MacLaren Clan

MacLaren Clan Crest: A crowned lion's head, between two laurel branches.

MacLaren Clan Motto: Creag An Tuirc (Rock of the boar).

History of Clan MacLaren (Clan Labhruinn):
There are two lines of MacLaren, one from Perthshire and the other, the MacLaurins, are said to have once owned the Isle of Tiree. The native clan lands of the former are in Strathearn and Balquhidder, where the MacLaren Chiefs were Hereditary Abbots of Achtow.  The Argyllshire MacLarens of Tiree (Clan Labhruinn) are said to descend from Lorn, son of Fergus Mor Mac Erc, King of Dalriada in the 6th century.

Three MacLaren nobles appear to have rendered homage to Edward I of England in 1296 – Maurice of Tiree, Conan of Balquhidder and Lorn of Ardebethay.  However, the Clan supported Robert the Bruce at the Battle of Bannockburn following Malise, Earl of Strathearn.

Over the centuries, ownership of the lands of Balquhidder passed through various Lordships, although the MacLarens remained in situ. They were Jacobite supporters and fought for the Marquis of Montrose at the Battle of Inverlochy in 1645, and for Viscount Dundee at the Battle of Killiecrankie in 1689. They supported the Earl of Mar at the Battle of Sheriffmuir in 1715, and followed Prince Charles Edward Stuart at the Battle of Prestonpans in 1745 and the Battle of Culloden in 1746. Donald MacLaren of Invernenty was captured by the Government troops, but escaped on his way to trial in Carlisle. He remained a fugitive until the amnesty of 1757.

In 1957, Donald MacLaren of MacLaren and Achelskine was recognised by the Lord Lyon King of Arms as Chief of Clan MacLaren. The Clan MacLaren Society was founded in 1960. The Clan MacLaren Society of North America was chartered in Texas in 1967.

Colin MacLaurin (1698-1746) was born in Argyll. He became Professor of Mathematics at Aberdeen University, then at Edinburgh University, and wrote Geometrica Organica. Charles MacLaren (1782-1866) was born at Ormiston in East Lothian. He was the first editor of The Scotsman newspaper and edited The Encyclopaedia Britannica (6th edition). Duncan MacLaren (1800-86) was Lord Provost of Edinburgh from 1851-04, and served as Member of Parliament from Edinburgh from 1865-81. Bruce McLaren ( 1937 -70), born in Auckland, New Zealand, of Scottish descent, was founder of the McLaren Formula One Racing Team.

Surname distribution in Scotland: The MacLaren name is most commonly found in Highland (an amalgamation of the historic counties of Caithness, Inverness-shire, Nairnshire, Ross and Cromarty and Sutherland) and Perth and Kinross (Perthshire and Kinross-shire).

Places of Interest:
Balquhidder Church, Perthshire. Ruins of 13th century church associated with the Clan.

Achleskine, Loch Voil, Perthshire. Held by the MacLarens until 1892.

Associated family names (Septs): Faed, Larnach, Laurence, Laurenson, Law, Lawrence, Lawson, Low, Lowe, Lowson, MacFade, MacClarence, MacCrorie, MacFait, MacFater, MacFead, MacFeat, MacGrory, MacLaurin, MacPatrick, MacPetrie, MacPhait, MacPhater, MacRorie, MacRory, Paterson, Patrick, Patterson, Peterkin, Peters, Peterson, Rorie, Rorison.

Clan MacLaren membership certificates.