MacNaughton Clan Origin: Early allusions to the MacNachtan/MacNaughton clan links it to Moray’s ancient Pictish rulers, descendants themselves from the Nachtan Mor clan which lived around the 10th century. Nachtan of Moray was awarded lands in either Strathay or Strathspey by Malcolm IV as part of a policy designed to pacify and develop Scotland’s northern, remote counties. It would be during the reign of Alexander III, in 1267, that the MacNachtan’s settled in the county of Argyll after their chief Gilchrist was tasked with maintaining the King’s castle on the island of Fraoch Eilean.
Clan Location: Moray, later Argyll
MacNaughton Clan Motto: I hope in god
Changing Allegiances: During the Scottish Civil War, the MacNachtan’s fought against Robert the Bruce. Following the unsuccessful battle of Dalree in 1306, Donald MacNachtan was stripped of most of his territorial possessions, with the Campbells the main beneficiaries. While the clan eventually sided with Bruce it was not until the reign of David II, Robert the Bruce’s son, and, indeed, till Donald was succeeded by his son, Duncan, that the clan’s fortunes improved. Duncan, in return for faithful service to his Liege Lord, was given lands on the Isle of Lewis. In 1436, Donald MacNachtan, one of the family’s youngest members, was elected Bishop of Dunkeld. In 1513 the national catastrophe at Flodden, in which virtually all of Scotland’s nobility were annihilated in pitched battle against the English, Alexander MacNachtan, clan chief, was also slain.
The MacNaughton Family Crest
Clan MacNaughton Tartan
Loyalty and Loss : The MacNachtan’s loyal service to the Kings of Scots continued into the 17th century, when clan chiefs supported Charles I and James VII, respectively. MacNachtans were present at the Battle of Killiecrankie in 1689, in which Jacobite forces were victorious over government soldiers supporting the claims of William and Mary. However, James’s eventual failure to regain his throne cost his loyal supporters dearly. In 1691, the MacNachtans had their estates seized and the direct male line of MacNachtans ended with the death of John at the beginning of the 18th century.
A Loyal Clan : What is admirable when considering the history of the MacNachtan clan is the loyalty it demonstrated to the crown over the centuries and its ability to survive alongside the mighty Campbells and MacDougalls for so long.
If your surname is listed below you can claim to be a MacNaughton.