Cadets, Branches and Septs

Transcript from The Lamont Clan 1235-1935 by Hector McKechnie

Now that the march of the whole tartan has been followed from the dark of time to the present, one can stravaig in the bypaths of the cadets, the branches, and the septs. The cadets of these pages were all lairds, not as in some clans merely tacksmen. The branches were the colonies in the world out-by (other than the lairds). The septs are those not Lamonts by name, yet within the Clan Laomainn. Time and ill fortune have gone by the door at Inveryne, at Toward, and at Ardlamont, and have robbed them of their chiefs. The chieftains have gone also but for Knockdow, who alas has no heir! Within a generation the clan will live only in its branches and septs, commons to-day but some duine uassail on leaving the heather.

Of the cadets five may be reckoned independent of the chiefs and four derivative. Monydrain, Ardlamont, Ascog, Knockdow, and Coustoun all emerge from the mists of the past already established and not as offshoots of Inveryne, though in turn they came under the bratach of the chiefs, took Lamont for their name, and (Coustoun excepted) their kinship was recorded. Most had their own patronymics and were "barons". The McSorleys of Monydrain in Glassary were the seniors, descended of a Somerled c. 1310, thought to be a grandson of Sir LAUMON's uncle Duncan, and thus dating from 1270.

They were barons and welcomed as "cousins"in 1410 when chartered by ROBERT V. From before their extinction about 1740 till 1816 their lands were in the possession of a second family, also styled o f Monydrain. From 1315 at the least till 1554 the family of Ardlamont were notour, whiles as McEwens but never as barons, and subject to ROBERT V as chief-of-kin and feudal superior from 1433. Ascog Castle, by its lochan, is older than 1477 when the Lamonts of that same are in record. They were Mclnneses in tradition, and reckoned as sib by Sir JOHN X in 1540, but not as barons. Extinct about 1666, their off-shoot of Stronalbanach in Glassary (from 1613) continued till 1759. In 1431 there emerged the baron ruadh, McGorrie of Inverchaolain, founder of the house of Knockdow, namely to this day. They were "cousins" and vassals of Sir JOHN X in 1540 and had a branch at Garrochoran from 1578 to 1618. Lastly, in 1498 the McPhadrick barons of Coustoun breast the mist, little kenned till they vanish in 1700.

Of the four cadets sprung definitely and directly from Inveryne, three were descended of sons and one of a brother of Sir JOHN X . His second son, Mr Archibald, was laird of Stillaig from 1554, and acquired for his issue Row in Bute (Rudhbodacb) in 1559 and Auchinshelloch in 1588. Stillaig was resigned in 1643, and the civil wars ended the connection with Row, but Auchinshelloch was to the fore till 1741. (A second family of Stillaig (from 1660) succeeded to the chiefship in 1712 and is not separately treated.) In 1561 Robert, the next brother, was installed in Silvercraigs in Glassary, his folks' designation till 1700. Walter, a bastard legitimised, had N. Auchagoyl from 1569, and his descendants till 1773. Sir JOHN'S brother, Mr Allan, whose relationship is not so definitely established, set up in St Andrews in 1527, and of him are the Lamonts of Newton in Fife (from the late 17th century), of North Burton in Yorkshire (from 1642), and of various estates in Kirkcudbright (in the18th century), who have heirs male at this day in Australia.

In the following pages the five independent cadets are fully dealt with, but the three descendants of Sir JOHN X only shortly, while of Mr Allan and his kin, always furth of the Lamont country, little is provided but five pedigrees.

So much for the cadets. Of the branches or colonies, and of the septs, it has been impossible to give any separate treatment. In no case can a pedigree be unravelled, and in Braemar alone is there early evidence of kinship (in 1661 and 1682). The tradition of 1699 will have it that in 1400 sons of ROBERT V took the world for their pillow, becoming Bourdons of Feddal in Perthshire, Lambs in England, Land(l)esses in Paisley, 'and Mclnturners or Turners in Luss of Loch Lomond . If writ of 1621 may be trusted there were Lamonts in fair France i n 1460 (afterwards Barons de Lamont). In 1483 there is record of them in the Braes of Mar, later kenned as Mcllleduies or Blacks. From 1507 there were Lamonts i n Skye, and from 1539 in Ayrshire. About the Reformation they are said to have gone to Tiree, and in 1582 again to France and to Holland. They fled from the Diarmaids to Mullin 1646. Buchanan of Auchmar recorded in 1723 that these were reckoned as septs—the "McLucases or Lukes, Mclnturners or Turners, McAlduies or Blacks, Mcllwhoms, and Towarts." For these folk to be treated as they ought is beyond the capacity of an individual. Seven-leagued boots would he need in his researches, and time must stand still for him to write. Another volume may be the child of the future: enough is here for a generation.


©2011 The Clan Lamont Society of North America