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Clan Stewart of Appin and Clan MacLaren

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  • Clan Stewart of Appin and Clan MacLaren

    In 1403 a band of Highlanders, said to have been the Clan Stewart of Appin led by Alexander Stewart, Earl of Mar, the son of the Wolf of Badenoch murdered Sir Malcolm Drummond, chief of the Clan Drummond.

    Tradition tell us that in 1445, while returning to his seat at Dunstaffnage Castle from the great cattle tryst at Crieff, Sir John met and fell in love with the daughter of MacLaren of Ardvech. Although married, he began an affair with his new love which one year later produced a son. He was christened Dugald and was to be the first Chief of the Stewarts of Appin. Sir John Stewart was born around 1410, putting him at about 35 when he met the woman that would become his second wife.

    This begins the long relationship that Clan Stewart of Appin and Clan MacLaren have had. The Stewarts called upon Clan MacLaren, especially in the earlier times to fight battles against the MacDougalls and the Campbell's and their assorted henchmen. In later times, the MacLarens called on The Stewarts of Appin to assist them against the encroaching McGregors, especially Rob Roy. Indeed when Rob Roy sought to displace the Chief of Clan MacLaren from his lands and brought his men out to do the job, Clan MacLaren and Clan Stewart of Appin joined to face down Rob Roy. Seeing the McGregors outnumbered, Rob Roy offered single combat to settle the matter. Rob Roy, until that time had never been bested in a duel. Alasdair Stewart was selected as the best for the MacLaren/Stewart side. Stewart drew first blood (which was the standard of victory). While discussing this event with Donald MacLaren of MacLaren a few yards from where this all took place, he mentioned that had the battle actually taken place, it would have been the last great clan battle in Scotland by several decades.

    Of course, Clan MacLaren was out with the Appin Regiment in the '45. The Stewarts of Appin did not go out as a Clan in the '45, their Chief at the time was in his minority and it was thought better to keep him above the fray. Clan MacLaren had lost their chief just a few years prior to this because Roy Roy's murderous son, Robin Og, shot him in the back. Thus, the Stewarts and MacLarens were led out in units of the Appin Regiment.

    There has been some controversy from some sets of the Stewarts of Appin about the stone in Culloden reading "Clan Stewart of Appin and MacLaren." They base the controversy on published muster rolls of the time noting that MacLarens apparently had only 15 members present. This, however is a misunderstanding. Clan MacLaren is one of the older clans of Scotland. Their original homelands were in the islands and west coast of Scotland especially in the area around Appin. So some of the MacLarens went with Clan Stewart of Appin and mustered with them. However, a company of MacLarens went out as a unit and was in the Appin Regiment as a unit. They maintained their own muster rolls. These unfortunately were lost in the aftermath of Culloden. However, this is backed up by family history and genealogy. We have well known members of the family that were known as "John of Culloden" for example, who died at Culloden. Another member received a sever sword cut on his face at Culloden, neither of these people are reflected in the muster rolls of either the Appin Regiment or those MacLarens that followed the Duke of Atholl. So clearly, there is a missing piece and that is the muster rolls of the company of MacLarens.
    Creag an Tuirc!

  • #2
    Re: Clan Stewart of Appin and Clan MacLaren

    The Clan Stewart of Appin did not appear until about 1497, when Dougall McLaurin of Ardveich, Strathearn, took Appin by force of Arms and formed the Stewart of Appin Clan. Dougall Mclaurin was Stewart of Appin 1st.

    Your second paragraph contradicts the first paragraph.

    Rob Roy did not participate in an almost Clan battle, nor did he fight an Alasdair Stewart. The property in question Wester Invernenty was disponed to Duncan McLaurin by John McLaurin, Baron Stobchoin in May of 1736. Rob Roy's youngest son Robert in retaliation murdered John McLaurin later in 1736. Rob Roy died Dec. 28, 1734 over two years before the property dispute.

    There has been great controversy on the name "MacLaren" being placed on the "Appin Regiment" Marker. There were twenty-seven Appin mclaurins who fought in the Appin Regiment, they had lived on the various Appin Estates since the early 1500's. The fourteen survivors names are documented in the Stonefield and Saltoun manuscripts each almost duplicating the other, so a double confirmation. "John of Culloden" from Glen Creran Appin, was killed at Culloden according to the oral tradition, we have no record of the Appin McLaurins who died at Culloden. Duncan Mclaurin of Blar-nan-laogh, Glennahyle is the Appin Mclaurin that received the sword cut to the face. Duncan is in both Saltoun and Stonefield lists. As far as i know, no Appin Regiment Muster Rolls exist, they weren't really mustered, most were probably forced into service.

    There was no Balquhidder MacLaren Company lead by Donald Maclaren of Invernenty in the Appin Regiment. All Appin Companies which were lead by the Appin Estate owners are accounted for in "The Order Book of the Appin Regiment" which is available from the National War Museum in Scotland. On the contrary all contemporary accounts of the Balquhidder MacLarens place them in the Atholl Brigade, except Peter McLaren of Muthill and malcom McLaren of Invernenty who served in the Edinburgh Comapny under John Roy Stewart a professional soldier. I have copies of letters to and from Donald Mclaren the Drover of Invernenty from Grigor Murray placing him in the company of John Roy Stewart, Colonel of the Edinburgh Regiment. One letter states very clearly that Donald was to meet Grigor Murray at the Kirktown of Balquhidder to Muster men from Balquhidder, Glen Almond and Strathearn for the Atholl Brigade at Duke Murray's request.

    After Culloden, Donald MacLaren the supposed leader of the fictional MacLaren Company was captured in the Braes of Leny with an Officer and other Jacobites from the Atholl Brigade. Donald's brother Duncan of Invernenty was a Lieutenant in the Atholl Brigade along with six or seven other Strathearn Maclarens. This is well documented from newspaper accounts of the capture and President Forbes.

    The only missing piece is any evidence to support the claim that Balquhidder MacLarens were in the Appin Regiment. It is a shame that MacLaren of Maclaren and the Clan MacLaren Society have desecrated the memory of the Appin Mclaurins who actually fought and died at Culloden. Especially since the above writer "Tuirc" ancestors were in the Appin Regiment. His ancestors uncle was the above Duncan McLaurin who was severely wounded in the head.


    • #3
      Re: Clan Stewart of Appin and Clan MacLaren

      The Stewart of Appin Clan Regiment Culloden Mattlefield Marker

      Imagine for a moment please, if I and my relations, went to the cemetery where your ancestors are buried, then offered money to the cemetery to have our surname placed on their memorials, and then after intense objections from yourself and your family, they carved my surname on your ancestors marker anyway and then cashed the check. That is exactly what happened in 2006 at the Culloden Battlefield.

      We are very disappointed not to receive a reply to my previous mail to the Culloden Battlefield, concerning the offensive desecration of the Appin McLaurins and other clansmen in the Appin Regiment who were killed at Culloden. The matter I am referring to is the placing of the name "MacLaren" on the Appin Regiment battlefield marker eleven years ago. The campaign called by the Clan MacLaren Society "The 2nd Battle of Culloden" conducted by Donald MacLaren of MacLaren and his courtesans in 2006, against the NTS and the Stewarts, the very people they attacked whose marker they wanted to stamp their name on. It was an act of contempt to the thirteen Appin McLaurins who actually fought and died in the "Stewart of Appin Clan Regiment" and to this day disecrates the ground where they died.

      There is no historical evidence whatsoever for there being Balquhidder MacLarens in the "Stewart of Appin Clan Regiment". It is a myth perpetuated by those who only know the tourist history of Scotland and wish to preserve the myth for self-serving reasons, even to the point of writing a check and loaning a fake "Donald of Invernenty" sword to the Battlefield. I have undisputable evidence that the sword never belonged to Donald MacLaren from Invernenty from the previous owner Dr. Janet McLaren fro P.E.I. who gave the sword to Donald Maclaren of Maclaren as a gift in 1973 and also from Donald Invernenty's descendants here in America.

      The Lyon Court recognizes the Appin and Ardchattan McLaurins as a different race from the Perthshire MacLarens, recent DNA data confirms this ruling from 1957 by Sir Thomas Innes of Learney.

      I and other Appin McLaurins have been deeply offended by this action conducted by the modern Clan MacLaren Societies and their chief, a clan that only came into existance in 1957, two hundred years after Culloden. So why did they have anything to say on what was on the marker anyway, besides offering cash in exchange for history?

      We are capable of sending .pdf files of both contemporaneous records and recently published articles by respected historians, concerning who actually was in the Stewart of Appin Clan Regiment. The often cited "Order Book of the Stewart of Appin Clan Regiment" has no mention of Donald MacLaren, I have a .pdf copy from your National War Museum if you would like to see for yourself, all of those previous historian/authors simply copied one another and where negligent to not look for themselves.

      In 1746, Donald MacLaren from Invernenty did play a heroic role in the "Atholl Brigade" with a handful of other Balquhidder MacLarens at the request of the Duke of Atholl himself, I can send you copies of the period letters found in the available online "Atholl Chronicles" provng this true history, a history much more fascinating than a Donald MacLaren from Invernenty leading a fictional "Discrete Contingent" of MacLarens in the Appin Regiment.

      Here is some of their publication depicting their side of the story. Please read "A Note from Hamish" in its entirety to gain insight into the arrogance and disrespect for the NTS and the Appin Regiment.


      Hilton McLaurin