MacNeish is a sept of the Clan MacGregor
who once occupied the lands to the west of Loch Earn. Clan MacNeish were
based at Loch Earn Castle on Neish Island
off St Fillans.
As the power of the MacNeishs, along
with their MacGregor cousins, diminished in the 16thC they were reduced to
plundering the surrounding countryside and then retreating to their island
In 1612 they raided the
MacNabs whose lands lay to the north
around Loch Tay.
'Smooth' John MacNab decided to end
this lawlessness by a daring attack involving carrying a boat over the mountains
in order to attack in complete surprise. They stormed the castle and killed
the chief of the MacNeishes and most of his clan. The MacNab crest has a
depiction of the dead MacNeish chief's head.