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Pict Clanns of Albann



Derived from the Pict, Nehhtonn, (Gaelic = Neachdainn), Anglicized to Nechtan, then Naughton, meaning "pure one".  Nehhtonn was the King of Moray, therefore the King of the Picts, who founded Abernethy, and built hundreds of Stone churches throughout Albann.  Many members of the Nehhtonn family moved to northern Ireland in the AD400s, and were included in the Irish Picts who the Gaels called "Cruithne".  Some eventually changed their surname to Norton.

The clan opposed Bruce, but later pledged loyalty to his descendants, the Stewarts.  

Clan "Nechtan" was established in Strathtay in the 12th century, forcibly transferred there from Moray by Malcolm IV, who imported Norman and Saxon aristocrats to replace old Pict families in the north, and  expelled them to areas of the south, in an effort to eliminate the power of regional Chiefs.

Their possessions extended over the upper part of Loch Awe, Glenarn, Glenshira and Loch Fyne. Gilchrist MacNaughton was granted the castle and island of Fraoch Eilean in Loch Awe by Alexander III in 1267.

In addition, Gilchrist also held Dunderave on Loch Fyne and the castle of Dubh Loch in Glenshira.  As the MacNaughtons were allied to the MacDougalls of Lorne, their chief, Donald MacNaughton, opposed Robert the Bruce (as did the Comyns in the north and the MacGregors of Glen Orchy). On Robert becoming King, the MacNaughtons lost many of their lands in Argyll to the Campbells.  However Donald's son, Duncan, loyally supported King David II, who rewarded his son Alexander with lands in the Isle of Lewis.  Sir Alexander MacNaughton, chief of the clan during the reign of James IV fell with his King at Flodden in 1513.

Alexander MacNaughton, who raised a band of archers to fight for Charles I in the Civil War, became Charles II's courtiers, and also supported King James VII.  After James was forced into exile, he praised MacNaughton for  his loyalty.  Both Charles II, and James VII, had intended to confer substantial honours on the MacNaughton chiefs, the former with a charter of the hereditary sheriffship of Argyll, and the latter with a commission as steward and hereditary bailie of all the lands which he and his ancestors had ever possessed; but in the former case the patent, by reason of some court intrigue, never passed the seals, and in the second case, though the deed was signed by the king, and counter-signed by the Earl of Perth, its purpose was defeated by the outbreak of the Revolution of 1688.

The MacNaughtons lost their estates in 1691.  The 17th and last chief of the MacNaughtons was John of Dundarave who fell out with Campbell of Ardkinglas whose daughter he was to marry.  MacNaughton thought he was to marry the younger daughter with whom he was in love.  However, after taking too much refreshment prior to the ceremony, he discovered he'd been wed to the eldest daughter.  On realizing his predicament, he promptly deserted his new wife, and eloped to Ireland with his true love, the second daughter.  Campbell of Ardkinglas gained possession of the MacNaughton estates on the grounds of "incest", and the chiefship became vacant.  (Another typical Campbell plot to steal land).

In 1818, the Lord Lyon King of Arms accepted Edmund A. MacNaghton as chief of the clan.  His descendant, Sir Patrick MacNaghton of Dundarave County, Antrim in Northern Ireland, is the present-day chief. 

Septs of the Clan Naughton are: Kendrick, Hendry, MacHenry, Maceol, MacBrayne, MacHendry, MacKendrick, MacKenrick, Macknight, MacNair, MacNayer, MacNiven, MacNuir, MacNuyer, MacVicar, Niven, Weir, MacKendrick, Mackenrick, Macnight, Macnayers, Macbraynes, Henderson, Eanruig,  McNitt.

Modern name variations:   MacNaughton, MacNaghton, O'Neachtain, Naughton, MacNachtan. Norton.