Lachlan Mor Maclean

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Sir Lachlan Mor Maclean, 14th Clan Chief
Lachlan Mor Maclean of Duart Fell Here - geograph.org.uk - 1774739.jpg
Born 1558
Died 1598 (age 40)
Battle of Traigh Ghruinneart
Cause of death
Killed in action
Other names Sir Lachlan Mor Maclean of Duart
Big Lachlan
Lachlan the Great
Title 14th Clan Chief
Predecessor Hector Og Maclean, 13th Chief, father
Successor Hector Og Maclean, 15th Clan Chief, son
Spouse(s) Margaret, daughter of William Cunningham, 6th Earl of Glencairn
Children Hector Og Maclean, 15th Clan Chief
Lachlan Og MacLean, 1st Laird of Torloisk
Parents Hector Og Maclean, 13th Chief

Sir Lachlan Mór Maclean (1558–1598) or Lachlan Maclean the Great, was the 14th Clan Chief of Clan MacLean from late 1573 or early 1574 until 1598.[1] Mór or Mor translates as great in English, or magnus in Latin, when added to a name in Scottish Gaelic.[2]

Birth[edit]

He was born in 1558 to Eachuinn Og Maclean. Sir Lachlan became the 14th Maclean Clan Chief at the death of his father in 1573 or 1574.[1]

"He was called 'Big Lachlan,' both on account of his stature and the greatness of his mind. He was the most accomplished and warlike chief that ever held sway in Duard. His military talents were of a very high order; his chivalrous character commanded the respect of his most inveterate foes, and his personal interest for and kindness toward his followers endeared him to his clansmen. So great were his qualities that historians have been forced to pay tribute to his memory."[1]

Marriage and children[edit]

He married Lady Margaret Cunningham of Glencairn, daughter of William Cunningham, 6th Earl of Glencairn.[3] They had the following children:[1]

Death[edit]

He died on August 5, 1598 in the Battle of Traigh Ghruinneart on the Island of Islay. He was killed by the forces of Sir James MacDonald, 9th of Dunnyveg.[4][5]

His remains were left on the battlefield. A day or two after the battle, it is said that two women, of whom different accounts are given — some calling them strangers, some clanswomen, some relations of the dead — grieving to think that the body of so notable a chief as Sir Lachlan Mor should be unburied and uncared for on the moorland, came from a distance in search of it. They hired a vehicle, the only one to be had in the neighborhood, and having found the corpse, proceeded to carry it to the nearest burying-grounds, about six miles distant. The way was rough, and the driver looking behind him saw the head of the great chief, which extended beyond the car, nodding to him at every jolt, as if it had life, and were giving him directions. At the next heavy rut he looked again to please his savage soul with ferocious enjoyment. But this time the elder female, who had watched him, acted as described in the ballad, and killed the brutal driver with the chieftain's dagger. Then, along with her companion, she brought the mortal remains of Sir Lachlan to the place where they still lie buried.[1]

Sir Lachlan Mor MacLean was buried in the churchyard of Kilchoman on Islay, near the south wall of the church, and over his grave is laid a great stone. There is a churchyard, Kilnave, near the battle-field; but the body was taken to Kilchoman that it might be more honored, for he was buried inside the church, and when a new church was built there, around 1829, the wall was so constructed that the grave was left outside the church.[1]

Legacy[edit]

The plaque that marks the spot where he died says: "Lachlan Mor Maclean of Duart Fell Here. This cairn marks the spot where Maclean fell in the Battle of Traigh Ghruinneart. The battle is the best known incident of the long and bitter fued [sic?] between the Macleans and the Macdonalds for control of the Rinns. Sir Lachlan was killed by his nephew, Sir James Macdonald of Knockrinsay."

Ancestors[edit]

Sir Lachlan Mor Maclean's ancestors in three generations
Sir Lachlan Mor Maclean Father:
Eachuinn Og Maclean
Paternal Grandfather:
Eachuinn Mor Maclean
Paternal Great-Grandfather:
Lachlan Cattanach Maclean
Paternal Great-grandmother:
Katherine, daughter of Archibald Campbell, 2nd Earl of Argyll
Paternal Grandmother:
Mary MacDonald of Islay and the Glens
Paternal Great-Grandfather:
Alexander MacDonald of Islay and the Glens
Paternal Great-Grandmother:
Mother:
Janet Campbell of Argyll
Maternal Grandfather:
Archibald Campbell, 4th Earl of Argyll
Maternal Great-Grandfather:
Colin Campbell, 3rd Earl of Argyll
Maternal Great-Grandmother:
Jean, daughter of Alexander Gordon, 3rd Earl of Huntly
Maternal Grandmother:
Maternal Great-grandfather:
Maternal Great-Grandmother:

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f MacLean, John Patterson (1889). A History of the Clan MacLean from Its First Settlement at Duard Castle, in the Isle of Mull, to the Present Period: Including a Genealogical Account of Some of the Principal Families Together with Their Heraldry, Legends, Superstitions, etc.. R. Clarke & Company. "Sir Lachlan Mor became chief. He was called "Big Lachlan," both on account of his size and the greatness of his mind. It is recorded that he was the most accomplished and warlike chief that ever held sway in the castle. This assumption might be owing to the nearness of his time, whilst those remote might grow dim as ages melt away. His military talents were of a high order; his chivalrous character everywhere commanded respect, and his devoted interest in behalf of his people endeared him to all. Historians have written of him in unstinted praise. His reign covers a very interesting period, though varied and much given to tumult. He fell in a clan battle with the MacDonalds of Islay, on August 5, 1598 ... His issue by Margaret, daughter of William Cunningham, sixth earl of Glencairn, was Eachann Og, his eldest son and successor, Lachlan Og, of whom the family of Torloisk was descended, Gillean, married to Mary the elder, Allan, married to Mary the younger, both daughters of John Dubh of Morvern, and Charles. The only daughter married Hector MacLean of Lochbuy, the first Protestant of his family also." 
  2. ^ "Mór". MacBain's Dictionary. Retrieved 2009-04-17. "great, Irish mór, Old Irish mór, már, Welsh mawr, Old Welsh, Cornish maur, Breton meur, Gaulish -mârós; Gothic -mêrs, famed, mêrian, proclaim, Old High German mâri, famed, -mar in Germanic names German märchen, a tale, Norse moerr, famous; Slavonic -meru (Vladimir, etc.); Latin merus, English mere. A shorter form of the stem (mâro-) appears in mò, greater (mâ)" 
  3. ^ "Lady Margaret Cuninghame". Thepeerage.com. Retrieved 2009-08-30. "Lady Margaret Cuninghame is the daughter of William Cuninghame, 6th Earl of Glencairn and Janet Gordon. She married Sir Lachlan 'Mor' Maclean of Dowart." 
  4. ^ Reverend Angus Macdonald and Reverend Archibald Macdonald (1900). The Clan Donald, Volume 2. "A fierce battle was fought at a place called Traigh Ghruinneart, at the head of Loch Gruinneart. ..." 
  5. ^ Conflicts of the Clans: The Death of Sir Lauchlan Maclean in 1598. Foulis Press. 1764. "Sir Lauchlan Maclean's ambition, together with his desire of revenge, thrust him on to claim the inheritance of the whole Isle of Islay, being always the possession and ancient inheritance of the Clan Donald, all which Maclean thought easily now to compass, Sir James Macdonald (the just inheritor thereof) being young, and his father, Angus Macdonald, aged. ..."