The Macmillans in Lochaber
Click here for map of Lochaber showing clan sites - which will open as a PDF in a separate window
Loch Arkaig from Murlagan looking west towards Glenpean
Tradition has it that Clann 'ic 'illemhaoil Abrach (Clan Macmillan of
Lochaber) is the oldest branch of the clan, and it seems that some of the
earliest descendants of Maolan were indeed "Captains of Clan Chattan"
when that ancient kindred still ruled Lochaber. Divisions within Clann
Gille-Chattain however led to the notorious "Battle of the Clans"
at Perth in 1396 when the Macmillans suffered defeat at the hands of the then Clan
Shaw (who later became the Mackintoshes),
which was followed by their decimation at the "Palm Sunday Massacre"
and the subsequent flight of the remaining members of their chiefly family to
Knapdale. There, with the help of the Lords of the Isles, the MacMillans
consolidated their position as an important independent clan - strong enough to
maintain a branch back in Lochaber where they helped the Camerons defend the old
"Gille-Chattain Lands" against the claims of the Mackintosh Captains of Clan
The Macmillans of Murlagan and Glenpean held their lands on the north and west of Loch Arkaig from at least the mid-16th century to the end of the 18th century, and fought as a self-contained unit with the Camerons whenever required. Captain Ewen Macmillan of Murlagan led the Macmillan company in Lochiel's regiment at Culloden in 1746, along with Lieutenants Dugald and Finlay Macmillan - the latter from Glenurquhart, where his father Duncan and two other brothers of Murlagan had settled earlier in the century.
In 1802 Archibald Macmillan of Murlagan and Allan Macmillan of Glenpean organised the mass emigration of Lochaber Macmillans to Canada, but some remained elsewhere in Lochaber - including the ancestors of the Andrew H. Macmillan who matriculated arms as "Macmillan of Murlagan" in 1957. His second son William G. M. Macmillan succeeded his father in 1964.
See the Genealogy section of this website for the descent of the Macmillans of Murlagan and Glenpean, and other Macmillan families from Lochaber.
The present house at Murlagan, and the monument there to the 1802 emigration