore our founding father Alexander Kneland (c1236) (married Margaret Wallace) priest,
mentor and uncle to William Wallace the Patriot.
James, first son of Alexander and cousin to William Wallace became the
Patriot's right hand man fighting beside him at Stirling Bridge, High Street Glasgow and
Falkirk. 'Blind Harry' wrote "Kneland was there, near kinsman to Wallace, syne baid
(stayed) with him in many a perilous place". James was wounded whilst fighting for
Robert the Bruce at Bannockburn and as a reward the Calder Lands (18 miles due East of
Glasgow GPO) Lanarkshire were assigned to him and his family.
Branches of the family also in Lanarkshire
and near Cleland are Monkland, Faskine, Glenhoofe, Blairlin, Stonypath, Little Hareshaw,
Stonehouse and Lesmahagow. Therefore the land and its surrounds took on the name
"CLELAND" rather than the other way round. These lands changed hands on numerous
occasions between cousins usually from Clelands to Hamiltons to Douglases to Clelands to
Hamiltons to Clelands etc.
Many references throughout history from
Cleulande de Clelandtoun (1444) through Lt. Col. William Cleland, Covenanter and
Commanding officer of the Earl of Angus's Regiment known as the Cameronians (later to be
known as the Scottish Rifles), was killed at the Battle of Dunkeld (21st August 1689).
1605 saw many 'Clelands' transplanted to
Ireland. William Cleland (1674 - 1741) who married Lucy DuPass (d 1763) was the last
recorded Clan Chief (Matriculated Arms 1717) and neither his eldest son John Cleland
(Author; 'Fanny Hill or Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure') (d 1789) nor younger son Henry or
daughter Charlotte sought to matriculate arms.