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Clan Lamont

Clan Lamont

A name of great antiquity in south Argyll, where at one time the chiefs were described as "Mac Laomain Mor Chomhail Uile" - "The Great Mac Lamont of All Cowal". Although some believe the name to be Norman or French, the family almost certainly originated in Ulster. Logmaor, meaning, in old Norse, "lawman" or "law-giver", became in Gaelic "ladhman" and it is from a son of the great O'Neill princes of Tyrone that the chiefs are said to descend. The Lamonts were also one time called Macerchat, from Fearchar, the grandfather of the first Ladhman. the first certain record of the chiefs is found in charters of the early 13th century. Laumanus, son of Malcolm granted to the monks of Paisly lands at Kilmun, together with the church of Kilfinan. These grants were confirmed in 1270 and again in 1295 by Malcolm, the son of Laumanus. In 1456 John Lamond is recorded as the baillie of Cowal. Later that century the direct line of the chiefs is believed to have failed, and the representation of the family passed to the Lamonts of Inveryne, later styled Lamont of Lamont. They established their chief seats at the strong castles of Toward and Ascog, which they held until their destruction by the Campbells in the 17th century. Sir James Lamont of Lamont, chief of the clan in 1643, was a well respected and popular leader who was deeply interested in the welfare of his people. He declared for the royalist cause, which brought his clan into direct confrontation with his powerful Campbell neighbours. In 1646 a Campbell army invaded the Lamont territory and besieged the castles. Sir James Lamont surrendered having reached apparently honourable terms with the Campbells - the fortresses were to be handed over but the lives of the Lamonts were to be spared. However, Sir James was imprisoned for five years. Over 200 clansmen, women and children were massacred and the castles reduced to ruins. The Lamont charges were brought against the Duke of Argyll at his trial in 1661, but the Lamonts did not receive compensation. The chiefs took up residence at Ard Lamont, where the last chief to live in Cowal was born in 1854. In 1893, the last of the clan lands were sold and the chiefs later emigrated to Australia.

Septs of Clan Lamont:
Black, Brown, Bourdon, Burdon, Lamb, Lambie, Lammie, Lamondson, Landers, Lemond, Limond, Limont, Lucas, Luke, Lyon, Macalduie, MacClymont, MacGilledow, MacGillegowie, Macilzegowie, Macilwhom, MacLamond, MacLucas, MacLymont, MacPatrick, MacPhorich, MacSorley, Meikleham, Patrick, Sorley, Toward, Towart, Turner, White

A dexter hand, open, paleways, couped at the wrist, proper.

Ne parcas nec spernas

Neither spare nor dispose

Crab apple tree

Mac Laomainn

Norse, lawman

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