Sunday, February 28, 2010

MacGregor Clan

I am in the final stages of my manuscript, Highland Savior. Since my story is loosely based on the MacGregor and Campbell conflicts, I thought it only right to give the MacGregor's their 15 minutes of fame.

Clan Gregor, or Clan MacGregor, is a Highland Scottish clan. The Gaelic version of the MacGregor name is MacGrioghair. Their clan motto is 'S rioghal mo dhream (My race is royal).

Clan Gregor is believed to have originated in Scotland around the 800s. The MacGregor's suggest they take their name from Gregor (derived from the Latin 'Gregorius' and the Late-Greek 'Gregorios' meaning "Alert, Watchful, or Viligent"). Gregor is said to be a son of the Scottish king Alpin II Mac Eochaidh and younger brother Kenneth MacAlpin, Scottish king in 843 A.D. Alpin II was the son of Eochaidh IV 'the Poisonous,' High King of Scots, by his marriage to his cousin, the Pictish Princess Royal, and therefore had claims to the Scottish and Pictish Thrones.

They fought at the Battle of Bannockburn under chief Malcolm MacGregor during the 14th century. The MacGregor's suffered a reversal of fortune when the Scottish king, Robert the Bruce, granted the barony of Loch Awe, which included the majority of MacGregor lands, to the chief of Clan Campbell. The Campbells, a greedy lot, ejected the MacGregor's from these lands. The MacGregor's fought the Campbells for decades and eventually lost their lands. Reduced to the status of outlaws, no thanks to the Campbells, they rustled cattle and poached deer to survive.

Iain of Glenstrae died in 1519 with no direct heirs. Clan Gregor was in disarray and the powerful Campbells asserted claim to the last remaining MacGregor lands. In 1560, the Campbells dispossessed Gregor Roy MacGregor, who waged war on the Campbells for ten years before being captured and killed. 

Argyle and his clan henchmen were given the task of hunting the MacGregor's down. After suffering severe losses, the MacGregor's were finally overcome.

The Battle of Glen Fruin took place in 1603. The MacGregor's were again victorious and defeated five hundred Clan Colquhoun men, three hundred of them that were on horseback, by four hundred MacGregor's. 

The MacGregor's were formally banished in 1603 by King James VI who made it a capitol offense to bear the MacGregor name. If they did not renounce their name, they were to suffer death. From this period comes the clan's most historical figure, Rob Roy.

Clan Gregor scattered and many of them took other names such as Murray, King, or Grant. They were hunted like animals, flushed out of the heather by bloodhounds. Such persecution continued of the MacGregors until 1774 when they were permitted to be reestablished.

1 comment:

  1. I am so excited to read your book. The MacGregor history is informative.