Ewen Cameron of Lochiel

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Ewen Cameron of Lochiel
Sir Ewen Cameron of Lochiel
BornFebruary 1629
DiedFebruary 1719

Sir Ewen Cameron of Lochiel (February 1629 – February 1719[1]) was a Scottish highland chief, the 17th Lochiel.

Lord Macaulay described Sir Ewen as the "Ulysses of the Highlands", being a man of enormous strength and size. An incident showing his strength and ferocity in single combat is used by Sir Walter Scott in Lady of the Lake (canto v.).[2]

Early years[edit]

Sir Ewan Cameron of Lochiel was the eldest son of John Cameron and the grandson of Allan Cameron of Lochiel, 16th Chief (c. 1567/68 – c. 1647; son of John Cameron and Margaret Mackintosh).[3] His father having predeceased him in infancy, Ewen Cameron spent much of his youth under the guardianship of the 1st Marquess of Argyll at Inveraray. In 1647 he succeeded his grandfather as Chief of Cameron, being one of the most important Highland clans.[2]

The Camerons were always strong supporters of the Royal Stuarts and as The Lochiel he joined William Cunningham, 9th Earl of Glencairn in the Royalist rising of 1651 to 1654, being defeated at the Battle of Tullich in 1652. However, Sir Ewen also won several minor skirmishes; after the defeat of this attempt he served the royalist cause by harassing the Parliamentarian general and military governor of Scotland General George Monck. He then built a new base at Achnacarry Castle in 1655, to keep his men further away from the government troops. It was only upon the death of Oliver Cromwell in 1658 did he submit to general Monck and was received warmly for his chivalrous conduct during the Civil War. Soon after he accompanied Monck to London where the General called a meeting of Parliament to discuss the new status quo. After lengthy discussion and debate it was decided that the King would be invited back from exile and that the Royal House of Stuart would be restored to the throne after a Republican Interregnum of 12 years. For his loyal service during the Civil War, the Lochiel was received warmly by the King and was allowed soon after to return to his estates.

On 20 September 1665, Lochiel ended the 360-year feud with Clan Mackintosh after the stand-off at the Fords of Arkaig near Achnacarry.[4] From that point, Ewen Cameron was responsible for keeping the peace between his clansmen and their former enemies. However whilst he was away in London in 1668, a feud broke out between Clan Donald and hostile elements of Clan Mackintosh, who headed the confederation of clans known as Clan Chattan. Being absent he was unable to constrain some of his clansmen and they made a small contribution to the MacDonald victory over the Mackintoshes at the Battle of Maol Ruadh (Mulroy).[5]

In another dispute, Lochiel was on his way to talk to the Duke of Atholl about a border between Lochaber and Perthshire when he met Gormshuil Mhòr na Maighe. She was married to a Cameron and was known for her supernatural powers.. At first he ignored Gormshuil but she told him to return home to get his men. He should take them with him and keep them hidden and if he needed them he was to turn his coat inside out. Lochiel took her advice and although Atholl too had men lying in wait, he was able to defeat them. This dispute between Lochiel and Atholl led to the Cameron clan's motto 'Sons of the hounds, come here and get flesh.' It's also said that this came from the tune Lochiel's piper was playing at the time, 'Thigibh an seo, chlanna nan con, is gheibh sibh feoil, (Come hither, children of the hounds, and you’ll get flesh).

In 1681, Sir Ewen was knighted by Charles II, whom he had fought alongside during the Civil War. After the Glorious Revolution in 1688 when the House of Stuart was replaced by a foreign dynasty, the Hanoverians, he became one of the principal commanders in the Jacobite rising of 1689 where he fought under John Graham of Claverhouse, Viscount Dundee, at the Battle of Killiecrankie, a victory marred by Claverhouse’s death. After this the Jacobite rebellion soon collapsed because of arguments among the remaining leaders. By this time Sir Ewen Cameron, nearly sixty years old, had started to give his son, the Master of Lochiel, greater responsibilities. The Lochiel felt he was now too old to participate directly in military action thus designated his son John Cameron to lead his clan in battle, most notably in the second Jacobite rising of 1715 at the Battle of Sheriffmuir.

Marriage and children[edit]

Sir Ewen married three times and had many children, of which eleven were daughters: His first wife was Mary Macdonald, daughter of Sir Donald Macdonald, 8th of Sleat.

His second wife was Isabel Maclean, daughter of Sir Lachlan Maclean of Maclean, Bart. Their children included:[6]

  • Major Donald Cameron (d. 1719), Alan Cameron, Margaret Cameron, Ann Cameron who married Allan Maclean, 10th of Ardgour, Katherine Cameron, Janet Cameron (d. 9 Feb 1759) Married John Grant-"Ian-a-Chragain" Laird of Glenmoriston-, and Lord Lochiel (d. 1747/48), who succeeded as 18th Chief of Clan Cameron.

His third wife was Jean Barclay, daughter of Lieutenant-Colonel David Barclay. Their children included: Ludovick Cameron; Christian Cameron; Jean Cameron, who married Ewen MacPherson of Cluny (Chief of MacPherson); Isabel Cameron; Katharine Cameron, married to John Campbell of Achalader; Una Cameron, who married her cousin Robert Barclay Allardice (MP) (1732-1797), 5th laird of Ury (1732–1797), MP for Kincardineshire from 1788 until his death, and died giving birth to Captain Barclay, "the celebrated pedestrian"[7]); Marjory Cameron; and Lucy Cameron, married to Patrick Campbell of Barcaldine.[3]


Sir Ewen died after the Battle of Glen Shiel in 1719 when Major Donald Cameron died too. His son John Cameron, Lord Lochiel succeeded him and died at Flanders in 1748.

Lord Lochiel's son, The Hon. Donald Cameron otherwise known as The Gentle Lochiel, joined the Young Pretender (Prince Charles Stuart) in 1745, was wounded at the Battle of Culloden before escaping to France.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Sir Ewen Cameron, of Lochiel, 17th Chief of Clan Cameron. Clan Cameron Australia (Robert Cameron). 1996–2004. Retrieved 8 April 2009.
  2. ^ a b Chisholm 1911.
  3. ^ a b "Person Page – 19954". thepeerage.com. Retrieved 1 February 2008.
  4. ^ MacKenzie (1883/2008) p156
  5. ^ The Battle of Mulroy
  6. ^ De la Caillemotte de Massue de Ruvigny, Melville Amadeus Henry Douglas Heddle (1904). The Jacobite Peerage, Baronetage, Knightage and Grants of Honour. Cameron of Lochiel, by his second wife, Isabel, daughter of Sir Lauchlan MacLean. He had issue : # S/x William MacGregor, otherwise Drummond, his heir. # Ewen MacGregor, otherwise Drummond, died s.p. # John MacGregor, otherwise Drummond, author of the memoir of his grandfather, Sir Ewen Cameron of Lochiel. # Duncan MacGregor, otherwise Drummond, died s.p. # Alexander MacGregor, otherwise Drummond, died s.p. # Donald MacGregor, otherwise Drummond, a sailor, went to Nova Scotia; married Ann, daughter of [Herman] Groesbeck of New York, and had one son who died unmarried, and five daughters, of whom the third, Mary, married in 1781, as below, her cousin-german, Sir Alexander MacGregor, third Baronet.
  7. ^ "BARCLAY ALLARDICE, Robert (1732-97), of Urie, Kincardine. | History of Parliament Online". www.historyofparliamentonline.org. Retrieved 15 January 2018.


Further reading[edit]

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