Perthshire Scotland > Scottish Clan Names > MacLaren

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 of Lachrain.

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.

 

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