Exile & Emigration

19th Century — 20th Century

The Stuart Cause cost the Macleans heavily in life, land, and influence. Having lost Duart and most of their lands to the Argyll, the Maclean chiefs found themselves in exile. Six generations of Chiefs would make their home abroad in France and England. Argyll began driving the Macleans from their ancient homes immediately after Dundee’s Rising. So many Jacobites were driven from the Highlands after the first and last Uprisings that the post-war periods became known as the Clearances.

The Macleans were faced with a very stark reality, either remain in the Highlands and Western Isles homeless and destitute to face the harsh winter elements or start life anew elsewhere. Many Maclean families chose the later and the results ripple throughout history. Sir Hector Maclean of Duart, 21st Chief returned to France with the Stuart Court, where he was instrumental in spreading Freemasonry. Australia, New Zealand, the United States all have many influential leaders, businessmen, judges, and politicians among their early leaders who bear the name Maclean. Several of the American Patriots and Pioneers were Macleans. Though the loss of the Stuart Cause was a difficult one, the result is that it spread the independent and inventive spirit of our Highland family across the globe.


  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. 1p22-34, 1bp160, 1cp243. Print.
  2. Sinclair, Alexander Maclean. The Clan Gillean. Charlottetown: Haszard and Moore, 1899. 2p29-42, 2bp50.
  3. Broun, Dauvit,“Aedán mac Gabráin” in Michael Lynch (ed.), The Oxford Companion to Scottish History. Oxford UP, Oxford, 2001. 7p40-42, 7bp161-162. Print.
  4. Anderson, Alan Orr, ed. Early Sources of Scottish History: a.d. 500 to 1286. 1922. p61-62.
  5. Thomson, A.T. Memoirs of the Jacobites of 1715 and 1745 Volume 2. S & J Bently, Wilson, and Fley, 1845. Print, 124-254.