is a Highland Scottish clan
. Clan Lamont claim descent from Lauman who lived in Cowal
in 1238. Tradition gives this Lauman a descent from an Irish prince named Anrothan O'Neill. Clan Lamont like several other clans, such as Clan MacEwen of Otter
, Clan Maclachlan
, Clan MacNeil of Barra
, and the MacSweens
, all claim descent from Anrothan O'Neill, who left Ireland for Kintyre
in the 11th century. From this descent the clan claims a decent from the legendary Niall Noigíallach
, High King of Ireland
, who lived from the mid 4th century to early 5th century.
The darkest era of Clan Lamont was during the middle of the 17th century when about 100 Lamonts were massacred at Dunoon in 1646 by their powerful neighbours the Campbells. The clan did not take part in the Jacobite Risings. In the 19th century the clan chief emigrated to Australia, where the present chief of the clan lives. The clan lives today as the Clan Lamont Society, which was formed in 1895. The society meets once a year and accepts membership from anyone bearing the surname Lamont or any of the clan's associated names.
The first record of the Lamonts is found in the mid 13th century, when "Laumanus filius Malcolmi, nepos Duncani, filius Fearchar" appears in a feudal charter conveying Kilmur and Loch Gilp
and the lands of "quas nos et antecessores nostri apud Kilmun habuerunt" to Paisley Abbey
. Lauman's name appears in another charter, dated 1295, "Malcolmus filius er haeres domini quondam Laumani". The fact this Lauman
is the ancestor of the clan is proved in an instrument in 1466 between the monastery of Paisley and John Lamont of that Ilk, regarding the lands of Kilfinan, which are specifically said to have been held by John Lamont's ancestors. From Lauman
the Lamonts take their name and are styled as Mac Laomainn
. It is said that before the time of Lauman, the family was known as Mac'erachar
(son of Fearchar), the grandfather of Lauman, who lived around 1200.
The early chiefs of the clan were described as "The Great MacLamont of all Cowal" (Scottish Gaelic: Mac Laomain mor Chomhail uile). In 1456 a John Lamont was baillie of Cowal. Later in around 1463 the lands belonging to Lamont of that Ilk fell to the Crown by reason of non-entry, and for almost a century were held by a branch of the family known as the Lamonts of Inveria.
Tradition of Highland hospitality
There is a tradition of Highland hospitality and chivalry that concerns Clan Lamont and Clan Gregor
. The story is supposed to take place around the year 1600. The son of the chief of Clan Lamont and the only son of MacGregor of Glenstrae, chief of Clan Gregor, went hunting together on the shores of Loch Awe
. After the two men had made camp at nightfall they eventually became embroiled in a quarrel at the end of which Lamont grabbed his dirk and MacGregor was mortally wounded. The son of The Lamont then fled, hotly pursued by MacGregor's furious retainers, until losing his way he eventually made it to the house of the The MacGregor himself. On hearing that Lamont was fleeing for his life promised Lamont protection. Soon though, the old MacGregor guessed it was his own son who had been slain, but considered himself bound to the Highland laws of hospitality, saying "Here this night you shall be safe". With the arrival of the furious MacGregor clansman who pursued the young Lamont the MacGregor chief was true to his word and protected Lamont from his clansmen's vengeance. Later, while it was still dark, the chief had Lamont personally conducted to Dunderave on Loch Fyne
and provided him with a boat and oars. "Flee for your life; in your own country we shall pursue you. Save yourself if you can!"
Years later a ragged man appeared at Toward Castle desperately seeking shelter. The man was MacGregor of Glenstrae who had been stripped of lands and possessions and was fleeing for his life. The Lamont chief remembered the honourable deed of MacGrgor and took him and protected MacGregor. The old MacGregor lived with Lamont for years until his death, and was buried in honour in the little graveyard at the chapel of St Mary on the farm of Toward-an-Uilt, where MacGregor's grave could be pointed out.
The Dunoon massacre
The darkest era of Clan Lamont was undoubtedly during the mid 17th century which ended in what is known as the Dunoon massacre. The chief of the clan during this time was Sir James Lamont of that Ilk. In 1634 Sir James represented the Barons of Argyll in Parliament, though two years later he was plotting for the Royalist cause with other clan chiefs such as, Macdonald of Sleat, Macleod of Dunvegan, Maclean of Duart, Stuart of Bute, and Stewart of Ardgowan. Though once the Earl of Argyll (the chief of Clan Campbell) found out Lamont was forced to recant his position.
With the start of the following Wars of the Three Kingdoms, Lamont was sent a charter by Charles I of Scotland to crush the rebels - the Campbells. Even though the Lamont chief was a Royalist sympathiser he had no choice but to join forces with the superior forces of the Earl of Argyll. After the Covenanter loss at the Battle of Inverlochy Sir James was released by the Royalist victors and then sided with the Marquess of Montrose and actively supported the Royalist cause. Sir James Lamont of that Ilk then joined forces with Alasdair MacColla and together they invaded the lands of the Campbells. Sir James' brother, Archibald, led a force of Lamonts across Loch Long and together with MacColla's Irish contingent they landed at the Point of Strone. Their force then laid waste to large areas under Campbell control. The Lamonts were particularly brutal in North Cowal, and singled out Dunoon - the scene of an earlier massacre of Lamonts by Campbells. During the destruction their forces wrought on the Campbells, MacColla's men committed many atrocities and even the Lamonts themselves when they attacked the Tower of Kilmun. Once the tower had surrendered under promise of their lives being spared, the prisoners were then "taken thrie myles from the place and most cruelly put to Death, except one who was in the hot fever". Sir James Lamont ravaged the lands of Strachur, killing thirty-three men, women and children. His force destroyed much grain and drove off 340 cattle and horses.
Several months later in May 1646 while the Lamonts were home at castles of Toward and Ascog they were besieged by Campbell forces seeking revenge. By June 1 1646 the Campbells had cannon brought to shell the Lamont strongholds. Two days later Sir James Lamont, in a written agreement of quarter and liberty for himself and his followers surrendered and persuaded the other garrison at Ascog Castle to likewise laydown arms and surrender to the Campbells. Although the Campbells had agreed to the Lamonts terms of surrender, they immediately took the surrendered garrisons to Dunoon by boat. The Lamont strongholds were then looted and burnt to the ground. Sir James and his closest kin were shipped to Inverary and he was held in the dungeons of Dunstaffnage Castle for the next five years. In the churchyard at Dunoon about a hundred Lamonts were sentenced to death and executed. Thirty-six of the clan's high-ranking gentlemen were hanged from a tree in the churchyard, cut down and then buried either dead or alive in a common grave. After languishing in captivity for years Sir James Lamont was brought to Stirling Castle in 1651 to answer for his actions with Alasdair MacColla for their devastations in Argyll. Lamont was eventually spared trial though, when Charles II of Scotland led his ill-fated Scots forces into England to be later defeated at the Battle of Worcester. Lamont was finally released when the forces of Oliver Cromwell took Stirling. It has been reputed that the total damage inflicted by the Campbells upon the Lamont estates was in excess of £600,000 Scots (£50,000 sterling). Argyll himself was able to recover £2,900 Scots (almost £245 sterling) for the entertainment and lodging of the Lamont chief while in captivity.
In 1662, the ringleader of the massacre, Sir Colin Campbell, was brought to justice. He stood trial, was found guilty and beheaded.
The chiefs of Clan Lamont lived at Ardlamont until the last of their lands were sold in 1893 by the 21st chief, John Henry Lamont of Lamont, who emigrated to Australia
. The present chief of the clan is Peter Noel Lamont of that Ilk, Chief of the Name and Arms of Lamont., who is a member of the Standing Council of Scottish Chiefs
. The current chief is a parish priest
(a suburb of Sydney
), New South Wales
The Clan Lamont Society
The Clan Lamont Society was formed in 1895 with the purpose to keep alive the values and traditions of the clan. The society meets every year and is organised by a Council consisting of the clan chief, a president, two vice-presidents, six councillors, a secretary, a treasurer, and editor of the Clan Lamont Journal. The Clan Lamont society offers three kinds of membership: Life
, and Retainer
. The cost of a life membership is £150, annual membership £25 and retainer membership £5.
In 1906 a memorial was erected by the Clan Lamont Society at Dunoon. The memorial, which consists of a stone Celtic Cross, commemorates the many Lamonts who were killed in 1646. Every year the society lays a wreath at Dunoon to commemorate the site. The society also provides the Lamont Shield at the Cowal Highland Gathering, which is an award given to the best Juvenile (under 18) Solo piper at the games.
Origin of the name
The surname Lamont
has several origins, though in regards to this clan it originates in Scotland
and Northern Ireland
. The name is derived from the medieval personal name Lagman
which is from the Old Norse Logmaðr
. The Old Norse name Logmaðr
is composed to two elements: log
which is plural of lag
meaning "law" (from leggja
meaning "to lay down") + maðr
Crest badge, clan badge and pibroch
- Crest badge: Note: the crest badge is made up of the chief's heraldic crest and motto,
- Chief's crest: A hand couped at the wrist, proper.
- Chief's motto: Ne parcas nec spernas (translation from Latin: "Neither spare nor dispose").
- Clan badge: Note: there have been several clan badges attributed to the clan,
- Crab Apple Tree.
- Dryas (Latin: Octopetala) (Scottish Gaelic: Luidh Cheann).
- Pibroch: Spaidsearachd Chaiptein Mhic Laomainn.
- Clan chief: Peter Noel Lamont of that Ilk, Chief of the Name and Arms of Lamont.
Clan Lamont is closely associated with Clan Campbell and the Lamont tartan
reflects this. The Lamont tartan differs from the Campbell in only that the lines centred on green are only white on the Lamont. There is a sample of the Lamont tartan in the collection of the Highland Society of London
which bears the seal and signature of the clan chief dating from around 1816.
The following is a list of surnames associated with Clan Lamont. Note that many of these names are also associated with other clans.
- Aldownie, (and Aldowny)
- Lander, (and Landers)
- Luckie, (and Lucky)
- MacClammie, (and MacClammy)
- MacClement, (and MacClements)
- MacCluckie, (and MacClucky)
- MacGorie, (and MacGory)
- MacLammie, (and MacLammy)
- MacLuckie, (and MacLucky)
- Paterson, (and Patersson)
- Sorlie, (and Sorly)
Note: the source for all associated names is the Clan Lamont Society of North America website.
Notes & Footnotes
- Anderson, William. The Scottish Nation; Or The Surnames, Families, Literature, Honours, And Biographical History Of The People Of Scotland. Volume 2. Edinburgh: A. Fullarton & Co., 1862.
- Eyre-Todd, George. The Highland Clans of Scotland: Their History and Traditions. Charleston, SC, USA: Garnier & Company, 1969.
- Levene, Mark & Roberts, Penny. The Massacre in History, Berghahn Books, 1999. ISBN 1571819347.
- MacKinnon, Charles. Scottish Highlanders. Barnes & Noble Publishing, 1995. ISBN 0880299509.
- Manganiello, Stephen C. The Concise Encyclopedia of the Revolutions and Wars of England, Scotland, and Ireland, 1639-1660, Scarecrow Press, 2004. ISBN 0810851008.
- Moncreiffe of that Ilk, Iain. The Highland Clans. London: Barrie & Rockliff, 1967.
- Roberts, John L. Clan, King and Covenant: History of the Highland Clans from the Civil War to the Glencoe Massacre, Edinburgh University Press, 2000. ISBN 0748613935.
- Smibert, Thomas. The Clans of the Highlands of Scotland. Edinburgh: James Hogg. 1850.