Gaelic Name: MacPhàrlain
Motto: This I'll defend
Lands: Loch Lomond, Tarbet and Arrocher
Origin of Name: Son of Parlantd
MacFarlane Clan Crest: A demi-savage holding a broad sword in the dexter hand and pointing to a crown with the other.
History of Clan MacFarlane:
Territories at the head of Loch Lomond were held in the reign of David II by Parlan or “Bartholemew,” in its anglicised form. In Irish mythology, “Partholon” or “Parthalon,” son of Sear, was the first ruler of Ireland two hundred and seventy-eight years after the Biblical Flood.
In the 12th century, Gilchrist, son of Alwyn, Earl of Lennox, held lands at Arrochar on Loch Long. His grandson, Malduin, supported Robert the Bruce and fought for him at the Battle of Bannockburn. His son, Parlan, is the traditional ancestor of this Clan which followed the Stewart earls of Lennox throughout the 15th and 16th centuries.
The 11th Chief fell at the Battle of Flodden in 1513, and Duncan, 13th Chief and his brother were both killed at the Battle of Pinkie in 1547. After the murder of Lord Darnley, son of the 4th Earl of Lennox, in 1567, the Clan opposed Mary Queen of Scots and fought against her at the Battle of Langside in 1568.
During the 16th century, a feud broke our between the MacFarlanes and their neighbours, the Colquhouns of Luss, leading to murder of Sir Humphrey Colquhoun in 1592. After a second feud had broken out between them and the Buchanans, an Act of Estates was introduced in 1642 and led to the confiscation of the greater part of the MacFarlane lands.
Thereafter, surprisingly, the MacFarlanes remained loyal to the Stuarts, fighting alongside the Marquis of Montrose at the Battle of Inverlochy in 1645. However, when William of Orange and Queen Mary invaded, they found it impossible to support James VIII and did not take part in any of the ensuing Jacobite Uprisings. The remaining Clan Lands were sold off to pay debts in 1767, and the direct male line came to an end in 1886
Walter Macfarlane (d.1767) was a distinguished antiquary and scholar who lived in Edinburgh. James Macfarlane (1832-62) walked from Glasgow to London to find a published for a volume of his lyrics. Lord Macfarlane of Bearsden, a prominent Scottish industrialist, born in Glasgow in 1926, became Chairman of the drinks companies United Distillers and Guinness in 1987.
Places of Interest:
Arrochar, Dunbatonshire. At the head of Loch Long. Lands were acquired from the Earl of Lennox by the 6th Chief of MacFarlane
Tarbet, on Loch Lomond, Dunbartonshire. Eilean-a-Vow is an islet upon which stands the ruined MacFarlane stronghold of Inveruglas Castle, twice besieged by Oliver Cromwell's army.
Loch Sloy, a small loch under Ben Vorlich, Dunbartonshire. The Clan War Cry was taken from this loch, which is now part of a Hydro-Electric scheme.
Luss, Dumbartonshire. There is a memorial stone to the Chiefs of MacFarlane in the churchyard of Luss Kirk.