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Clan and Tartan

Tartan Tuesday - Clan Lamont

Tartan Tuesday - Clan Lamont
By Kirsty McIntyre

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Clan motto: Ne Parcas nec Spernas ("Neither Spare not Despise")

Clan Lamont are a Highland clan, who spent centuries overseeing the Cowal peninsula of Argyll. They are said to be descended from Anrothan Ua Neill, an Irish prince of the O' Neill dynasty. The clan's name is derived from the medieval personal name of "Lagman".

One of the most famous stories in the clan's history comes from their relationship with clan Gregor. Around the turn of the 17th century, the sons of the Lamont chief and the Gregor chief were on a hunting trip when a quarrel broke out and the Gregor clansman was mortally wounded. Lamont fled the scene, and after losing his way came across the residence of MacGregor of Glenstrae, the Gregor clan chief.

MacGregor offered Lamont shelter, even after realising that it was his own son who had been killed, and turned the furious Gregor clansmen who had pursued Lamont away before helping him to make his escape. Years later, when MacGregor was fleeing the Campbells after they had stripped him of his lands, Lamont offered him protection in the clan's Toward Castle. MacGregor subsequently lived with Lamont for several years, and when he died he was buried on Lamont land.


Clan Lamont have long been associated with clan Campbell, their historic neighbours. The two clans formed an alliance to thwart an English expedition ordered by Henry VIII in 1544, but for most of their history they maintained a fierce rivalry, largely due to their proximity and overlapping lands. This association led to the infamous "Dunoon Massacre" of 1646, in which clan Campbell sought retribution for losses sustained in the 1645 Battle of Inverlochy. The Campbells asked for hospitality at Toward Castle, which was granted as according to custom, and once inside the castle the Campbells killed the Lamonts in their beds. They then went on to murder hundreds of Lamonst clanspeople, including women and children.The losses sustained as a result crippled the clan Lamont in the 18th century and they were largely absent from the Jacobite uprisings and subsequent violence.

The current clan chief is the Rev. Fr. Peter Noel Lamont of that Ilk, Chief of the Name and Arms of Lamont.

Notable Lamonts

Ned Lamont is an American businessman and politician who is currently serving as the 89th Governor of Connecticut.

Johann Lamont is a Scottish politician and previous leader of the Scottish Labour Party between 2011 and 2014.