Clan MacGregor History

The MacGregor‘s motto ‘My blood is royal’ is their claim to royal descent.

The clan were one of the most famous victims of the Clan Campbell’s expansionism. It held lands in Glenstrae, Glenlochy and Glenorchy. With the capture of Iain MacGregor in 1296, his property was passed to the Campbell Clan.

19th century depiction of Clan MacGregor by R.R. McIan

19th century depiction of Clan MacGregor by R.R. McIan

They were pushed further into Glenstrae. From then on began the clan’s survival as an independent tribe with the Campbells setting up rival line to Gregor MacGregor.

After a series of incidents the entire clan were outlawed in 1603.

On the 9th of February, the Battle of Glen Fruin was fought between Clan MacGregor and Clan Colquhoun. The MacGregors were outnumbered by the cavalry heavy Colquhouns, however it was a decisive victory for the MacGregors. It was said that they suffered very few casualties, compared to the Colquhouns 200-300 men.

Two months after the battle, King James VI outlawed the MacGregor name, saying that it was to be ‘altogidder abolisheed’, and those born to it were to renounce the name or face death. This was after the murder of John Drummond, a king’s forester, because he hanged a number of MacGregors for poaching. The clan scattered, and were to be known as the ‘Children of the Mist’. Many MacGregors took different names such as King, Grant, and Murray. It was during this time of persecution that Rob Roy MacGregor became a famous folk hero. The persecution of the MacGregors lasted over 170 years, not ending until 1774.

General John Murray (Macgregor) of Lanark was appointed chief and re-established the clan in 1775. A baronetcy was created in 1795. In 2003, the 23rd Chief, Brigadier Sir Gregor MacGregor of MacGregor, 6th Baronet, died, passing his titles to his son, Major Sir Malcolm MacGregor of MacGregor, 7th Baronet.


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