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Tartan Tuesdays - The MacLennan Clan

Tartan Tuesdays - The MacLennan Clan
By Sophie 1 years ago 586 Views No comments

Forget Throwback Thursdays. Here, at Scotweb, we're doing Tartan Tuesdays!

This week we look at the MacKay tartan and learn all about the clan.


The tartan pictured is our MacLennan (or Logan), Ancient, 13oz, Pure New Wool tartan.

Both the Logan and MacLennan clans share the same tartan.

To view this fabric on our site, click here: https://www.scotweb.co.uk/tartan/Logan-or-MacLenna...

To view other variants of the MacLennan tartan, click here: https://www.scotweb.co.uk/tartan/Logan-or-MacLenna...

Clan MacLennan, also known as Siol Ghillinnein, is a Highland Scottish clan which, historically, populated lands in the north-west of Scotland. The surname MacLennan, in Scottish Gaelic, is 'Mac Gille Fhinnein' meaning 'The son of the follower of St Finnan'.

Clan Profile

The MacLennan Clan Crest is a demi-piper, garbed in a proper tartan of the Clan MacLennan.



The MacLennan Clan motto is 'Dum spiro spero' which is Latin for 'While I breathe, I hope'.


Origins of the Clan

According to tradition, Clan MacLennan and Clan Logan are related. In the fifteenth century a feud, between the clans Logan and Fraser, ended in a battle at North Kessock. It was here that the Clan Logan chief, Gilligorm, was killed. Gilligorm’s pregnant widow was captured by the Frasers and soon gave birth to a child. The Frasers intentionally broke the child’s back, who was named Crotair MacGilligorm because of his deformity.

Crotair MacGilligorm was educated by the monks at Beauly Priory and later founded churches at Kilmor, Sleat and Kilchrinin, Glenelg. His son, called Gille Fhinnein, is the supposed progenitor of the Clan MacLennan.

In the 1970s, research by the clan chief showed that the his ancestry could be traced back to the ancient royal Celtic families of Ireland and Scotland, through Aengus Macgillafinan Lord of Locherne, around 1230.

St. Adamans recorded they were occupying Glenshiel at an early date and were in residence at Eilean Donnan Castle before 1263. They spread to Strathearn in Perthshire, Kirkcudbright, Dumbarton and Galloway. In Kintail, they lived with their kin, the MacRuairis, who were granted ten davochs of Kintail by King David II of Scotland in 1342. After successful raids on Tain and Chanonry in 1372 the clan suffered reprisal attacks by the Clan Fraser and Clan MacRae of Aird at Drumderfit, Black Isle.


15th Century & Clan Conflicts

The MacLennans settled around Kintail, and they were related to the Clan Logan, who also held lands in Easter Ross. (The Logans were to become most prominent in the Lowlands, where they became Barons of Restalrig, near the Port of Leith).


The picture shows the Five Sisters of Kintail, a range of mountains in the northwest highlands of Scotland.

The Clan MacLennan were staunch supporters of the Clan MacKenzie of Kintail, whose chief held power in the area of Kintail. Although not a sept of the MacKenzies, the MacLennans appear to have held the position of honourable and valued allies. However, other historians have suggested that the original name of the clan was Logan, and that it was not until the fifteenth century that the name MacLennan was adopted.


17th Century & Civil War

During the Civil War the MacLennans followed the MacKenzies, who were on the Covenanter side. The MacKenzie chief was now the self proclaimed Lord Seaforth. They fought against James Graham, the 1st Marquess of Montrose who was the commander of the Royalist forces in Scotland at the Battle of Auldearn, in 1645. The Clan MacLennan were led by their chief Ruaridh, a red-bearded giant standing well over six feet tall.

James Graham, the Marquess of Montrose, was heavily outnumbered, but his strategic genius more than compensated for it. He massed his banners, hoping to deceive the enemy as to the location of his main force. The ruse succeeded, forcing the Covenanters to mass their forces for a full assault. Graham, the Marquess of Montrose, outflanked Lord MacKenzie of Seaforth, turning the tide of battle in his favour. The MacLennans were sent an order to withdraw, but it was never delivered. Ruaridh and his men fought to the last, defending Seaforth’s standard. They were finally cut down by the Clan Gordon cavalry.


18th Century & Jacobite Uprisings

The Clan MacLennan played little part in the Jacobite Uprisings, but eleven MacLennans are recorded as being taken prisoner at the Battle of Culloden, in 1746.

The current MacLennan Clan Chief is Ruairidh Donald George MacLennan.


Clan Septs and Spelling Variations

Gilfiman, Gillfiman, Gilfillian, Lennan, Lennon, Leonard, Leonerd, Loban, Lobban, Logan, Lyndon, MacAlenon, MacAlinden, MacAlonan, MacClennen, MacClendon, MacLenden, MacLendon, MacLennan, MacLennon, MacLyndon, McClendon, McLandon, McLendon, McLennan, McLennon, MackLenddon, MackClenden, MackLendin, MackLendon, Meclendon