The MacLarens of Perthshire were an
ancient clan originally holding lands in Balquhidder and west Strathearn.
The name comes from Lachrain, 13thC Abbot of Achtow, as Mac Lachrain or Son
The MacLarens held their lands under
the Celtic Earl of Strathearn. It is possible that the family is descended
from the rulers of the ancient Pictish Kingdom of Fortrenn - the modern
Strathearn & Menteith areas of Perthshire.
With the fall of the Celtic Earldom
of Strathearn and the transfer of the lands to the monarchy in 1370, the
power of the MacLarens dissolved. The land they occupied eventually became
Murray, Drummond and Campbell lands.
The MacLarens were tenants under these
other more powerful families and did not occupy any castle as their own;
similarly the had no tenants under them. In time, and given the fueding between
local clans including the MacGregors, they settled mainly among the Campbells
of Glenorchy in Breadalbane around Loch Tay. In 1558 the MacGregors had killed
18 MacLaren families and seized their land.
MacLarens were loyal to the House of
Stewart and fought for the crown - for James III in 1488 at Sauchieburn,
James IV in 1513 at Flodden and Mary I (Queen of Scots) in 1547 at Pinkie.
The MacLarens supported Montrose & Charles I in 1644 and the Jacobite
cause with Dundee in 1689.
The Clan fought with Bonnie Prince
Charlie at Culloden in 1746. MacLaren of Invernenty was taken prisoner and
escaped while en route to Carlisle. Sir Walter Scott's novel Redgauntlet
is based on these events.