Thought to be descended from Kenneth MacAlpine, the first King of Scots, the Clan MacQuarrie are a noble Scots family whose Chief sat on the Isle of Ulva for centuries. The name itself coming from the Gaelic “guaire” or “noble”. The earliest known Chief was John or Iain MacQuarrie who died in approximately 1473.
The turbulent centuries that followed would see them supporting the Lords of The Isles in their struggle to remain independant of the crown, and later fighting with the MacLeans on the Royalist side in the civil war. In 1651 the Clan Chief Allan MacQuarrie and many clansmen were slain at the battle of Inverkeithing.
Despite this calamity, the clan retained their lands until 1773 when debts forced the last Chief Lachlan MacQuarrie to sell the estates. The Chiefly line was almost extinguished when Lachlans granddaughter was lost in the wreck of her husband’s ship the Thisbe of Liverpool in 1824. Four of her children also perished but a new-born girl, named Thisbe after the ship, has living descendants today. However, the Chiefship has remained unclaimed since Lachlan died in 1818 aged 103.