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The clan MacEwen trace their descent from the Kings of Ireland and claim a common ancestor, Anradan, with the Lamonts, MacLachlans and the MacNeils; together these clans were in possession of the greater part of the district of Cowal. The MacEwens were established on a strip of land along Loch Fyne between the lands of the Lamonts to the south and those of the MacLachlans to the north. The earliest chief of the clan on record was Eoghain na' h' Oitrich (Ewen the Otter) who lived at the beginning of the 13th century. He was succeeded by Severan II of Otter. For a century little is known of the chiefs or the history of the clan. Gillespie V of Otter assumed the chiefship about 1315 and was followed by Ewen, John and Walter. The last chief of the clan to hold the barony of Otter was Swene MacEwen IX who in 1431-32 granted a charter of these lands to Duncan Campbell and resigned the barony to James I. He received it again from the King with the remainder to Celistine Campbell, son and heir of Duncan Campbell of Lochow. After Swene's death in 1513, King James V confirmed the barony on Colin, Earl of Argyll and thereafter the lands of Loch Fyne remained in the possession of the Campbells and the MacEwens became a "problem" clan. The MacEwens found their way to many districts, some became absorbed by the Camerons and Mackintoshes others stayed on in Argyll and associated with the Campbells and the MacDougalls. Many of the clan settled on the shores of Loch Lomond in the Lennox country and are claimed to have fought on the side of Mary Queen of Scots at the battle of Langside in 1568. Some moved on into Galloway and others to Perthshire. However despite the fragmented nature of the clan, the ruins of MacEwen's castle can still be seen on the coast of Loch Fyne, and as a commemorate mark, the MacEwen Clan Society erected a cairn at this spot in 1990.



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