The Clan History
Descended from the Norse kings of Man and the North Isles, the clan of MacLeod comprised two main branches, the MacLeods of Skye and the MacLeods of Lewis. The MacLeods of Skye established the seat at Dunvegan, which remains the chief's seat to this day.
The name of this branch of the MacLeod clan, "Siol Tormod" from Tormod, grandson of Olaf the Black, who founded the clan. Tormod's son supported Robert the Bruce in the War of Independence but, by and large, the MacLeods retained their own spirit of independence through the tortuous politics of fourteenth and fifteenth century Scotland.
The survival of the clan during the reign of James V was due mainly to the 8th chief of Dunvegan, Alasdair Crotach, or "Hump-Back" as he was known. It was during his chieftainship that the famous fairy tower of Dunvegan was built - now hailed as one of the finest monuments in the Hebrides. He was also renowned as a patron of the arts, encouraging such activity as piping and pibroch music.
Another notable chief, Ruaraidh Mor, the 15th chief, continued the work of Alasdair Crotach and succeeded in establishing Dunvegan as the cultural centre of the isles. His name lives on in the shape of a great drinking horn which plays an integral part in the rite of passage of every MacLeod chief. The horn, which holds one and a half bottles of claret must be downed in one draft "without setting down or falling down".
One of the clan's most treasured relics is the Fairy Flag of Dunvegan. It is said to have been woven by fairies and to possess magical properties. It has been kept at Dunvegan for centuries and is said to bring luck and fortune to the Clan MacLeod.
Motto: "Hold fast".
Badge: A bull's head between two flags.
Septs of the Clan: Clan MacLeod of Harris: Beaton, Bethune, Beton, Beaton, Grimmond, Harold, MacCaig, MacClure, MacCrimmon, MacGuiag, MacHarold, Macraild, MacWilliam and Norman. Clan MacLeod of Lewis: Callum, Lewis, MacAskill, MacAulay, MacCallum, MacCAskill, MacCorkindale, MacCorquodale, MacLewis, MacNicol, Malcolmson, Nicholl, Nicol, Nicoll, Nicholson, Nicolson, Tolmie.
Names associated with the clan: Bay Beath Beathune Beathy Beaton Beatoun Beattone Beattoun Bethon Bethune Betoin Beton Betone Betoun Betown Betowne Betton Bettune Beutan Bey Bittoune Caig Caskey Caskie Casskie Kaskie Leach Leatch Lech Leche Leech Leeche Leetch Leiche Leitch Leitche Leyche Liche Liech Lietch Litch MacAig MacAige MacAiskill MacAsgaill MacAsgill MacAsguill MacAskel MacAskie MacAskill MacAskin MacAskle MacCabe MacCaibe MacCaig MacCaige MacCasgill MacCasguill MacCaskall MacCaskel MacCaskell MacCaskie MacCaskil MacCaskill MacCaskin MacCaskle MacCaskull MacChrummen MacCleod MacCleoyd MacCleud MacCloaud MacCloid MacCloide MacCloor MacCloud MacClour MacCloyd MacCluir MacCluire MacClure MacCoag MacCoage MacCoaig MacCrimmon MacCruimein MacCrumen MacCuaig MacCuiag MacCuthaig MacGaskell MacGaskill MacGlade MacGrimen MacGrimmon MacGuaig MacHarold MacHarrold MacIloure MacKaig MacKaige MacKaigh MacKaiscal MacKaiskill MacKascal MacKaskil MacKaskill MacKaskin MacKcaige MacKeag MacKeeg MacKegg MacKeig MacKigg MacKleod MacKluire MacLeoad MacLeod MacLeoid MacLeot MacLeud MacLeur MacLewd MacLode MacLoed MacLoid MacLoir MacLoor MacLoud MacLoyde MacLude MacLuir MacLur MacLure MacRaild MacRaill MacRailt MacRalte MacRimmon Makcloid Makcluir Makeeg Makhaig Makkloud Maklure MacLeod Of Assynt: Assynt MacLeod MacLeod Of Gesto: Gesto MacLeod MacLeod Of Lewis & Raasay: Aulay Auleth Callam Callum Challum Corquodale Kerkyll MacAla MacAlay MacAliece MacAllay MacAlley MacAllum MacAuihlay MacAula MacAulay MacAule MacAuley MacAuliffe MacAulla MacAullay MacAully MacAwla MacAwlay MacCala MacCalla MacCallay MacCalley MacCallie MacCallome MacCallow MacCallum MacCally MacCalme MacCaluim MacCalume MacCaula MacCaulaw MacCaulay MacCauley MacCauly MacCawley MacCleod MacCleoyd MacCleud MacCloaud MacCloid MacCloide MacCloud MacCloyd MacColem MacCollom MacCollum MacColum MacCorcadail MacCorcadale MacCorcadill MacCordadill MacCoren MacCorkell MacCorker MacCorkil MacCorkill MacCorkindale MacCorkle MacCorley MacCorqudill MacCorquell MacCorquhedell MacCorquidall MacCorquidill MacCorquidle MacCorquodale MacCorquodill MacCorquydill MacCowley MacCullom MacCullum MacGawley MacGilcallum MacGillechallum MacGillechaluim MacGillichalloum MacIllechallum MacKalla MacKallay MacKaula MacKauley MacKleod MacKlowis MacKorkitill MacKorkyll MacKurkull MacLeoad MacLeod MacLeoid MacLeot MacLeud MacLewd MacLewis MacLode MacLoed MacLoid MacLoud MacLoyde MacLude MacOrkill MacOrquidill MacOrquodale MacQuorcadaill MacQuorquhordell MacQuorquodale MacQuorquordill MacThorcadail MacThorcuill MacThurkill MacTorquedil Makalley Makallum Makally Makcalla Makcaulay Makcloid Makcocadill Makcorcadell Makcorquidill Makcorquydill Makkalay Makkloud Mikcorcadill Molcallum Thorcull Tolmach Tolme Tolmi Tolmie Torquil
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