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Bishop Cormac's son Gilchrist, the prognenitor of the Clann an Mhaoil, was a religious man like his father; and it was because of this that he wore the tonsure which gave him the nickname Maolan or Gillemaol. The church origins of the M’millans are reflected in the connection of some of the earliest “children of Maolan” to two religiously based clan confederations: the Clann GhilleFhaolain (“Devotees of St. Fillan”) in Perthshire and Galloway; and the Clann GhilleChattain (“Devotees of St. Catan”) in Ulster, the Hebrides, and particularly Badenoch and Lochaber. Feuding with the Mackintoshes for the Captaincy of "Clan Chattan" - the devotees of St. Catan - involved the M’millans in defeat at the Battle of the Clans at Perth in 1396; and finished with the chiefly family’s near-extermination at The Palm Sunday Massacre of 1430. The one survivor of the massacre, Alexander mac Lachlan, fled to Knapdale, where some of the clan had probably been settled since the mid-13th century; and the famous cross that he later erected there may well be a memorial to the family and lands he lost in Lochaber. The M'millans' charter from the Lord of the Isles for their lands in Knapdale was said to have been carved in rock on the beach at the Point of Knap:
Coir MhicMhaolain air a Chnap
Fhad's a bhuaileas tonn ri crag

MacMillan's right to Knap shall be
As long's this rock withstands the sea

Alexander MacMillan is also remembered in Knapdale for the tower he built at Castle Sween (shown above),

the oldest stone castle in Scotland, which he held for the Lord of the Isles in the 1470s.

Clann MacMillan

Fàilte ort a dh'Albainn  – Clann an Mhaoil


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Cally Palace –Scotland

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A Royal and Religious Race

The M'millans are one of a number of clans - including the MacKinnons, the MacQuarries, and the MacPhees  descended from Airbertach, a Hebridean prince of the old royal house of Moray who according to one account was the great-grandson of King Macbeth. The kin of Airbertach were closely associated with the Clann Somerhairle "Ri Innse Gall" ("Kings of the Hebrides"), the ancestors of the MacDougalls and the MacDonald "Lords of the Isles"; and like their allies their interests in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries ranged throughout the Hebrides and the western coastal regions of the Scottish mainland, and into Ireland. Though most of the clans certainly descended from Airbertach were associated with the Inner Hebrides (Tiree, Iona, Mull, Ulva and Colonsay) some others claiming the same descent were later settled inland along the strategic corridor that connects Lorn - the mainland region opposite those islands - to Dunkeld in Perthshire, where Airbertach's son Cormac was the Bishop in the early twelfth century. Tradition connects the M'millans with a number of different places in the areas associated with Airbertach's kindred: Glencannel on Mull; Craignish in Lorn, Leny and Loch Tayside in Perthshire.

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