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Origins of the clan

The earliest reference to the Clan Macnaghten is in connection with great Pictish rulers of Moray. The name ‘Nechten’ which means “pure” or “clear” was popular in the Pictish royal line. The originator of the clan is believed to have been “Nechtan Mor” who lived in the 10th Century.



13th century Castle in Loch Awe

By the time of the Renaissance, Clan Macnaghten had developed four distinct branches, or “septs,” each recognized by the Crown with its own coat of arms. The senior line, MacNauchtan of Argyll, is assumed to descend from Sir Gilchrist MacNauchtan, who was granted land in Argyll in the early 1200s by Alexander III, King of Scotland. Parchments from 1247 and 1267 bearing the seal of Sir Gilchrist MacNauchtan are among the oldest existing charters in Scotland.



14th century and Robert the Bruce

During the 14th Century the MacNaghtens were opposed to Robert the Bruce and his claim to the throne of Scotland, however he did eventually become King Robert I of Scotland. As a result the MacNaghten’s forfeited many of their lands. The Clan Macnaghten also fought against Robert the Bruce at the Battle of Dalree in 1306. The fortunes of the clan were restored however when King David II of Scotland granted them lands in Lewis.



16th century and Anglo Scottish Wars

In the sixteenth century during the Anglo-Scottish Wars the Clan Macnaghten led by Chief Alistair MacNaughten, who was knighted by King James IV of Scotland fought at the Battle of Flodden Field in 1513. However the Chief was killed during the course of the battle.



17h century & Civil War

In the 17th century during the Civil War Chief John MacNaghten and his clan were Royalist supporters. The MacNaghtens had a strong force and joined King James VII’s general the Viscount Dundee and is said to have taken a leading part when the Clan Macnaghten were victorious at the Battle of Killiecrankie in 1689.



Clan profile

      Clan Motto: I hoip in God.

      Clan Slogan: “Fraoch Eilean” (The Heathery Isle).

      Clan Crest: A castle embattled, Gules.

      Clan Badge: Trailing Azalea.

      Clan chief: Sir Malcolm Macnaghten, 12th Baronet.



Origin of the name

      Gaelic name: Mac Neachdainn for “Son of Nechtan“).

      Gaelic Names: MacNeachdainn (Surname) & Clann ‘icNeachdainn (Collective).



Clan seat

      Dundarave (or “Dunderawe”), Antrim, Ireland.




      MacNaghten of Dundarave

      MacNaghten of MacNaghten



Septs of Clan Macnaghten


























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