Ar­gyll pre­pares for the in­va­sion of the Ma­claines

The Oban Times - - News - The RNLI team’s Mora Less came in a com­fort­able sec­ond, but was slowed by heavy fur­ni­ture. 16_T32_ Raft race_ 02 SANDY NEIL sneil@oban­times.co.uk

KINS­MEN of Clan Maclaine of Lochbuie from 11 dif­fer­ent coun­tries will at­tend this year’s Ar­gyll­shire Gath­er­ing on Au­gust 24, be­fore tour­ing clan sites on the Isle of Mull.

This will be the first time since the early 1900s that the clan has at­tended the gath­er­ing in such num­bers, its chief told The Oban Times, and there will be a clan tent at which all Ma­claines and Ma­cleans will be wel­comed.

Clan Lean, founded by a me­dieval war­lord de­scended from the royal Cenél Loairn called Gil­lean of the Bat­tle Axe, split more than 500 years ago into two clans with two chiefs: Clan Ma­clean of Duart and Clan Maclaine of Lochbuie.

In 1360, the Lord of the Isles granted the first Lochbuie chief, Hec­tor the As­tute or Hec­tor the Stern, lands on Mull occupied by the MacFadyens. Clan leg­end tells of Hec­tor climb­ing the barmkin’s de­fen­sive wall and fir­ing an ar­row at a bone from which the MacFadyen chief was eat­ing, where­upon, ap­par­ently, he took his leave and de­parted.

In an­other leg­end, the clan’s web­site ex­plains, Hec­tor was given per­mis­sion to build his cas­tle ‘no big­ger than the skins of four deer’. So the As­tute Hec­tor cut the skins into con­tin­u­ous thin sliv­ers and laid the pieces end to end, and es­tab­lished the ground plan of Moy Cas­tle.

In 1752, John, 17th Lochbuie, aban­doned the cas­tle when he moved to a new house, in which he en­ter­tained Dr Sa­muel John­son and his bi­og­ra­pher James Boswell dur­ing their fa­mous tour of the High­lands in 1773.

Boswell wrote: ‘We had heard a great deal of Lochbuie be­ing a great roar­ing brag­gado­cio both in size and man­ners. The truth is that Lochbuie proved to be a bluff, comely, noisy old gen­tle­man, proud of his hered­i­tary con­se­quence, and a very hearty and hos­pitable land­lord.’

Boswell also ad­mit­ted drink­ing a whole bot­tle of Lochbuie’s ‘ad­mirable port’, and suf­fer­ing John­son’s rep­ri­mand the next day.

The cur­rent chief, Lorne Maclaine of Lochbuie, the 26th Baron of Moy, lives in South Africa but is trav­el­ling to Oban for this year’s Ar­gyll­shire Gath­er­ing, be­fore lead­ing the Clan Maclaine’s own gath­er­ing on Mull and tour­ing the is­land’s his­tor­i­cal sites.

For the Lochbuie kins­men, Oban will be the sec­ond stage of their week-long gath­er­ing in Scot­land.

On Tues­day Au­gust 22, their clan will be the fea­tured clan at the Ed­in­burgh Mil­i­tary Tat­too. There­after they come to Oban, and then travel to Mull for their of­fi­cial clan gath­er­ing at Lochbuie.

Lochbuie has also spon­sored a new pip­ing com­pe­ti­tion – the Coel Beag – that will be awarded to the ag­gre­gate win­ner of both the March and Strath­spey/reel com­pe­ti­tions at the Ar­gyll­shire Gath­er­ing.

In South Africa, Lochbuie founded the first High­land gath­er­ing to fea­ture ‘heavy ath­let­ics’.

‘South African gath­er­ings had pre­vi­ously been solely pip­ing and drum­ming com­pe­ti­tions,’ said Lochbuie, ‘ but the in­clu­sion of heavy ath­let­ics has added ap­pre­cia­bly to the en­joy­ment of the day. There are some 50 odd pipe bands in South Africa, so its fair to say Scot­tish cul­ture is alive and well in Africa.’

Lochbuie House.

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