Tartan Tuesdays - Clan Cameron

Tartan Tuesdays - Clan Cameron
By Sophie 9 months ago 2349 Views No comments

The tartan pictured is the Cameron Modern, 13oz, Pure New Wool Tartan.

To view this tartan, click here; https://www.scotweb.co.uk/tartan/Cameron-Modern-Co...

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Clan Cameron is a West Highland Scottish clan, with one main branch Lochiel, and numerous cadet branches such as Erracht, Clunes, Glen Nevis, and Fassifern. The Clan Cameron lands are in Lochaber and within their lands is the mountain Ben Nevis which is the highest mountain in the British Isles.

Origin of the clan

The origins of Clan Cameron are uncertain. There are several theories of the Camerons' origins. A manuscript of the clan says that it is old tradition that the Camerons were originally descended from the son of the royal family of Denmark who assisted the restoration of King Fergus II of Scotland, and that their progenitor was called Cameron from his crooked nose, and that his dependents then adopted the name. However, the chronicler adds, that it is more probable that they are the aborigines of the ancient Scots known as Caledonians. This statement proved that the writer of the history understood neither the meaning of the language he used nor the subject on which he pronounced an opinion. According to John Major, the Clan Cameron and the Chattan Confederation shared a common origin and together followed one chief, but this statement has no foundation or evidence to support it. Allen surnamed MacOrchtry the son of Uchtred is mentioned by tradition as the chief of Camerons during the reign of King Robert II of Scotland and, according to the same source, the Camerons and Chattan Confederation were two rival, hostile tribes, a more likely explanation.

During the 13th and 14th centuries, the most important tribes in Lochaber were the Clan Donald, the Chattan Confederation, and the Mael-anfhaidh. Traditionally, the Mael-anfhaidh consisted of three main tribes; the MacMartins of Letterfinlay; the Macgillonies (Mac ghille-anfhaidh); and the MacSorlies of Glennevis (Sliochd Shoirle Ruaidh). The MacMartins are said to have provided the chief of this confederation of tribes. Donald Dubh Cameron, already mentioned, married the daughter of the MacMartin chief and either through this or by his own prowess assumed the leadership or captaincy of the confederation of clans which later formed the Clan Cameron.

Some time towards the end of the 14th century, a chief or leader called Donald Dubh, whose surname was Cameron, arose in Lochaber. He must have been a man of importance, ability, and energy, for he had a large following composed of local tribes. Donald Dubh was the first 'authentic' chief or captain of this confederation of tribes which gradually became known as the Clan Cameron, taking the name of their captain as the generic name of the whole, until the clan was first officially recognized by that name in a charter of 1472.

Wars of Scottish Independence

In the 14th Century, during the Wars of Scottish Independence, Clan Cameron fought for King Robert the Bruce, led by Chief VII John de Cameron against the English at the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314. Later, the clan, led by Chief VIII John De Cameron, fought at the Battle of Halidon Hill in 1333.

14th Century & Clan Conflicts

Clan Cameron was involved in many clan battles mostly against Clan MacKintosh with whom they had an extensive feud which lasted over 350 years:

Battle of Drumlui, 1337, A dispute between the Clan MacKintosh and Clan Cameron over land at Glenlui and Loch Arkaig. The Camerons were defeated but started a 350 year feud.

Battle of Invernahoven, 1370. Fought between the Clan Cameron and the Chattan Confederation of Clan MacKintosh, Clan Macpherson and Clan Davidson.

Battle of the North Inch, 1396. In the aftermath of the battle of Invernahoven, the Camerons did not wait long to take their revenge on the MacKintoshes and the Chattan Confederation. The feud between them had become so fierce and bloody that King Robert III was made aware of it. The King brought the two rival chiefs of Clan Cameron and Clan MacKintosh together and decided it would be resolved by the sword. The king ordered part of the river near the city of Perth to be enclosed with a deep ditch in the form of an amphitheatre with seats and benches for the spectators, his majesty himself sitting as the judge on the field. Crowds and combatants appeared. The clans chose thirty of their best warriors each to take part. Four of the MacKintoshes survived the battle but they were all mortally wounded. One Cameron survived and escaped by swimming across the River Tay. The MacKintoshes regained all their lands that had been taken from them.

15th century & clan conflicts

Battle of Harlaw, 1411, The Clan Cameron fought as Highlanders at the Battle of Harlaw near Inverurie in Aberdeenshire on 24 July 1411 against an Army of Scottish Lowlanders. The Camerons took the side of Donald, Lord of the Isles, (MacDonald) who was the current Earl of Ross through marriage. Their enemy was the Duke of Albany.

Battle of Split Allegiances, 1429, This conflict was between forces led by Alexander of Islay, Earl of Ross, 3rd Lord of the Isles and the Royalist army of King James I of Scotland.

Battle of Palm Sunday, 1429, Fought between the Clan Cameron against the Clan Mackintosh and the Chattan Confederation.

Battle of Inverlochy (1431), The Clan Cameron together with their enemies the Clan MacKintosh fought against the Clan Donald whose chief Alexander of Islay, Earl of Ross had been imprisoned by the King. The MacDonalds were then led by Alexander's nephew, Donald Balloch who defeated the army led by the Earl of Mar.

Battle of Corpach, 1439, Fought between the Clan Cameron and Clan Maclean.

Battle of Craig Cailloch, 1441, Clan MacKintosh, at the instigation of Alexander, Lord of the Isles, began to invade and raid the Cameron lands. A sanguinary conflict took place in this year at Craig Cailloch between Clan Cameron and the MacKintoshes in which MacKintosh's second son, Lachlan Badenoch was wounded and Gillichallum, his brother, killed.

In 1472 Alan MacDonald Dubh, 12th Chief of the Clan Cameron was made constable of Strome Castle on behalf of the Clan MacDonald of Lochalsh.

Raid on Ross 1491, a conflict that took place in 1491 in the Scottish Highlands. It was fought between the Clan Mackenzie against several other clans, including the Clan MacDonald of Lochalsh, Clan MacDonald of Clanranald the Clan Cameron and the Chattan Confederation of Clan Mackintosh.

16th century & clan conflicts

Battle of Achnashellach, 1505, Little is known of this battle which is often described as an obscure skirmish between the Clan Cameron and Clan MacKay. It is said that the MacKays were defeated and William Munro of Foulis, chief of the Clan Munro who assisted the MacKays was killed.

During the Anglo-Scottish Wars the Clan Cameron chief, Ewen Cameron and a portion of his men survived fighting against against the English army at the Battle of Flodden Field in 1513.

Battle of the Shirts, 1544, Clan Cameron provided archers who sided with Clan MacDonald at the Battle of Shirts in 1544, against Clan Fraser. Legend has it that only five Frasers and eight MacDonalds survived. The Camerons subsequently carried out successful raids upon the Clan Grant and Clan Fraser lands, which were incredibly rich and fertile to the Lochaber men. Owing to his role in this conflict Ewen Cameorn fell into disfavor with the Earl of Huntly, chief of Clan Gordon and Lieutenant of the North. Chief Ewen Cameron would be executed as a result of this battle and other actions at Elgin in 1547.

Battle of Bun Garbhain, 1570, Fought between the Clan Cameron and Clan Mackintosh. Donald Dubh Cameron, XV Chief of Clan Cameron, had died, leaving an infant son, Allan, at the head of the clan. During the battle the chief of MacKintosh is believed to have been killed by Donald 'Taillear Dubh na Tuaighe' Cameron, (son of the XIV Chief of Clan Cameron), with a fearsome Lochaber axe.

Battle of Glenlivet, 1594, XVI Chief of Clan Cameron, Allen Cameron led the clan at this battle on the side of the Earl of Huntly, Clan Gordon, Clan Comyn and others. They defeated their enemy; the Earl of Argyll whose forces consisted of the Clan Campbell, Clan Forbes, Atholl and the Chattan Confederation of Clan MacKintosh. The Camerons pursued their enimies with great eagerness who were soundly defeated.

17th century & Civil War

During the Civil War at the Battle of Inverlochy 1645, Clan Cameron fought on the side of the Royalist Scots and Irish led by Clan MacDonald who defeated the Scottish Covenanters of Clan Campbell.

Standoff at the Fords of Arkaig, 1665, the Clan Chiefs of Clan MacKintosh and Clan Cameron were ordered by the Privy Court to end the dispute over the lands near Loch Arkaig once and for all. While MacKintosh was declared to have the legal right Cameron was declared to be the owner. Cameron was ordered to pay MacKintosh a large sum of money for the land but MacKintosh refused this. Soon after Clan MacKintosh and the Chattan Confederation assembled an army of 1500 men. Camerons had raised a force of approximately 1000 men who took up a defensive stance at Achnacarry. Camerons' biographer records that there were 900 men armed with guns and broadswords and a further 300 men armed with bows. It seemed the battle to end all battles between these two ancient adversaries was about to commence. However just as Clan Cameron commenced their attack the powerful Clan Campbell and Chief appeared on the scene. John Campbell, Chief of Campbells brought with him 300 men and declared that he would fight against whichever side initiated the impending battle. The Cameron Chief Ewen soon withdraw all his troops. As a result one of the bloodiest feuds in Scottish history came to an end after 360 years. On September 20th 1665 a contract was signed by both Chiefs of Cameron and MacKintosh with Cameron agreeing to buy the lands from MacKintosh. Then at a place called Clunes around 24 men from each side met face to face and shook hands for the first time in generations. Here they exchanged swords as a token of reconciliation and drank together.

Battle of Mulroy, 1668, Clan Cameron and Clan MacKintosh were at peace and Cameron Chief Sir Ewen was responsible for keeping the peace between his men and their former enemies. However when the Chief Sir Ewen Cameron was away in London a feud broke out between Clan MacDonald and their enemies Clan MacKintosh and Clan MacKenzie. As the Cameron Chief was away he was not able to hold back his clan and the combined forces of Cameron and MacDonald defeated the MacKintoshes and MacKenzies.

The Clan Cameron fought as Jacobites at the Battle of Killiecrankie July 1689 , the Battle of Dunkeld August 1689 and the Battle of Cromdale May 1690.

18th century & Jacobite uprisings

Cameron Coat of Arms.

The Clan Cameron fought as Jacobites at the Battle of Sheriffmuir in 1715 during the initial early Jacobite uprisings.. They later fought at the Battle of Glen Shiel in 1719. Their chief John Cameron of Lochiel, after hiding for a time in the Highlands, made his way back to exile in France.

The Clan Cameron fought on the side of the Jacobites against the British Army at the Battle of Falkirk (1746) and on the frontline at the Battle of Culloden in 1746. After the Battle of Culloden the chief, Donald Cameron, also known as 'Gentle Locheil' took refuge in France, where he died in October 1748.

19th & 20th centuries

Napoleonic Wars

During the Napoleonic Wars Donald Cameron the 23rd chief fought with distinction at the Battle of Waterloo as part of the Grenadier Guards in 1815. He retired in 1832. Later that same year he married Lady Vere, daughter of the Honourable George Vere Hobart and sister of the 6th Earl of Buckinghamshire. Lady Vere was descended from the Camerons of Glenderrary.

World War One

During World War I the XXV Chief of Clan Cameron raised four additional battalions of the Cameron Highlanders and in 1934 he was created a Knight of the Thistle, a title his son, the famed Sir Donald Hamish Cameron was also awarded in 1973.

World War Two

Notably, the Cameron Highlanders were the last battalions that wore the kilt in battle, due to the purposeful delaying of orders by commanding officers in the battalions (no one wanted to give up the kilt) and a surprise attack by the Germans (successfully repelled)for this they earned the nick-name of 'ladies from hell' (even though they were all men)

Castles of Clan Cameron

Tor Castle: Ewen Cameron, XIII Chief of Camerons, built Tor Castle in the early 15th century. It was torn down by his great, great, great grandson Sir Ewen 'Dubh' Cameron of Lochiel, XVII Chief of Camerons.

Achnacarry Castle: Chief Sir Ewen wanted a more convenient house and built Achnacarry Castle circa 1655.

New Achnacarry: In 1802, Donald Cameron, XXII Chief built a new mansion house at Achnacarry after repaying a huge fine to the British Government to regain the estates of ancestors. The house remains, near the line of trees that Lochiel (the Gentle) was planting on the day that he heard of the landing of Bonnie Prince Charlie. There is a small museum nearby.

Clan crest:

A sheaf of five arrows, proper, tied with a band, gules, encircled by a belt and buckle.

Clan motto:

Aonaibh Ri Cheile (translation from Gaelic: Let Us Unite).

Clan septs

Septs lived within the ruling clan's territory. They would pay Tax to the ruling Chief normally in the form of food such as crops and livestock and not necessarily in the form of money. Some septs would sometimes fight alongside the ruling clan during battle while other Septs may just have been normal Scottish families who worked on the land. Septs of Clan Cameron include:

Clark, Clarke, Clarkson, Cleary, Clerk, Dowie, Gibbon, Gilbertson, Kennedy, Leary, Lokcick, Lonbie, Lonie, MacAldowie, MacAlonie, MacChlerich, MacChlery, MacClair, MacClerie, MacGillery, MacGillonie, MacIldowie, MacKail, MacKell, MacLear, MacLeary, MacLerie, MacMartin, MacOnie, MacOstrich, MacOurlic, MacPhail, MacSorley, MacUlric, MacUlrig, MacVail, MacWalrick, Martin, Paul, Sorley, Sorlie, Taylor