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Clan MacLaren

Clan MacLaren

MacLaren History There is much that remains shadowy and speculative about the origins of Clann Labhran. If they take their name from a 13th-century Abbot Lawrence of Achtow in Balquhidder, their early conflicts with the Mac Gregors and Buchanans are explicable, but not their massacre of Buchanans in Strathyre in the 12th century. Descent from a mediaeval Abbot in Strathearn suggests a branch of the Celtic Dynasty of earls who succeeded the Pictish kings of the Dark Ages there. Yet it was on grounds of descent from owners of the island of Tiree that John Mac Laurin, Lord Dreghorn, son of Professor Colin Mac Laurin, established his claim in 1781 to the chiefship of the Mac Laren clan. The rallying cry of the clan is Creag an Tuirc, which means Boar's Rock, and this rock stands near Achtow and Achleskine in Balquhidder - a far cry from Tiree. When the line of Lord Dreghorn came to an end the clan remained without a chief until, only a few years ago, the representative of the Achleskine branch was recognised as Mac Laren of Mac Laren. These circumstances do not inspire confidence that much is known for certain about the identity of the Mac Laren chiefs during the period when their office played a meaningful part in Highland life. During the 15th century one of the Stewart lords of Lorne married a daughter of Mac Laren of Ardveche, and their son Dougal was the progenitor of the Stewarts of Appin. The line of Ardveche itself continued until 1888, but it does not appear to have been considered as the house of the Mac Laren chiefs. Mac Larens were emigrating to serve as soldiers in France and Italy before the end of the 15th century. When the Chief of Mac Kay took his clansmen to do the same over a century later he stated that it was because conditions had been made impossible for him at home. Was it the same with the Mac Larens? They were overrun twice by the landless Mac Gregors in 1542 and 1558, and described as a broken clan. By the time of the Thirty Years' War they were enlisting in the Swedish service in which Mac Kay's regiment fought. The modern Swedish writer Carl G. Laurin is one of many who commemorates their names. The insecurity caused by the policy of successive Stewart sovereigns and the actions of their Campbell and Gordon lieutenants were especially severe in the area in which the Mac Larens lived.

Septs are other family and clan names which are associated under the Clan MacLaren and these include:
Faed Lair Larnach Laurence Laurenson Law Lawrence Lawrie Lawson Low Lowe Lowson MacClarence MacCrorie MacFade MacFait MacFater MacFead MacFeat MacGrory MacLaren MacLaurin MacPatrick MacPetrie MacPhail MacPhait MacPhater MacRorie MacRory Paterson Patrick Patterson Peterkin Peters Peterson Petrie Robie Robison Wright

CREST:
A lion's head sabled langued or, crowned with an antique crown Or, the four points argent, surrounded by laurel in orle proper.

MOTTO:
Creag an tuirc

TRANSLATION:
The boar's rock

PLANT:
Laurel

GAELIC NAME:
Mac Labhruinn

ORIGIN OF NAME:
Mac Labhruinn
( the son of Laurence)

WAR CRY:
Creag an tuirc
(The boar's rock)

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