Searching Ashley’s ancestors – part 5

Searching Ashley’s ancestors – part 5

The Buchanan Society

A Scottish Clan Society Instituted 1725 in Glasgow, Scotland. Registered charity No: Sco 13679

The Secretary, The Buchanan Society, 18 Iddesleigh Avenue, Glasgow G62 8NT Scotland.

Tel: 01786 473735 International : Tel: +44 1786 473735


is said that, after seven centuries of raiding, the Danes under Swein
the Fork Beard took control of most of England and Ireland in 1013 –
1014. His son, Canute, (944 – 1035) was to become King of England.
Swein ordered celebrations to be held in Limerick, Western Ireland (now
Eire) and instructions were given for one thousand beautiful daughters
of the Irish nobility to be present. In their stead the same number of
Irish youths were dispatched, disguised in women’s habits with long
Irish skeans (daggers) below their cloaks. A massacre of the Danes
followed. One of these youths was Anselan Buey OKyan or Ocahan
(pronounced Okane), son of the King of Ulster, the Fourth part of
Ireland (roughly modern Northern Ireland). In 1016, as a result of this
exploit, he fled Ireland and emigrated to Argyll in Western Scotland.

he acquired lands in the Lennox (to the North of the present day city
of Glasgow), either by marriage, or as a reward for services rendered
to King Malcolm II of Scotland, 1005 – 1034. Lennox was broadly
Strathendrick, but at one time it was known to extend from Glenfuin in
the West to Fintry in the East. In addition, Anselan was granted Arms,
practically identical to those used by the Buchanan Society today. All
records of Irish insignia have long since disappeared.

Name BUCHANAN is possibly derived from three sources: from the Gaelic
Boghchanon, meaning “low ground belonging to the Canon”,
Mac-a-Chanonaich, meaning “Son of the Canon”, whilst the place name
BUCHANAN, Bothchanian, means “The Canon’s seat”. A simpler derivation
is the development of Buey OKyan into BUCHANAN. However, all point to
some connection to the Canon. On Inchcailleach, an island in Loch
Lomond opposite the village of Balmaha, (the Pass to the Highlands) and
near the mouth of the River Endrick, a church had been founded between
650 and 700 AD by St Kentigerna, wife of an Irish Prince Feradach.

is more than possible that the lands accepted by Anselan had belonged
originally to the Canon of this Church, of which the remains are still
to be seen. In 1621 the Parish Church of Buchanan absorbed the Parish
of Inchcailleach. This United Parish extended from the River Endrick in
the South to Inversnaid in the North and the entire area covered today
by the Queen Elizabeth National Forest Park. This includes the mountain
of Ben Lomond. In 1314 the Clan supported King Robert the Bruce at
Bannockburn in Scotland’s War of Independence against England.

A Charter of 1353 exists which refers to “carucate of land called
Buchquhaane”. Help was given to the French King after his defeat at the
Battle of Agincourt in 1415 and it is still claimed that Sir Alexander
Buchanan killed the English Duke of Clarence at the Battle of Baugé in
1421. It is because of this act that the Buchanan crest shows a right
hand and arm holding aloft a Ducal cap. The Chief of the Buchanan Clan,
and many Clansmen, died at the Battle of Flodden in 1513, when King
James IV was killed. George Buchanan, the famous Latin Scholar,
Humanist and Reformer, was born near Killearn in 1506. He was a student
of the University of St Andrews from 1524 until 1525 and then at Paris,
France. He was imprisoned by Cardinal Beaton, but escaped to France. He
was tutor to Mary Queen of Scots between 1536 and 1538, and to her son
King James VI of Scotland, who later became James I of England in 1603
following the Union of the Crowns and authorised the translation of the
Holy Bible into English. The Clan took part in the Battle of Pinkie in
1547 and the Battle of Langside in 1568. There exists a long Family
Tree, dated 1602, where the surnames are written as Boquhannane.

succession from Anselan was uninterrupted to John Buchanan, the 22nd
Laird, who married Mary, daughter of Lord Cardross, and who died in
1681, leaving two daughters and many debts. The Estates were latterly
purchased by the Duke of Montrose, who built Buchanan Castle, which has
thus no connection with our History. The Title “of that Ilk” expired
with the 22nd Laird’s death in 1681 and, although a claim was laid in
1878 for Chiefship, the applicant’s grandson died without issue in
1919. Since then the Chiefship has been dormant.

years after the Jacobite Rebellion in 1715 the Buchanan Society was
formed. In the same year, 1725, General Wade was appointed
Commander-in-Chief of the Highlands and started his remarkable road
building scheme. During the Second Jacobite Rebellion in 1745-1746
(Bonnie Prince Charlie) the Clan remained loyal to the Crown.
Throughout this long number of years the Members of the Buchanan Clan,
together with its Septs, have given honour to their Clan and have
served their country as well as the countries of their adoption
throughout the world.


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