McNab township was created in 1825, comprising roughly 80,000 acres of unsettled land, covering the current Town of Arnprior and Township of McNab/Braeside. It was granted by the government ("Family Compact") to Archibald 13th Laird of McNab (1779-1860), who had fled from his debts in Scotland. He promised to settle it with Highland clansmen, and the first group of eighty-four settlers arrived the same year, 1825. McNab ruled with an iron fist over the Scottish settlers. Only after eighteen years of petitions, court battles, and appeals was his grip loosened when the government finally began issuing Crown grants to the settlers. His feudal powers removed, the Laird eventually sold his lands to the government and returned to Europe in 1852, never to return.