Clan Lamont History
This clan descends from the original Scots who crossed the sea from Ireland, where their original name meant ‘lawgiver’, to found the kingdom of Dalriada. The kindred of Comgall is mentioned as one of the three principal kindreds in the ancient ‘Account Of The Men Of Scotland’. Its territory, Cowal, still known by that name although once stretching to Bute and Arran, had in 1200 a chief called Fearchar.
His sons Duncan and Malcolm granted lands to the monks of Paisley.
The name Lamont was formed from that of Malcolm’s son Ladman . Duncan and Malcolm established their chief seats at the strong Castles of Toward and Ascog.
The powerful Campbells, neighbours of the Lamonts, had steadily encroached on the Lordship of Cowal and after Montrose’s great victory at Inverlochy in 1645, the Lamonts seized the opportunity and laid waste to Campbell territory at Kilmun.
The next year a powerful Campbell army invaded, taking Toward and Ascog. After being promised fair terms for himself and his people, Sir James Lamont surrendered. However, the dishonourable Campbells then slaughtered over two hundred Lamont men, women and children.
One tree was said to have carried thirty five bodies from its branches. Elsewhere thirty six men were buried alive. The two castles were decimated and Sir James was thrown into a dungeon for five years.
A precious national heirloom which has survived from 1464 till today is the Lamont Harp. It is the oldest existing example of Scotland’s earliest musical instrument. It measures thirty-eight inches by sixteen inches and resides with the Robertsons of Lude in Perthshire.
The last clan lands were sold in 1893 and the present clan chief lives in Australia.
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