Red Hector of the Battles Maclean

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Hector Roy Maclean
6th Chief of Clan Maclean
2nd Laird of Duart
In office
1405-1411 (6 years)
Preceded byLachlan Lubanach Maclean, 5th Chief, father
Succeeded byLachlan Bronneach Maclean, 7th Chief, son
Personal details
ParentsLachlan Lubanach Maclean

Red Hector of the Battles Maclean (?-1411), or Eachann Ruadh nan Cath in Scottish Gaelic, was the 6th Chief of Clan Maclean.


He was the son of Lachlan Lubanach Maclean, and he early distinguished himself by daring exploits, and was noted as being one of the best swordsmen of his time. He became so celebrated as a swordsman, that many knights who had gained for themselves renown came from distant parts to measure weapons with him. One of these was a renowned knight of Norway, who challenged Hector Roy to mortal combat. The challenge was accepted. They met at Saleu, in Mull, where they fought, and where the Norwegian fell. A green mound and cairn on the sea-shore mark the spot where Hector had his antagonist buried.[1]

There was an old Gaelic poem, which affirmed that Hector commanded a great fleet to the coast of Ireland, and there defeated some of the ships of the King of England. He landed his troops; placed the city of Dublin under contribution; carried fire and sword into the country; destroyed many of his enemies, and burnt their houses. This must be the expedition hinted at in Raphael Holinshed's Chronicle of Ireland where it is recorded that "in the year 1400 at Whitesuntide, the first year of King Henry IV, the constable of Dublin, and divers others at Stanford in Ulster, fought by sea with the Scots, where many Englishmen were slain and drowned."[1]

Marriage and children[edit]

Hector Roy's marriage to a daughter of the Earl of Douglas (either Archibald the Third or Fourth Earl of Douglas) greatly enlarged his influence. That nobleman made many overtures to induce Hector to withdraw himself from his dangerous connection with his uncle Domhnall of Islay, Lord of the Isles and Earl of Ross, now on the brink of open war with Robert, Duke of Albany and regent of the kingdom. Hector firmly withstood the blandishments of his father-in-law, for his duty as hereditary Lieutenant-General of the Isles was to his uncle Donald, and the approaching contest afforded a new field for the display of his valor.[1]


While serving as a lieutenant-general under his uncle Donald of Islay, Lord of the Isles at the Battle of Harlaw in 1411, Hector was killed by Sir Alexander Irvine of Drum in hand-to-hand combat, which was described as "a noble and notable single combat" where both men died of their injuries.[1]


Eachuinn Ruadh nan cath Maclean's ancestors in three generations
Eachuinn Ruadh nan cath Maclean Father:
Lachlan Lubanach Maclean of Duart
Paternal Grandfather:
Iain Dubh mac Gilliemore Maclean
Paternal Great-Grandfather:
Maolcaluim mac Giliosa Maclean
Paternal Great-grandmother:
Rioghnach of Carrick
Paternal Grandmother:
Daughter of Cumming, Lord of the Braes of Lochaber
Paternal Great-Grandfather:
Cumming, Lord of the Braes of Lochaber
Paternal Great-Grandmother:
Mary Macdonald
Maternal Grandfather:
John of Islay, Lord of the Isles
Maternal Great-Grandfather:
Aonghus Óg Mac Domhnaill, Lord of Islay
Maternal Great-Grandmother:
Áine Ní Chatháin
Maternal Grandmother:
Margaret Stewart
Maternal Great-grandfather:
Robert II of Scotland
Maternal Great-Grandmother:
Elizabeth Mure


 This article incorporates text from A history of the clan Mac Lean 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, by John Patterson MacLean, a publication from 1889 now in the public domain in the United States.

  1. ^ a b c d 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.