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Early history of the
McLennan family (2 of 2)



Artist's rendering of a MacLennan clansman.
Residing near Loch Duich near the Isle of Skye, the MacLennans became involved in 1645 at the battle of Auldearn defending the Duke of Argyle against the British campaign of Montrose. At the battle in May 1645, the MacLennans defended the standard of Lord Seaforth to nearly the last man. Eighteen of the widows then married their servants and with that the MacRaes became an important part of the clan. Chief Rory Ban MacLennan was offered an honorable surrender for his valiant fighting, he refused and was put to death with his men. The MacRaes also lived along the shore of Loch Duich. At the battle of Sherriffmuir (also called Dunblain) November 13, 1715, the MacLennans again gave good account of themselves backing the attempt to put "Bonnie Prince Charlie" on the British throne. On April 16, 1746, at the battle of Culloden, the MacLennans and their highland partners lost over 1,000 as Charlie fled for France and the Jacobite revolt was over.

  Eilean Donan
Eilean Donan Castle, Loch Duich
Do the MacLennans fall heir to a castle? According to the Clan MacLennan web page they do. Castle Eilean Donan located on Loch Duich, or some 8 miles inland from the Kyle of Lochlash and the Isle of Skye. The castle was part of the MacRae properties and with it came the MacLennans. It was totally destroyed in 1719 by the British. In 1932, the castle was rebuilt by Lt. Colonel John McRae and is now a tourist attraction. Thus we have two divisions of the MacLennans, the castle portion who lived in the Loch Duich area and the farmer portion who lived on the Black Isle.

The portion of the clan in which we are most interested can be traced to the 1700s and appears to be centered around the Black Isle in Ross shire in Moray Firth. It is quite possible that this branch of the clan fled here following the Battle of Culloden. Not being landed, the clan of the north worked at crofts and farms. Another history states that the MacLennans have always been on the Black Isle, but what does "always" really mean?

It has been claimed by many a writer that a good MacLennan with his tartan robe and a bottle of brandy can weather any enemy, man, weather and beasties. Their stamina has an advantage over more effeminate troops in time of war:

MacLennan badge
  • The clan motto -- "Dum spiro spero" (While I breath I hope).
  • The clan war cry -- "Druim nan deur" (The rage of tears)
  • The clan -- Castle Eilean Donan
  • The clan colors -- Oreen and gold
  • The clan crest -- A demi piper
  • The clan plant -- Whin, also known as a Gorse or Furze
  • The clan tartans -- Modern, Ancient and Weathered
  • The clan pipes -- Muir of Ord (march); Loch Maree (march); Major John MacLennan (march); MacLennans return to Kintail (march); Cairns of Drumderfit (retreat); Loch Duich (air)
  • The Galic name -- CLANN OLCILLFHINNEIN
  • SIOL ADAMNAN -- the race of Adamnan
  • SIOL FINAN -- the race of Finian
  • SIOL LIANNAN -- the race of the sweetheart

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