John ‘Crubach’ Maclean, 8th Laird of Ardgour was born c.1600 to Allan, 7th of Ardgour, and his wife Catherine almost certainly on the Isle of Coll.1 A sever childhood injury left John with a permanent limp, and earned him the nickname “Crùbach,” meaning “Lame” in Gaelic.1 He was often known as “John the Elder,” or “Lame John (John Crùbach).” Catherine was the daughter of Allan Cameron of Lochiel; a family with long and strong ties to the Macleans.2 John's father, Allan died c.16841 at the age of 102 years, which left John Crùbach quite elderly himself when he inherited the Lairdship of Ardgour.
He was known as a bold, daring,5 active man and ardent lover of the chase, and was always ready to draw the sword in support of his Chief and King.2
In 1685, during his first year as Laird, the Feudal Barony of Ardgour was returned to the Laird of Ardgour directly from the Crown, after being held by the Macleans of Duart when Allan Maclean, 5th of Ardgour, failed to be legally entered into his estate in 1546.3 On the 12th of December, 1685 a charter was granted from the Crown retroactively reinstating Allan, 5th of Ardgour, in Feudal Barony of Ardgour.6 This was reinforced by King James VII in a warrant signed at Whitehall on the 12th of September, 1688 wherein honorable mention is made of the loyalty of the Macleans in general and of the family of Ardgour in particular.4 After 14 decades the Feudal Barony of Ardgour was again held by the Lairds of the Ardgour estate.
John Crùbach married twice—first to Anne, daughter of Angus Campbell, Captain of Dunstaffnage,1 and secondly to Marian, daughter of Hector MacLean of Torloisk, relict of MacLean of Coll.1 Anne bore eight children Ewen Lachlan, Donald, Archiblad, Allan, Anne, Janet, and Mary. Marian had one child John. Lachlan became the 7th Laird of Blaich. Mary's son, Charles of Drimnin lead Macleans at the Battle of Colloden.7
John Crùbach died in 1695 at the age of 95, and was buried on Coll. He was succeeded in the Lairdship of Ardgour by his eldest soon, Ewen.1
- 1. Maclean, J. P. A History of the Clan MacLean from Its First Settlement at Duard Castle, in the Isle of Mull, to the Present Period. Cincinnati: R. Clarke, 1889. 230-231. Print.
- 2. Mclean, A. Sinclair. The Clan Gillean. Haszard and Moore: Charlottetown, 1899. Print 471.
- 3. Maclean-Bristol, Nicholas. Warriors & Priests. Tuckwell Press, 1995
- 4. Gibson, John Graham. Back O’ The Hill, Highland Yesterdays. 2008.
- 5. A Brief Genealogical Account of the Family of Maclean from its First Settlement in the Island of Mull and Parts Adjacent..
- 6. “Highland Papers’ vol 1,” Publications of the Scottish History Society, second series, vol V. May 1914.
- 7. christinaanddonaldmclean.com
Article by Don Gordon, 21 January, 2021; released under the Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0) Unported License.