Clann MACAULAY (of Ardencaple)
The MacAulays were associated with the MacGregors, and their tartan resembles that of the MacGregors. They were of Celtic origin, and were at first known as Ardencaples, from their chief seat at Ardencaple in Dumbartonshire. Ultimately, they acquired a chief named Alwin (in Welsh), Amhlaidh (in Gaelic), Aulay (in English), a younger son of the Earl of Lennox of the same name. Amhlaidh and his son, Duncan, were mentioned in several of the Earl's charters.
The clan took his name, as 'sons of Aulay' or MacAulay. In 1296, MacAulay was among the 2000 Scots nobles and clergy who signed the Ragman Rolls, confirming their duty of homage to King Edward I of England. The MacAulays were confirmed as vassals of the Earl of Lennox in a roll of Highland landlords in 1587.
In medieval and early modern times, the history of Scotland and its clans was extremely volatile, and a number of clans were virtually destroyed by their association with the aggressive MacGregors. There was a bond of friendship between MacAulay of Ardencaple and MacGregor of Glenstrae in May of 1591, in which the MacAulay chief swore himself to be a cadet of the MacGregors at a time when there was no advantage in such an admission. Three years later, the MacAulays joined the MacGregors in the roll of 'broken' clans.
At any rate, Lennox protection saved them from the fate to which their connection to the MacGregors exposed them, and they retained their castle and lands of Ardencaple until these were sold for debt to the Campbell Duke of Argyll in 1767.