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Origins of the Clan

In Gaelic, Saint Columba’s name was Colm. MacCallum means ’son of Colm’. The ancient Kingdom of Dál Riata where the first Scots of Ireland settled was home to Columba and the ancestors of the MacCallums. Despite all this we should not see the two as relations in blood but interpret the name MacCallum as ‘follower of Columba’. Between Columba’s time and the earliest historical reference to the MacCallums is almost a thousand years and the lands of Lorn, Argyllshire are generally regarded as MacCallum country.



13th Century

A traditional story about the MacCallums is that, perhaps in the thirteenth century, the chief family at Colgin had three sons, all wishing to make their own lives away from home. Their father prepared them their horses and told them they should ride in their different directions and build their homes wherever their horses’ panniers should first fall off. When the panniers of the first son fell off before he’d left his father’s farm he chose to remain at home. The panniers of the second fell at Glenetive and the third used the advice to find himself setting up his residence at Kilmartin.



15th Century

By 1414 Argyll was the estate of the Clan Campbell and Sir Duncan Campbell of Lochow granted lands in Craignish and on the banks of Loch Avich to Reginald MacCallum of Corbatton.



17th Century & Civil War

From the family in Poltalloch was Zachary MacCallum who was famous for his great strength. He was a supporter of the Marquess of Argyll and he was killed in 1647 by forces of Sir Alexander MacDonald at Ederline. After killing seven of the enemy Zachary MacCallum turned to Sir Alexander MacDonald, who would have been his eighth that day if MacCallum was not taken from behind by an enemy who killed him with a Scythe.



18th Century

Chief Dugald MacCallum of Poltalloch inherited the Malcolm estate in 1779, and was the first to adopt the name of Malcolm permanently. Of the Malcolm chieftainship line: Admiral Sir Pulteney Malcolm was Commander in Chief of Saint Helena, and won the regard of Napoleon. Sir Pulteney Malcolm also commanded HMS Royal Oak as Captain of the ship. John Wingfield Malcolm of Poltalloch was created Lord Malcolm in 1896, and died in 1902, when the peerage became extinct, though his brother inherited his estate, and the feudal title of ‘Malcolm of Poltalloch’, descended with the chieftainship of the Clan.



Clan Chief

The current chief of Clan MacCallum/Malcolm is Robin N. L. Malcolm of Poltalloch.



Clan Profile

      Gaelic Name: MacChaluim.

      Motto: In ardua petit (He has attempted difficult things).

      Plant Badge: Mountain Ash.

      Lands: Argyll

      Origin of Name: Son of Callum (Bald dove).

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