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Jaime MacDonnel Husband of Caledonia Lamont

"Clan MacDonnell of Keppoch, Husband of Caledonia Lamont of the Lamont clan"


Origins of the clan MacDonnell of Keppoch

The MacDonalds of Keppoch are descended from Alistair Carrach MacDonald who was a younger son of Good John of Islay, Lord of the Isles, 6th chief of Clan Donald and his second wife Margaret Stewart, daughter of King Robert II of Scotland. John of Islay, Lord of the Isles, apportioned his estates between the children of his two marriages in accordance with the marriage settlement of his father-in-law Robert II of Scotland and the Lordship of Lochaber was given to Alistair Carrach MacDonald who was the third and youngest son from his second marriage. Alistair Carrach MacDonald was the first MacDonald of Keppoch and Garragach.

They belonged to the noble Lamont Clan, which dominated most of the Cowal peninsula in Argyll for centuries. However, the position of the clan was damaged by the Dunoon Massacre in 1646, when members of the Campbell clan killed about 200 members of the Lamont clan. Many Lamonts moved, particularly to the Scottish Lowlands. Today, the Lamonts are scattered throughout Canada, Australia, Great Britain, and other countries.

The Lamont Clan originated around the year 500, the Irish kingdom of Dal Riata emigrated from Ulster to the southwest of Scotland. Based on oral traditions, this invasion of Scottish territory was led by the three sons of Erc, the king of Dal Riata. It was during this "construction stage" of the Scottish Kingdom of Dalriada that the Stone of Destiny and the Crowning Stone were brought by the Gaelics to Argyll. The crowning stone was later brought to Scone, the capital of the southern Picts. It was there that the Picts and Scots came together in 844 under the guidance of Kenneth MacAlpine.

Anrothan O'Neill, an Irish prince of the O'Neill dynasty, took advantage of this new Scottish kingdom and gave up his government in Ireland to settle in Argyll. From the Anrothan line came a prominent lord named Aodha Alainn O'Neil, who had three sons: Gillachrist, Neill and Dunslebhe. Gillachrist's son, Lachlan, founded the MacLachlan Clan, and Gillachrist's brother, Neill, founded the MacNeil Bar Clan. Dunslebhe had two children: Ewen and Fearchar. Ewen founded the Otter Clan Ewen, and Fearchar's grandson founded the Lamont Clan.
Until the 13th century, the Lamont clan was known as MacKerracher in honor of Fearchar. In 1235, however, Sir Laumon signed a land concession contract for Paisley Abbey. From Laumon comes the modern name 'Lamont', and the clan became known as such. His descendants, the first heads of the clan, were described as "The Great MacLamont of all Cowal" ( Scottish Gaelic : Mac Laomain mor Chomhail uile ). 

The Lamont Clan, although it still maintained its lands, was functionally incapacitated in the 18th century. Its properties in Cowal surrounded the strong fortresses of Campbell and therefore the Lamonts, mostly Roman Catholics, were unable to travel north and participate in the Jacobite rise of 1715 or the Jacobite rise of 1745. Since the Lamont did not participate in the Jacobite uprisings, they were spared the brutal annihilation of the clan system in the Highlands. Even so, Scotland's clan system was effectively crushed after the Battle of Culloden in 1746. The British government's ban on bagpipes, tartans and clan chiefs affected every clan - whether or not it participated in the Risings - in the Highlands, and thus forced the county into a deep state of regression and new ways of life.

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