Clan Cameron


Clan Cameron
Clan Cameron
Crest badge
Clan member crest badge - Clan Cameron.svg
Crest: (old): A dexter arm embowed in armor, the hand grasping a sword, all proper, encircled by a belt and buckle.[1]
(current): A sheaf of five arrows, proper, tied with a band, gules, encircled by a belt and buckle.[1]
Motto: (old): Mo Righ 's Mo Dhuchaich (For King and Country).[1]
(current): Aonaibh Ri Chéile (Let Us Unite).[1]
War cry: Chlanna nan con thigibh a so's gheibh sibh feoil[2]
Profile
Region Highlands
District Lochaber
Plant badge crowberry, or oak
Gaelic name cam-shròn
Chief

Cameron of Lochiel coat of arms.svg
Donald Angus Cameron of Lochiel
The 27th Chief of Clan Cameron
Gaelic title Mac Dhomnuill Dubh
Seat Achnacarry Castle
Historic seat Tor Castle

Clan Cameron is a West Highland Scottish clan, with one main branch Lochiel, and numerous cadet branches. The Clan Cameron lands are in Lochaber and within their lands is the mountain Ben Nevis which is the highest mountain in the British Isles.[3] The chief of the clan is customarily referred to as simply "Lochiel".[4] The current Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, David Cameron, is a member of the clan.[5]

Contents

History

Origins

The origins of Clan Cameron are uncertain; there are several theories. A manuscript of the clan says that it is old tradition that the Camerons were originally descended from the son of the royal family of Denmark who assisted the restoration of King Fergus II of Scotland, and that their progenitor was called Cameron from his crooked nose (Scottish Gaelic: cam-shròn, Scottish Gaelic pronunciation: [ˈkʰaməhɾoːn̪ˠ]) – such nicknames were and are common in Gaelic culture, and that his dependants then adopted the name. According to John Mair, the Clan Cameron and the Chattan Confederation shared a common origin and together followed one chief, but this statement has no foundation or evidence to support it. Allen surnamed MacOrchtry the son of Uchtred is mentioned by tradition as the chief of Camerons during the reign of King Robert II of Scotland and, according to the same source, the Camerons and Chattan Confederation were two rival, hostile tribes.[4][6]

Sometime around the beginning of the 15th century (or possibly earlier) the Camerons established themselves as a Highland clan in the western end of the Great Glen in Lochaber. It is likely they did so through the marriage of a local heiress of the Mael-anfhaidh kindred (Clan Mael-anfaidh, which Moncreiffe translates as "children of He who was Dedicated to the Storm"). By the 15th century, after the Mael-anfhaidh chiefship had passed into the Cameron family, the local families of MacGillonie of Strone, MacMartin of Letterfinlay and MacSorley of Glen Nevis were absorbed within the incoming Clan Cameron. In consequence, the early chiefs of the Highland Camerons were sometimes styled "MacGillonay". Since the 15th century though, Clan Cameron chiefs have been more commonly styled Mac Dhomnuill Dubh, in reference to the first Cameron chief whom succession can be traced.[7] Donald Dubh was the first "authentic" chief or captain of this confederation of tribes which gradually became known as the Clan Cameron, taking the name of their captain as the generic name of the whole, until the clan was first officially recognized by that name in a charter of 1472.[3][4]

Wars of Scottish Independence

In the 14th century, during the Wars of Scottish Independence, it is tradition that Clan Cameron fought for King Robert the Bruce. However there is no contemporary evidence for this. Firstly led by Chief VII John de Cameron against the English at the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314 and later led by Chief VIII John De Cameron at the Battle of Halidon Hill in 1333.[4]

14th century and clan conflicts

A Victorian era, romanticised depiction of a member of the clan by R. R. McIan, from The Clans of the Scottish Highlands, published in 1845.

Clan Cameron was involved in many clan battles mostly against Clan Mackintosh with whom they had an extensive feud which lasted over 328 years. One of the first was the Battle of Drumlui in 1337. A dispute arose between the Clan Mackintosh and Clan Cameron over land at Glenlui and Loch Arkaig. The Camerons were defeated but started a 328 year feud.[4][8] The Battle of Invernahoven was fought in 1370 between the Clan Cameron and the Chattan Confederation of Clan MacKintosh, Clan Macpherson and Clan Davidson.[4][9] The Battle of the North Inch was fought in 1396 between the Clan Cameron and Chattan Confederation. One of the most well known battles between these two clans.[4][10]

15th century and clan conflicts

In 1411, The Clan Cameron fought as Highlanders at the Battle of Harlaw near Inverurie in Aberdeenshire against an Army of Scottish Lowlanders. The Camerons took the side of Donald, Lord of the Isles, chief of Clan Donald who claimed the title of Earl of Ross through marriage. Their enemy was the Duke of Albany.[4][11] The Camerons also fought at the Battle of Lochaber in 1429, between forces led by Alexander of Islay, Earl of Ross, 3rd Lord of the Isles and the Royalist army of King James I of Scotland.[4][12] Another battle was the Battle of Palm Sunday, 1429, Fought between the Clan Cameron against the Clan Mackintosh and the Chattan Confederation.[4][13]

The Clan Cameron together with their enemies the Clan Mackintosh fought against the Clan Donald whose chief Alexander of Islay, Earl of Ross had been imprisoned by the King at the The Battle of Inverlochy (1431). The MacDonalds were then led by Alexander's nephew, Donald Balloch MacDonald who defeated the army led by the Earl of Mar.[4][14] The Battle of Corpach in 1439 was fought between the Clan Cameron and Clan Maclean.[4][15]

The Battle of Craig Cailloch, 1441, Clan Mackintosh, at the instigation of Alexander, Lord of the Isles, began to invade and raid the Cameron lands. A sanguinary conflict took place in this year at Craig Cailloch between Clan Cameron and the MacKintoshes in which MacKintosh's second son, Lachlan "Badenoch" was wounded and Gillichallum, his brother, killed.[4][13]

The In 1472 Alan MacDonald Dubh, 12th Chief of the Clan Cameron was made constable of Strome Castle on behalf of the Clan MacDonald of Lochalsh. He is later killed in battle in 1480 fighting the Mackintoshes and MacDonalds of Keppoch.[4]

The Raid on Ross 1491, a conflict that took place in 1491 in the Scottish Highlands. It was fought between the Clan Mackenzie against several other clans, including the Clan MacDonald of Lochalsh, Clan MacDonald of Clanranald the Clan Cameron and the Chattan Confederation of Clan Mackintosh.[4][16]

16th century and clan conflicts

The Battle of Achnashellach, 1505, Little is known of this battle which is often described as an obscure skirmish between the Clan Cameron and Clan Mackay. It is said that the Mackays were defeated and William Munro of Foulis, chief of the Clan Munro who assisted the Mackays was killed.[4][17] During the Anglo-Scottish Wars the Clan Cameron chief, Ewen Cameron and a portion of his men survived fighting against the English army at the Battle of Flodden Field in 1513.[4][18]

The Battle of the Shirts, 1544, Clan Cameron provided archers who sided with Clan Donald at the Battle of Shirts in 1544, against Clan Fraser. Legend has it that only five Frasers and eight MacDonalds survived. The Camerons subsequently carried out successful raids upon the Clan Grant and Clan Fraser lands, which were incredibly rich and fertile to the Lochaber men. Owing to his role in this conflict Ewen Cameorn fell into disfavor with the Earl of Huntly, chief of Clan Gordon and Lieutenant of the North. Chief Ewen Cameron would be executed as a result of this battle and other actions at Elgin in 1547.[4][19]

The Battle of Bun Garbhain, 1570, Fought between the Clan Cameron and Clan Mackintosh. Donald Dubh Cameron, XV Chief of Clan Cameron, had died, leaving an infant son, Allan, at the head of the clan. During the battle the chief of MacKintosh is believed to have been killed by Donald 'Taillear Dubh na Tuaighe' Cameron, (son of the XIV Chief of Clan Cameron), with a fearsome Lochaber axe.[4][20]

The Battle of Glenlivet, 1594, XVI Chief of Clan Cameron, Allen Cameron led the clan at this battle on the side of the Earl of Huntly, Clan Gordon, Clan Comyn and others. They defeated their enemy; the Earl of Argyll whose forces consisted of the Clan Campbell, Clan Forbes, Atholl and the Chattan Confederation of Clan MacKintosh. The Camerons pursued their enemies with great eagerness who were soundly defeated.[4][21]

17th century and Civil War

During the Civil War at the Battle of Inverlochy 1645, Clan Cameron fought on the side of the Royalist Scots and Irish led by Clan MacDonald who defeated the Scottish Covenanters of Clan Campbell.[4] The clan continued to oppose Oliver Cromwell, and played a leading role in the Royalist rising of 1651 to 1654.[4]

The Stand-off at the Fords of Arkaig 1665 – A standoff without bloodshed that saw the Camerons finally end their 328-year feud with the Chattan Confederation, led by the Clan Mackintosh.[22]

The Battle of Maol Ruadh (Mulroy), 1668 – Sir Ewen Cameron, XVII Chief of Clan Cameron was responsible for keeping the peace between his men and Clan Mackintosh. However when he was away in London a feud broke out between Clan MacDonald and their enemies Clan Mackintosh and Clan Mackenzie. As Sir Ewen was away he was not able to hold back his clan, and they made a minor contribution to the MacDonald victory over the MacKintoshes and MacKenzies at Maol Ruadh east of Spean Bridge.[4][23]

The Clan Cameron fought as Jacobites at the Battle of Killiecrankie July 1689,[24] the Battle of Dunkeld August 1689[25] and the Battle of Cromdale May 1690.[26]

18th century and Jacobite uprisings

The Clan Cameron fought as Jacobites at the Battle of Sheriffmuir in 1715 during the initial early Jacobite uprisings.[27] They later fought at the Battle of Glen Shiel in 1719. Their chief John Cameron of Lochiel, after hiding for a time in the Highlands, made his way back to exile in France.[4]

The Clan Cameron fought on the side of the Jacobites against the Hanoverian Army at the Battle of Prestonpans (1745), Battle of Falkirk (1746), and on the frontline at the Battle of Culloden (6 April 1746). After the Battle of Culloden the chief, Donald Cameron, also known as 'Gentle Lochiel', took refuge in France, where he died in October 1748.[4]

The MacMartins, a sept of Clan Cameron, are said to have been amongst the most loyal and valuable followers of Lochiel. In the 1745 Jacobite Uprising, the MacMartins were "out with" Lochiel's regiment.[28]

The 79th (The Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders) Regiment of Foot was raised from among the members of the clan in 1793 by Sir Alan Cameron of Erracht (1753–1828).[4]

19th and 20th centuries

Napoleonic Wars

During the Napoleonic Wars Donald Cameron the XXIII Chief fought with distinction at the Battle of Waterloo as part of the Grenadier Guards in 1815. He retired in 1832. Later that same year he married Lady Vere, daughter of the Honourable George Vere Hobart and sister of the 6th Earl of Buckinghamshire. Lady Vere was descended from the Camerons of Glenderrary.[4]

World War One

During World War I the XXV Chief of Clan Cameron raised four additional battalions of the Cameron Highlanders and in 1934 he was created a Knight of the Thistle, a title his son, the famed Sir Donald Hamish Cameron was also awarded in 1973.[4]

World War Two

Notably, the Cameron Highlanders were the last battalions that wore the kilt in battle, due to the purposeful delaying of orders by commanding officers in the battalions (no one wanted to give up the kilt) and a surprise attack by the Germans (successfully repelled). For this they earned the nickname of 'Ladies from Hell'.[4]

21st century

One of its members, David Cameron, Member of Parliament of the Conservative Party, became Prime Minister of the United Kingdom in 2010.[29]

Chiefs

See main article: Chiefs of Clan Cameron.

Castles

  • Tor Castle: Ewen Cameron, XIII Chief of Camerons, built "Tor Castle" in the early 15th century. It was abandoned (but not torn down) by his great, great, great grandson Sir Ewen "Dubh" Cameron of Lochiel, XVII Chief of Camerons.
  • Achnacarry Castle: Chief Sir Ewen wanted a more "convenient house" and built Achnacarry Castle circa 1655, which was burned to the ground by Hanoverian forces following the Battle of Culloden in 1746. In 1802, Donald Cameron, XXII Chief, built a new mansion house at Achnacarry after repaying a huge fine to the British Government to regain the estates of his ancestors. The house remains, near the line of trees that Lochiel (the Gentle) planted on the day that he heard of the landing of Bonnie Prince Charlie. There is a small museum nearby.

Tartans

Clan Cameron tartan, as published in the Vestiarium Scoticum in 1845.
  • Basic Clan Cameron.[1]
  • Cameron of Lochiel.[1]
  • Cameron of Ericht.[1]
  • Hunting Cameron (of Lochiel).[1]

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h "Cameron Reference File". http://www.clan-cameron.org/cam-ref.html. Retrieved 7 December 2007. 
  2. ^ The Scottish Clans and Their Tartans. p.11. (Retrieved on 24 April 2009). Edinburgh: W. & A.K. Johnston, 1900(?).
  3. ^ a b "A History of Clan Cameron". http://www.clan-cameron.org/history.html. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac The Camerons, A History of Clan Cameron. By John Stewart of Ardvorlich. Published by the Clan Cameron Association. Printed by Jamieson & Munro Ltd. Stirling. 1974.
  5. ^ http://www.wargs.com/noble/cameron.html
  6. ^ "Clan Cameron". http://www.electricscotland.com/webclans/atoc/cameron2.html. 
  7. ^ Moncreiffe of that Ilk, Iain (1967). The Highland Clans. London: Barrie & Rocklif. pp. 139–143. ISBN 0517546590. 
  8. ^ "The Battle of Drumlui". http://www.clan-cameron.org/battles/1337.html. 
  9. ^ "The Battle of Invernahavon". http://www.clan-cameron.org/battles/1370.html. 
  10. ^ "Battle at the North Inch of Perth". http://www.clan-cameron.org/battles/1396.html. 
  11. ^ "The Battle of Harlaw". http://www.clan-cameron.org/battles/1411.html. 
  12. ^ "The Battle of Split Allegiances". http://www.clan-cameron.org/battles/1429.html. 
  13. ^ a b "The Battle of Palm Sunday". http://www.clan-cameron.org/battles/1429_b.html. 
  14. ^ "The Battle of Inverlochy – 1431". http://www.clan-cameron.org/battles/1431.html. 
  15. ^ "The Battle of Corpach@Clan Cameron.org". http://www.clan-cameron.org/battles/1439.html. 
  16. ^ "The Raid on Ross@Clan Cameron.org". http://www.clan-cameron.org/battles/1491.html. 
  17. ^ "The Battle of Achnashellach". http://www.clan-cameron.org/battles/1505.html. 
  18. ^ "www.clan-cameron.org/battles/1513.html". http://www.clan-cameron.org/battles/1513.html. 
  19. ^ "The Battle of Blar-nan-Leine". http://www.clan-cameron.org/battles/1544.html. 
  20. ^ "The Battle of Bun Garbhain". http://www.clan-cameron.org/battles/1570.html. 
  21. ^ "The Battle of Glenlivet". http://www.clan-cameron.org/battles/1594.html. 
  22. ^ MacKenzie, Alexander (2008). The History of the Camerons. IX. BiblioBazaar (reprint). 156. ISBN 9780559793820. http://books.google.com/?id=MaZSTnaE86sC&pg=PA156.  Modern reprint of November 1883 article with a detailed account of Cameron history from 1654 to 1665.
  23. ^ "The Battle of Mulroy". http://www.clan-cameron.org/battles/1688.html. 
  24. ^ "www.clan-cameron.org/battles/1689.html". http://www.clan-cameron.org/battles/1689.html. 
  25. ^ "www.clan-cameron.org/battles/1689_b.html". http://www.clan-cameron.org/battles/1689_b.html. 
  26. ^ "The Battle of Cromdale". http://www.clan-cameron.org/battles/1690.html. 
  27. ^ "a2fister2000.tripod.com/id52.htm". http://a2fister2000.tripod.com/id52.htm. 
  28. ^ Iain Moncreiffe, Iain Moncreiffe of that Ilk, David Hicks (1982). The Highland Clans. pp. 48–51. ISBN 9780091447403. http://books.google.co.uk/books?ei=cKLwSZHUIJq0MajBgNwJ. 
  29. ^ http://www.wargs.com/noble/cameron.html

External links


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