McClintock / McClintic Prologue III

The Battle of Culloden

McClintic Saga

In 1746 at the bloody battle of Culloden Moor, the English armies defeated the Highlanders. Prince Charlie escaped into the wild highlands and finally arrived in France. The English executed many of the Clan Chiefs and forbade all Highlanders to carry arms, wear their kilts or play the bagpipe under penalty of death. The pattern of the kilts was burned as each tartan was a territorial mark. It was not till 36 years later, in 1782, that these restrictions were lifted. Some Clan tartans woven today have both a modern and ancient pattern. The ancient tartans are from the old patterns and chemical dyes developed after the ban was lifted. The ancient tartans are usually lighter in color as the plant dyes were not as strong as the chemical dyes. Many greens, blues and blacks were used in the ancient colors as the plants used to make the dyes to produce these colors were more plentiful.

After 1745, the chief who had been the leader and father of his people, became their landlord. His clansmen ceased to be warriors and became peasants. The English dismantled the Clan System as part of their policy to prevent further rebellions. The Clan Chiefs, now militarily impotent, began to concentrate on making an economic living from their lands and evicted large sectors of the population to make room for the more profitable industry of sheep farming. This event was called the 'Highland Clearance' of the 18th and 19th centuries. The Clan System was pretty much obsolete by 1745. The Clans were tribes living in their own territories, growing and making what they needed, and raiding each other for fun and profit. Clansmen did not need money or jobs but only the bare essentials. As the country became over populated and new generations left the Highlands they began to realize there were easier ways of living with greater comforts and amenities. But, these ways were based on money and to get it the clansmen had to leave the lochs and glens.


The Highland clans were made up of many families with surnames different than the surname used by the Clan Chief. These 'SEPTS' were led by a Chieftain of the 'SEPT' surname. The two ways a 'SEPT' became a part of a Clan was by the tie of blood or by the place of the 'SEPT' of his dwelling. The blood relationship was through the female line. The Clan Chief's mother, or other female relative was a blood relative of the 'SEPT' family. Each Clan had its share of members of 'broken men' of different surnames, who sought the protection of the Clan Chief for one reason or another. The Clan System fostered very strong bonds of loyalty and devotion between fellow Clansmen regardless of their rank or class. The very nature of this loyalty resulted in long standing and bloody feuds between rival Clans. Sometimes smaller Clans sought the protection of their more powerful neighbors by this system known as 'MANRENT'.

The MACCLINTOCKS were never officially recognized by the Lord Lyon of Scotland as a Clan. Many of the ancient Irish Tribes were not recognized by the Scottish government conduct to their resentment of the Scottish Kings whom they considered Lowlanders. These Highlanders called the King 'Sassnach', which is a Gaelic word for Lowlander. The Lowland Scots considered the highlanders to be uncivilized Gaelic speaking savages.

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