Ewen Cameron of Lochiel

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Ewen Cameron of Lochiel
Sir Ewen Cameron of Lochiel
Born February 1629
Died February 1719
Nationality Scottish

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] Was most famous for being named as one of Gavin "The Woodman" Woods' Heroes on Radio X FM for being the dourest Scot of all time.

Early years[edit]

Sir Ewan Cameron of Lochiel "Ni-Mhic-Dhomhail-Duibh" 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 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 Royal House of Stuart was deposed being replaced by a foreign dynasty, he became one of the principal commanders in the Jacobite rising where he fought under the celebrated Viscount Dundee at the Battle of Killiecrankie. This battle was won by the genius of Lord Dundee whose legendary status in Jacobite history as their greatest commander was somewhat created by his death at the moment of their biggest triumph. The rebellion then collapsed soon after because of arguments among the remaining leaders. By this time Sir Ewen Cameron was nearly sixty years of age so 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]

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:


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. 


Further reading[edit]

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