In 1241, the time of Alexander II, Malcolm, Earl of Lennox, granted the lands of Colquhoun in Dunbartonshire to Humphrey of Kilpatrick. Humphrey’s son Ingram is the first person recorded as taking Colquhoun for his surname.
Around 1368, Luss, on Loch Lomond, was acquired by Sir Robert Colquhoun through marriage. From then on the chiefship has been described as of Colquhoun and Luss.
His grandson Iain Colquhoun of Luss married Margaret, the daughter of the Earl of Lennox. When James I (pictured top) returned from English imprisonment a few years later in 1424, one of the people he took his vengeance upon was the unsupportive Lennox. The position of Lennox was decimated and Iain of Luss took advantage of this to win the King’s favour by capturing Dumbarton Castle from Lennox.
Remains of Rossdhu Castle built by Sir John Colquhoun in 1457
By 1427 he was Sheriff of Dumbarton and by 1439 he was dead, like his King, killed by those he had treated so badly. By way of compensation, James II made Luss a free barony for Colquhoun’s grandson Sir Iain. It remained this way until the Rising of 1745.
Luss was raided by thieving MacGregors in 1603, leading to a bloody battle and defeat of five hundred Colquhoun men, three hundred of whom were on horseback, by four hundred MacGregor men at Glen Fruin. Over two hundred of the Colquhoun men were lost when the MacGregors, who had split into two parties, attacked from front and rear and forced the horsemen onto the soft ground of the Moss of Auchingaich.
It meant the proscription of the Clan Gregor.
It wasn’t until the eighteenth century that the enmity between the clans was laid to rest when, at Glen Fruin on the site of the massacre, the chiefs of the Clan Gregor and Colquhoun met and shook hands.
The 11th Laird of Luss, Sir John Colquhoun, became a Baronet of Nova Scotia in 1625. Seven years later, however, he vanished along with Lady Catherine Graham, his wife’s sister. He was accused of using witchcraft and sorcery to woo her and so, wisely, never returned to clear his name.
Today the family is seated in the great mansion of Rossdhu.