House of Lochbuie

The House of Lochbouie is a feudally independent Branch Clan established at the time as the House of Duart. The branch takes its name from the beautiful Loch Buie on the Island of Mull, where Moy Castle overlooks the bay opening onto the Firth of Lorn and the tidal islands of Eilean Mòr and Eilean Uamh Ghuaidhre.


The branch was likely established in 13451 when John Dubh sent his sons, Lachlan Lùbanach and Hector Reaganach, to negotiate with John of Islay, 1st Lord of the Isles, for land on the Isle of Mull.

Maclean of Lochbuie (Chief's Arms)

The negotiation failed and the brothers abducted John of Islay. To their surprise, after his release John rewarded them for their boldness, which he wished to leverage, and granted each lands on Mull.

John of Islay granted each brother lands on Mull.2 Hector Reaganach was given four score merks of land3 that had been occupied by the MacFadyens. As the legend would have it Hector Reaganach asked the MacFayden Chief for a suitable place to build a sheepfold, but instead build a castle from which he drove the MacFaydens from Lochbuie. The MacFaydens resettled in Garmony where their chief built a reputation for mining and coining gold; his descendants became renown goldsmiths.1

By accepting the lands from john of Islay, the brothers not only established the first two houses of the Clan Maclean (Duart and Lochbuie), but they also as heads of these houses became vassals to the Lord of the Isles. Their father and chief, John Dubh, was alive when the houses were established; upon his death, the chiefly line fell to Lachlan Lùbanach and House of Duart. While the House of Lochbuie meets the definition of a cadet—an independent branch not inheriting the chiefship—any practical effect of this technicality was superseded well before John Dubh’s death by the fact that Hector Reaganach held his charters directly from the Lord of the Isles making the House of Lochbuie independent.10 Thus, the House of Lochbuie was an independent Branch Clan before it ever could have been considered a cadet of Duart. Though no records or histories record a Lochbuie Chief swearing fealty to that of Duart, it is clear that the houses generally worked together to amass and consolidate considerable power for the Macleans within Western Island and Highlands until the end of the Lordship of the Isles in 1493.8

Hector Reaganach married twice. The betrothal to his first wife Cristíona MacLeóid was arranged by John of Islay to one of his powerful vassals, Chief of the MacLeods of Lewis.1 For this match to be successful, Hector Reaganach would have already established his estate. Hector Reaganach’s second marriage was to Mór, daughter of Gofraidh Ó Balbháin of Clan Ferguson.1

Murdoch Maclean (6th of Lochbuie) obtained charter to the Free Barony of Lochbuie from the James V, King of Scotland, on June 29, 1542.

The House of Lochbuie remained loyal to the Lordship of the Isles, and Hector’s descendants served on the Council of the Isles until it was forfeit James IV of Scotland in 1493.8 The House of Lochbuie remained loyal to Stewart Kings until the Jacobite Uprising of 1715. What motivated Murdoch (13th of Lochbuie) not to join the Jacobites at the Battle of Sheriffmuir is unclear; however what is clear is that Murdoch’s support shifted from the Stewart Kings to the Government in early 1715. The men of Lochbuie would not turn or for the Jacobite Uprising of 1745 either.9

While Murdoch’s decision to shift alliances was probably unappreciated by the other Maclean houses, in the end it may have saved the clan at large and ensured—at least for a time—the continued presence of the Children of Gilleain on Mull and in the surrounding area.

By 1804 the Chief of Lochbuie had begun consistently spelling his name, Maclaine. Family lore is that it was to distinguish the house from that of Duart.

Lochbuie Estate & Territory

The estate of Lochbuie, which means yellow loch in Scots Gaelic included the land from Ben Buie to the Firth of Lorn At the head of the loch is the main village of Lochbuie which was once knows as the Garden of Mull.

Junior Cadet Branch Clans

Branch clans meet the criteria for cadetcy, yet are feudally independent as they hold charters directly from the sovereign, rather than from their Chief. The cadet house of Dochgarroch is recognized by the Lord Lyon as a feudally independent clan.

Maclean of Dochgarroch (Chief's Arms)

House of Dochgarroch

Junior Cadet of Lochbuie
Clan Tearlach
“The Macleans of the North”

Junior Cadet Branches

The Junior Cadet Branches trace their lineage through Clan Maclean of Lochbuie to Gilleain na Tuaighe. The Lord Lyon recognizes cadet branches that existed prior to the general consolidation of the clan structures in the late 1700’s7

Maclean of Kingairloch (Chieftains Arms)

House of Kingairloch

Junior Cadet Branch

House of Urquhart & Culbokle

Junior Cadet of Brach

House of Kingairloch

Junior Cadet of Brach

House of Pennygown

Junior Cadet Branch

House of Cappurnach

Junior Cadet of Brach

House of Scallasdale

Junior Cadet of Brach

Non-Cadet Branches

Non-cadet branches came into existence after the general consolidation of clan structures in the late 1700’s7

House of Pennygown

Junior Cadet Branch

House of Garmony

Junior Cadet of Brach

House of Loch Gorm

Junior Cadet of Brach


  1. 1. Maclean-Bristol, Nicholas. One Clan Or Two? Independently Published, 2019. p. 32, 33, 35.
  2. 2. see Rise to Influence & Prominence
  3. 3. Mackenzie, Alexander. History of the Macdonalds and Lords of the Isles. Inverness: A&W Mackenzie, 1881.
  4. 2. Macfarlane, Walter. Macfarlane’s Genealogical Collections, Vol. 1. Edinburgh: University Press, 1900. p.122.
  5. 3. MacLean, J. P. A MacLean Souvenir. Franklin, Ohio: The News Book & Job Print, 1918. Print.
  6. 4. Robertson, James A. Concise Historical Proofs Respecting the Gael of Alban. Edinburgh: W.P. Nimmo, 1866.
  7. 7. White, Alasdair. “Maclean Cadet Branches and their Chiefs.” Clan MacLean. N.p., 1999. Print.
  8. 8. Mackenzie, Alexander. History of the Macdonalds and Lords of the Isles. Inverness: A&W Mackenzie, 1881.
  9. 9. Maclaine, Lorne. Siol Eachainn: The Race of Hector. Independently Published, 2019.
  10. 10. see The Question of Cadetcy