House of Duart

The House of Duart is primary branch and thus chiefly line the Clan Maclean; it takes its name from the clan seat, Duart Castle.

The branch was likely established in 13451 after a failed negotiation with John of Islay, 1st Lord of the Isles, for land on the Isle of Mull ended with his abduction by Lachlan Lùbanach and his brother Hector Reaganach. Rewarded for their boldness, which he wished to leverage, his Lordship granted each brother lands on Mull, and Lachlan titles and office both to his personal household and to the Lordship.6 Upon Lachlan was bestowed the office of Lieutenant-General of the Isles,2 the honor of the “right hand of all Clans in Battle,” and Chamberlain of his Lordship’s household.1

Maclean of Duart (Chief's Arms)

By 1367, Lachlan was betrothed to the Lord of the Isles’ daughter, Mary Macdonald; Duart Castle and several territories were included in the dowry.3 As Mary was also the grand-daughter of Robert II, King of Scots,4 the marriage established bonds with both the semi-independent Lordship of the Isles and the geography distant Kingdom of Scotland. The later would become more important in time.

The House of Duart remained loyal to the Lordship of the Isles, and Lachlan’s descendants served on the Council of the Isles until it was forfeit James IV of Scotland in 1493.5 Thereafter, the House of Duart remained loyal to Stewart Kings through the Jacobite Risings and to the Battle of Culloden in 1746.

The Chiefs of the Clan Maclean have continued in the ancient military traditions of their forebearers, serving as officers in most of the wars of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The House of Duart has been at the forefront of keeping the connection, history, and kinship alive in the modern era by restoring Duart Castle, establishing the Heritage Trust, and inviting the Children of Gilleain to once again regularly gather at the their ancient home.


  1. 1. Maclean-Bristol, Nicholas. One Clan Or Two? Independently Published, 2019. p. 32, 33.
  2. 2. Macfarlane, Walter. Macfarlane’s Genealogical Collections, Vol. 1. Edinburgh: University Press, 1900. p.122.
  3. 3. MacLean, J. P. A MacLean Souvenir. Franklin, Ohio: The News Book & Job Print, 1918. Print.
  4. 4. Robertson, James A. Concise Historical Proofs Respecting the Gael of Alban. Edinburgh: W.P. Nimmo, 1866.
  5. 5. Mackenzie, Alexander. History of the Macdonalds and Lords of the Isles. Inverness: A&W Mackenzie, 1881.
  6. 6. see Rise to Influence & Prominence