Descended from Norsemen, the ‘MacLochlainns’ were originally rulers of Ulster, until their defeat by the Irish King, Brian O’Neill, in 1241.
With the clan suffering great losses during this battle, including the death of their clan chief, their influence would then transfer to Scotland as Lachlan Mor would set up home on the banks of Loch Fyne. Lachlan was also a descendent of the Kings of Ireland and would be a great warrior as he used his influence to immediately settle in Scotland. The clan would be involved in controversy in 1292, as Archibald MacLachlan, the clan chief, would be forced to forfeit his land to form the sheriffdom of Argyll, however, after fighting alongside Robert the Bruce during the Scottish War of Independence, the clan would luckily gain other territories towards the southeast of Glasgow.
While their history then became a little murky for a century or so, by the time they remerged at the beginning of the 15th century, they were known as ‘Lords of Strathlachlan’, a clear increase in their reputation. They would cement this reputation as powerbrokers in 1436 when Ian, Lord of Strathlachlan, was able to grant his cousin a charter for lands, however, the MacLachlans would also be fully aware that they weren’t the strongest power in the region, as they allied themselves with the dangerous Campbell Clan in an attempt to avoid any conflict. Such was their bond with the Campbells, a member of the family would follow the Duke of Argyll to France as part of his suite for the wedding of King James V, a clear show of trust from the Campbells to the family.
They would continue their bond with the Campbells into the 17th century, as the MacLachlan chief, Lachlan Og, led his clan in a battle between the Campbells and the MacDonalds of Islay. Following this conflict, the chief would receive a new title, ‘Lard of Maclachlin’, which extended his lands to include over thirty-four farms in Strathlachlan and Loch Fyne, this would be expanded even further in 1680, when the MacLachlan lands were erected into a barony with Castle Lachlan as the seat.
Pledging their allegiances to the Stewarts, the family would fight on their side during the many Jacobite risings of the 18th century, damaging their relationship with the Campbells. Playing a large part in the final rising of 1745, the family would lose great numbers as the Jacobites were crushed at Culloden as their castle was also destroyed. In the aftermath, the chief’s family were also intended to be forced to forfeit all of their estates for treason, however, the chief had already transferred the land to his son a decade earlier, meaning they escaped untouched. A new clan seat would then be built near the site of the old one during the 19th century, where it still stands today. It is here that the present chief, Euan, lives with his family, near the banks of Loch Fyne.