MacCallum Clan

MacCallum Clan Crest: A tower argent with blue window and port .

MacCallum Clan Motto: In Ardua Tendit (He has attempted dificult things).

History of Clan MacCallum:
There is some confusion over the actual name of this Clan since, in 1799, it was changed by the Chief, Dugald MacCallum of Poltalloch, from MacCallum to Malcolm, for allegedly 'aesthetic reasons.'

Malcolm was the name of four Scottish kings and the name 'Malcolumb' is recorded in a Charter dating from 1094. The name MacCallum itself comes from the Gaelic, meaning 'Son of the Ghillie (or servant) of Callum (otherwise known as St Columba).  At some stages in their history, however, the names MacCallum and Malcolm appear inter-changeable. In the reign of Charles I, for example, John Malcolm of Balbedie, Lochore and Innerneil, became Chamberlain of Fife. His son John became a Nova Scotia Baronet in 1665. Another son, Alexander, became a judge with the title Lord Lochore, and yet another son, James, fought with Viscount Dundee at the Battle of Killiekrankie in 1680. Sir John Malcolm of Burnfoot (1769-83), born near Langholm, was three times British Ambassador to Persia and in 1827 became Governor of Bombay. His brother, Admiral Sir Pultney Malcolm, was the Naval Commander at St Helena during the imprisonment there of the French Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte.

The senior Maccallum/Malcolm line, however, definitely originates from the district of Lorn in Argyll, and its lands of Craignish and on the banks of Loch Avich, were granted to Reginald MacCallum of Corbarron in 1414 by Sir Duncan Campbell of Lochow, along with the hereditary offices of Captain of Craignish and Lochaffy Castles. In the 17th century, Corbarron passed to Zachary MacCallum of Poltalloch.

The 1st Laird of Poltalloch received his Charter in 1562; this family, however, lived at Kilmartin House and, in the late 18th century, started to build Old Poltalloch House, although this was never completed. Neil Malcolm, 13th Laird, built Poltalloch House, overlooking Loch Crinan around 1850, but this was demolished in 1959.

In 1896, John Wingfield Malcolm was created a peer for his parliamentary services with the title of Baron Malcolm of Poltalloch. His nephew, Sir Ian Zachary Malcolm, KCMG, was an equally distinguished Member of Parliament, and married the daughter of the actress Lily Langtry, a celebrated Victorian/Edwardian beauty. Their son, Colonel George Malcolm, succeeded his father in 1944, and later commanded the 8th Battalion, the Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders. In 1946, he became the first Director/Producer of the Edinburgh Military Tattoo.

Surname distribution in Scotland: The MacCallum surname is most commonly found in the Highlands, Argyll and Bute, Renfrewshire, Ayrshire, Glasgow City and Stirlingshire.

Places of interest:
Duntrune Castle, Kilmartin, Argyll. This is the current Seat of the Chief, a 16th century keep erected on the site of a 13th century Campbell stronghold.

Craignish, Argyll. The MacCallums were appointed Hereditary Constables of the original castle in 1414.

Poltalloch, Loch Craignish, Argyll. This was the ancient Seat of Clan MacCallum.

Associated family names (Septs): Callam, Callum, MacAllum, MacCallum, Malcolm.

Clan MacCallum membership certificates.