Crest: A tower embattled Argent.
Motto: Virtue mine honour
Badge: Crowberry or holly
The clan surname MacLean is an Anglicisation of the Scottish Gaelic MacGilleEathain. The family was powerful throughout the Hebrides and Highlands from the 9th century having strong allegiance with the catholic faith. They were befriended by the early kings of Scotland for their seamanship and their large number of vessels which were useful against the Viking raids in the 9th century.The founder of the clan was a Scots warlord descended from the royal Cenél Loairn named Gilleain na Tuaighe "Gillean of the Battleaxe", who lived circa (1174–1249).
During the Wars of Scottish Independence the MacLeans fought at the Battle of Stirling Bridge in 1296 and at the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314 for Robert the Bruce. During the 14th and 15th century many battles were fought between the Clan Maclean and Clan Mackinnon.
In 1411 the Clan supporting the MacDonalds fought as Highlanders at the Battle of Harlaw in Aberdeenshire defeating the Duke of Albany and Earl of Mar. The MacLeans were led by "Red Hector of the Battles", the 6th Chief, who engaged in single combat with the chief of Clan Irvine. They both died of their wounds.
In 1513 Hector MacLean 9th chief was killed at Flodden Field. The clan extended its influence to other Hebridean islands such as Tiree and Islay and onto the mainland. In 1560 the Clan MacLean were joined by their allies the Clan Mackay and Clan MacLeod.The end of the sixteenth century the clan was engaged in feuds over control of land on Jura, Islay against the MacDonalds. The Battle of Glenlivet took place in 1594, Clan MacLean under Sir Lachlan Maclean fought in support of the Earl of Argyll and Clan Campbell against the Earl of Huntly and Clan Gordon.
Four years later fighting the MacDonalds on Islay Sir Lachlan was killed. This resulted in his sons in revenge massacring the people of Islay. The argument was over the tenancy of the crown lands on Islay which was eventually settled in favour of the MacDonalds by the Privy Council. The clan supported Montrose as Royalist in the Civil War fighting alongside the MacDonalds. They fought at the Battle of Inverkeithing 1651 where Sir Hector Maclean, 18th chief was killed.
Argyll government troops of Clan Campbell atttack the MacLean lands on Mull laying siege to Duart Castle but were driven off. 17th century marked the point when the fortunes of the MacLean clan began to wane, and by 1691 the Campbells had gained possession of Duart Castle and most of the MacLean estates. The castle was not reclaimed by the family until 1911. During the Jacobite Uprisings of 1745 to 1746 the Clan MacLean supported the House of Stuart and the Jacobite cause. Sir Hector Maclean, living in exile in Paris, went to Edinburgh to gain support for the Prince Charles Edward Stuart, but was betrayed by his bootmaker and was imprisoned in Edinburgh Caste and then the Tower of London. Because he was considered a French citizen, he escaped a capital sentence and was released.
Choose from one of the MacLean Tartans listed below