and the Jacobite Rebellion
- 1645. A MacLachlan, having achieved the rank of Colonel under James
Graham - the 5th Earl of Montrose who was more commonly known as the Marquess
of Montrose, led a regiment of Highland foot soldiers in support of King
Charles I to route the Covenantor's cavalry at the Battle of Alford in
- The MacLachlans were loyal Jacobites and are said to have been with Bonnie
Dundee at the Battle of Killiecrankie.
- Lachlan MacLachlan of that Ilk, the 16th Chief, signed the address of
Welcome to the Old Chevalier, the rightful King James VIII Stuart, on his
landing in Scotland and served as a Colonel with the Earl of Mar. It is
said that for this act, Campbell of Ardkinglas followed Lachlan MacLachlan
for years before shooting him to death.
'45 - The Last Rebellion
- With support from Kenneth MacLachlan of Keilaneuchanich (the Glasrie
property near Dunadd), who was appointed Adjunct to the company, the MacLachlans
were able to field a band of over 100 Highlanders when they joined Prince
Charles at Holyrood in Edinburgh.
- A garrison of the Argyll Militia occupied Castle Lachlan during the
'45 Rebellion. The Chief's family was forced to abandon their home and
take refuge with the Stewarts of Appin.
- Prince Charles dispatched MacLachlan of MacLachlan with a few horses
to Perth to give them intelligence of his designs and to hasten their march
- At the Battle of Culloden, Lachlan MacLachlan led a Jacobite Regiment
that consisted of 115 MacLachlans (a reasonable turnout given that the
MacLachlan lands were surrounded by Campbells) and 182 MacLeans of Mull
(who chose to be under his command when their Chief failed to show up)
into battle alongside Clan Mackintosh and Clan Chattan. It was this front
line that, having survived the Hanoverian artillery barrage, launched a
fierce offensive against the government lines. (The battle cry used by
the Jacobites in their charge, Life or Death has since become Clan
MacLachlan's war cry.)
- After managing to break through the Hanoverian defenses at the point
protected by Barrell's Regiment, the Jacobites, finding themselves outnumbered,
retreated toward their own lines. Few clansmen survived the battle. Lachlan
MacLachlan himself was a casualty of this battle when he was struck and
killed by a cannon ball. His body was later found behind Hanoverian lines.
- Another MacLachlan casualty of note was Lachlan MacLachlan of Inneschonnel,
hereditary Captain of the Campbell's stronghold .
- The Reverend John MacLachlan of Kilchoan, a member of the MacLachlan
of Kilbride cadet family, served as Chaplain General within the Prince's
Aftermath of the Rebellion
- Retributive measures imposed by the government after the defeat at
Culloden caused the dead Chief's property to be confiscated for his part
in the rebellion. Castle Lachlan was destroyed when the Argyll Militia
vacated the structure.
- The lands were returned to the Robert MacLachlan of MacLachlan, the
18th Chief, on the 18th of November, 1749.
- Around 1790, many Highlanders were forced to leave their homelands
when the Lairds of the various estates switched from tenant farming to
raising sheep. Donald MacLachlan of MacLachlan, out of compassion for his
tenants and Clansfolk, built the village of Ballure (or Newton) to enable
his former tenants to become crofters and fishermen and stay in the land
of their birth.
Legends From The Rebellion Years
- The Brounie's Warning. One night during the summer of 1745 as the clouds
of conflict were gathering, Lachlan MacLachlan of MacLachlan, the 17th Chief
of Clan MacLachlan, sought an interview with the faithful and far seeing Master
Harry, the clan's brounie. Since Master Harry had confined himself wholly
to his cellar for some time, the Cheif descended into the cellar to seek his
advice. On the Chief's approach, Master Harry burst into tears for he had
been mourning the unavoidable downfall that would soon befall the clan that
he had guarded and loved for unnumbered generations.
'What is the cause of your grief, Master Harry?' said the young Chief, 'have
any of the servants been annoying you?'
'No, my Chief, none.' responded the brounie.
'Then what is the cause of your bitter lamentation?' inquired the Chief.
'Ochone! My Chief, ochone! There is a stranger arrived this day in the North,
whose fortunes you will follow and never return!'
'What,' cried Lachlan, 'has the Prince indeed arrived? Then the crisis of
my misfortunes has arrived also. I shall now either live in a way becoming
the descendent of an ancient and honorable race, or else I shall die gloriously
in the best of causes -- the restoration of my rightful King to the throne
of his ancestors.'
Without delay, Lachlan MacLachlan sent forth the Feiry Cross to call together
his clan. With all his retaines and vassals, the young Chief was among the
first to join the Prince on his march to Edinburgh.
MacLachlan was one of the few Jacobite Lairds to actually fall at the fatal
battle of Culloden. Thus was fulfilled the doleful prophecy of the brounie
of Castle Lachlan.
- The Chief's Horse. Legend has it that on his way to join the Prince at Gladsmuir,
Lachlan stopped to pray at the old chapel of Killevin with its Celtic Cross.
On remounting his horse, the beast became restive and turned around thrice
widdershins (counterclockwise), almost throwing Lachlan. Immediately, Lachlan
knew he would never return to his native Argyll.
A second legend comes from the time when the surviving clansmen staggered
back to Strathlachlan from Culloden. The dead chief's riderless horse broke
away from the survivors and galloped toward home, swimming across Loch Fyne.
As such, the horse was first to bring news of the catastrophe to the rest
of the clan. The horse thereafter took up residence in the ruins of the castle.
To this day, tales are told of hearing the whinney of a horse coming from
- The Ghostly Lady of Strathlachlan. Chief's Wife Walks.
For More Information
For more information on the Jacobite Rebellion, we recommend the following
History and Legends of Clan MacLachlan,
a self-published book, released in 1995, on the role the MacLachlans, Gilchrists
and MacEwens played in the uprising. This book
is currently out of print. Plans are underway to republish in the very near
This site is maintained by the Clan MacLachlan Association of
North America, Inc.
This page was last updated on June 17, 2011.
© 1996-2011 Clan MacLachlan Association
of North America, Inc.