THE WANDERINGS OF CLAN MACMILLAN

Clan MacMillan was a scattered tribe, spending decades in other, stronger clans' areas. Thus, there was a time when it was seen as a 'sept' of the Camerons in Lochaber; and of the Buchanans in Perthshire. However, the Clan retained its identity as a separate clan, through the centuries of wandering. If you click on the link to the left, you will see a map showing Clan MacMillan's dispersion through North and West Scotland.

The king whose mother was a Saint:

David I was the youngest son of St Margaret of Wessex and Scotland, and King Malcolm Canmore. Through the accidents of war, all his older brothers were killed, and David inherited Scotland's throne probably in 1124. He had a long and energetic reign (disturbed for awhile when he became a prisoner of the English). Like his mother, he strongly supported the so-called "Gregorian Reforms" over the old Celtic church.

Clan MacMillan in Glen Pean

Deer Abbey's people were dispersed, south west, along the Great Glen. A major group settled in Glen Pean, south of Loch Arkaig, and stayed there for a number of decades. (As an interesting aside, There have long been rumours of a fortune in gold is somewhere in Loch Arkaig meant by France (or Spain) to finance the Jacobite efforts.) On orders by Malcolm IV of Scotland, (1141 to 1165), Clan MacMillan moved from Glen Pean in Lochaber, south to Loch Tay.

Robert the Bruce's son, King of Scotland

Although the MacMillans had been front and centre in their support of Robert the Bruce and the wars of Independence, his son had other opinions. David II was a child when he was crowned at Scone in 1329. (The Kings of Scotland had a tendency to die young and violently, leaving a child to inherit the throne, leading to complicated history and many sad stories). However, after losing the Battle of Neville's Cross in 1346, David became the 'guest' of the English Crown, for a decade. When he returned to Scotland in 1357, he adopted an aggressive policy in the north, which in his absence, had seen a huge power grab by the Lord of the Isles and Robert II.

Goodbye to Ben Lawers on Loch Tay

David II, in the process of re-organizing the North, evicted Clan MacMillan from their Loch Tay side lands, where they had lived for some 200 years. It is at this time that John, First Lord of the Isles, enters our story, by providing Clan MacMillan with an alternative to the Great Glen.

Clan MacMillan and the Macdonald Lord of the Isles

David II died in 1371 without issue. He was succeeded by his nephew, Robert II, long an ally of John, Lord of the Isles. Upon becoming King, Robert recognized John's hold on Lochaber, as well as Colonsay, Kintyre and Knapdale. The MacMillans came to Knapdale under John's aegis, in order to provide sword service against Clan Campbell. the Clan was awarded lands on the north side of West Loch Tarbert: Dunmore, Kilchamaig, Teretigan and Kilberry. It should be understood, however, that there were family connections were maintained with Lochaber and Glen Pean. For example, when a son of a MacMillan of Knap murdered a man, he fled to Lochaber.(see page 12)

For Clan McMillan's origins, go here

For Clan McMillan in Knapdale, go here

To go back to the MacMillan introductory page: go here

For a list of sources used for Clan McMillan, go here