Editor's note: Similar to efforts in several dictatorships throughout the world, the British have "cleansed" their history to reduce, and in some areas, eliminate traces of the MacGregors. It has been an unrelenting effort to belittle the MacGregors and to trivialize the British Government's horrific campaign of genocide against a family that represented the remnants of the ancient Pict aristocracy. This methodical re-writing of history has taken many forms.. some obvious and others less so. The following are some accounts of those the reader may find interesting.
Although most Highland Clans have a history of bloodshed and struggle for survival, only the MacGregors have experienced a systematic determined effort by the Scottish and British Governments to exterminate their race, as well as the outlawing of their very name. Letters of Fire and Sword* were granted against the Clan Gregor in 1488, again in 1563, 1588, 1590, 1597, and were renewed at intervals over 130 years. This government policy was pure Genocide**. Never before or since had such an ugly persecution been applied so persistently to any race of people in Britain since the Germanic hordes submerged he Celts.
Since several generations were forbidden to call themselves MacGregor or even name their children Gregor, many unrecognized descendents of the clan flourish today, dispersed at home and abroad under inherited pseudonyms.. Most have no recollection they are actually MacGregors. This is exactly the result the Government desired.
No effort has ever been made by the British government to apologize for this pogrom, which, if it happened today, would be universally recognized as ethnic cleansing, and would be roundly condemned by every civilized person on earth.
One can only surmise that since the MacGregors have always claimed to be the senior descendents of the old Pict establishment, their Pict Legacy was the true target of this longstanding Government conspiracy.
* A government
commission to murder and plunder a designated group.
** A systematic effort to eliminate a cultural or racial group.
The Origins of the Mac Gregors -
The Lie: Most historical accounts claim that the MacGregors were Dalriadan Scots, and arose in Argyll, and only spread to western Perthshire when they were dispersed by the Campbells.
The Truth: - "Clan Gregor" (published by the Clan Gregor Society in 1977) the only authorized history of the Clan, stated the Clan arose in the western Glens of Perthshire, and was the progeny of the remnants of the southern Pict establishment. The successful efforts of Finghus, a Pict monk, and a descendant of Grig, to obtain permission from the contemporary Pope, Benedict, to marry and expand the Pict population in that area is recorded in several historical records (both Scottish and Irish). Clan Gregor acknowledges a common ancestry with several other Perthshire-based Pict-derived clans; Clan Finghin (MacKinnon), Clan Duffy (MacPhee), Clan MacNab, and Clan Fergus (Fergusson), and is universally recognized as the senior member of that group, the "Siol Alpin"..
The truth is the MacGregors swept into eastern Argyle from Perthshire and assimilated the Dalriadan Scots in that vicinity. That fact is particularly difficult for Scots racists to accept.
Seniority of MacGregors in western Perthshire
In the early 15th century (1600s), the MacGregors who attended church in Balquhidder, had the 'right of seniority', that is, out of respect, no one sat until all the MacGregors were seated. This fact is conveniently erased from history. To acknowledge it would be to admit the MacGregors were a very significant part of Scotland's history.
THE ERASURE OF OUR CONNECTIONs TO MACGREGOR (ALIAS) FAMILIES
It must be remembered that Clan Gregor was originally a Pict society that assumed the name "Gregor", because they had for centuries signed their names as (eg) "Donaldus Gregorii" meaning "of the Gregor group" in English. Being spread throughout many Glens (valleys), these clansmen took on several names.
Most clansmen did not go by the surname MacGregor, that particular surname was generally reserved for the Chiefs, and their immediate families. Most Clan members used local names which denoted their trade, appearance or unique associations. eg. The Fletchers, MacGruders, Skinners, Fishers, Orrs and Brewers lived in Glen Orchy, the MacIvers and MacLivers lived in GlenLyon, the MacNishes and MacNeishes lived in Glen Dochart but they were all MacGregors under the skin. When threatened, like beads of mercury, they would coalesce and punish their tormentors. Surnames only came into use in Scotland about the 11th century.
The law of the land offered no protection for any MacGregor so they naturally became "outlaws'. As in many guerilla campaigns in the world, they were feared by many, and ruled the night. Forts such as Inversnaid were built to try to control them. MacGregor women were tarred and feathered. MacGregor children were forcibly taken into other families and raised as their own. The men were either hanged or sent to the New World as indentured slaves to die of disease and mistreatment. Rob Roy himself, was actually taken on a ship bound for Barbados, as a slave. Through a lucky stroke, he was pardoned before the ship sailed.
After the Campbells began their state-sanctioned land-stealing, culminating in genocide against the MacGregors, many of our families were forced to take over 40 names of convenience to escape the persecution. It remained a crime to give aid to any MacGregors so many of these families in hiding allied themselves with powerful landlords for protection. This was merely a necessary strategy of self-preservation at that time. They all recognized only MacGregor Chiefs as their legitimate leaders, and in turn, paid little respect to their new landlords.
Since those dark days, official Scottish history has been revised to reflect a make-believe world in which the Clan Gregor existed only as an unhappy client of the Campbells. Nothing could be further from the truth.
MacGregor aliases essentially came under five types;
more ancient names which belonged to MacGregors who took names which reflected
their trade or appearances; Alpin, Malloch, Skinner, Fisher, Fletcher, Dhu,
Orr, Brewer, Carter, Black, White, Bowers, Dungall etc.
2/ Those who took names which were derived from "Gregor", such as Greer, Greg, Greig, Grierson, Gruer, Gregory, Magee, Gregorson, Crerar, MacGruder, Magruder, MacGrowther, etc.
3/ Those who took the names of geographical locations; Grant, Stirling. Docharty, Stirling,
4/ Those names which were fabricated; MacAdam, MacAra, Macaree, MacIver, MacLiver, MacNeish, Mac ish, Landel, Landless, King, Roy, Royal, Leckie. Comrie, Petrie, Peters, Peterson, etc.
5/ Those who borrowed names of influential families; Campbell, Drummond, Graham, Stuart, etc.
To learn more about these aliases, click here.
It should be remembered that today's MacGregor names have almost all been anglicized from the original Celt or Gaelic. Sadly, most of these people would deny they are descendants of MacGregors. It appears the British governments of "olde" actually attained their original purpose. Only ydna test can verify these connections. The good news is that these tests are ongoing on an ever wider scale.
The "Clan" MacIver or MacIvor or MacLiver.
The Truth: This particular family of MacGregors lived in Glen Lyon until the Stuarts of Appin decided to join the Campbells in their land grabbing, by exterminating this branch, as usual - for their land. Survivors scattered to the wind to escape the massacres. The Stuarts soon became bored with Glen Lyon and sold it to - guess who? the Campbells of Glenn Orchy. Some survivors naturally took the name of Campbell to offset further attacks.
The Lie: (Two versions)
1/ Commissioned by William Grant & Sons Ltd., a series of Scottish Clan histories relates - "The Clan MacIvor or MacIver can be traced in Argyllshire from the 13th century. The Chief was MacIver of Lergachonzie, afterward of Asknish. Several of the MacIvers assumed the name of Campbell, and others that of McUre."
2' Clans and Tartans of Scotland by Iain Zaczek; relates - "Apparently the MacIvers originated in the Glen Lyon district of Perthshire, but traveled westward in Alexander II's army, when he went to quell a revolt in Argyllshire in 1221AD. The far west of Scotland still owed its primary allegiance to Norway, so the Scottish King was keen to install his supporters in the area and, accordingly, he rewarded the MacIvers with lands in Lergachonzie and Asknish. Little is known of their fortune in the following centuries and, for a time, they appear to have been a broken clan. In 1688, the MacIvers were forced to take the name of Campbell, as punishment for Iver of Aknish's part in a rebellion."
Notice, No effort is made in either of the two above false histories to mention their slaughter by the Stuarts nor that they were an integral part of Clan Gregor. (The only inhabitants of Glen Lyon at the time, and a senior branch of Clan Gregor with full voting rights at the grand council). After their near annihilation, the House of Roro successfully claimed their seat on the Clan Gregor council.
The "Clan" Fletcher
The Lie: Several Scottish history records claim the Fletchers of GlenOrchy were a distinct clan with no special attachments to any other. Some even claim they were a sept of the Campbells.
The Truth: Traditional arrow makers to the MacGregors, this sept lived in Glen Orchy. From there, they spread throughout Scotland. They are included in the official Clan Gregor website and have their own parish records there. While there were small bands of Fletchers scattered throughout Scotland, their largest centre was in Glen Orchy where they claimed to have been the first inhabitants to have drawn water. Until the Campbell usurpation of the MacGregor ownership of Glen Orchy in 1440, the Fletchers owed allegiance to the Clan Gregor chiefs of GlenOrchy.
In 'Homelands of the Clans' written by Gerald Warner (O.St.J., M.A., F.S.A.Scot.), which has proved to be a far more accurate far-reaching record of the clans documented within its covers, Clan Gregor septs are listed as: Comrie, Crowther, Fletcher, et al ..
I will mention two traditional MacGregor tales which will demonstrate how synonymous the Fletchers were with the Clan Gregor.
1/ A well known tale of a Campbell property stealing trick was explained in several historical annals as - A Campbell laird rode into the countryside with his friend and led him up to a MacGregor's cornfield. The Campbell led the two riders into the field where their horses sampled the mature corn. The farmer heard the noise and saw his corn being eaten. He took out his rifle and shot the nearest rider. The Campbell then rode up to him feigning friendship and suggested he temporarily hand over his deed as the authorities would soon be after him.
Thanking the gracious laird, the MacGregor scurried
off into hiding. The deed was never returned.
Note: This MacGregor was in fact a Fletcher.
2/ In 1745, the Jacobite army seized Carlisle on the English side of the border, and offered the former garrison safe passage if they promised not to take up arms against them again. In 1746, the advancing Hanoverian army retook Carlisle and imprisoned the Jacobites. They eventually released the regular Jacobite troops but retained the three officers. They were sentenced to be hanged and quartered. Each was given the opportunity to write one last letter to his wife.
The MacGregor officer from Loch Earn wrote a poem which eventually became one of the most endearing love songs ever written. Its name was Loch Lomond. The MacGregor was actually a Fletcher.
The "Clan" Fisher
The Lie: Most historical accounts state "Clan Fisher originated in Perthshire in the 13th century and was a sept of the Clan Campbell."
The Truth: Fisher was one of the numerous trade names of Clan Gregor. Yes, they did originate in Perthshire but so did the rest of the MacGregors. As in many other MacGregor names, Fisher is not even mentioned in 99% of existing Scottish Clan histories.
The Clan Grant
The Lie: Several false histories (i.e. Clans and Tartans of Scotland; by Iain Zaczek and Homelands of the Clans; by Gerald Warner) claim the Grants were an English Norman-descended family with the name of "le Grand". Two centuries separated the original Le Grand of Nottinghamshire and Sir Duncan Grant of Freuchie. During that period the number of people bearing the name of Grant multiplied prodigiously. There is no way one man could have spawned so many people in so short a time.
The Truth: Celtic tradition maintains the founder of the Clan Grant was 12th century (1100s), Gregor Mohr MacGregor, who traveled north to the Griand meadow, from which the clan took its name when family surnames became obligatory. The truth is, the originator of these "northern MacGregors" started producing his offspring one hundred years before the Normen were imported to Scotland. This connection became most evident when a Clan Gregor/Clan Grant conference took place at Blair Atholl in an effort to reunite the two clans, and circumvent the painful proscriptions against the parent Clan Gregor. If Clan Grant had really been descendents of a Norman adventurer, why would this conference have taken place? After the failure of this conference, some MacGregors (and Grants) reverted to their ancestral name of Alpin in their frustration, and solidarity.
The fact that Clan Grant is a cadet (offshoot) of Clan Gregor is obvious in the Clan Grant coat of Arms which is a cadet entity by its very design. (In a cadet coat of arms design, there is one larger entity and two or three smaller entities). So the Grants believed they were a cadet clan. Why would they do that if they were a separate Norman family?
Another clue is the many Grants who were fined for illegally aiding MacGregors when they were proscribed. Why would Normans aid MacGregors when they knew they would be punished?
Down through Scottish history, every clan that is descended from Normans, has taken a French motto. Yet the Grants chose 'Stand Fast' as theirs, when taking a Norman French motto would have been more politically correct, due to a Norman family, whose first language was French, ruling Scotland.
In "Homelands of the Clans", it is written, "There is confusion as to the origin of the Grants. - a Norman adventurer, Laurence le Grant, was Sheriff of Inverness by 1263. His son, John le Grant, was taken prisoner by the English at the Battle of Dunbar (1296), and received a charter of the lands of Inverallan in Strathspey in 1316. This branch soon became extinct in the male line." So much for the theory the Grants are descended from a Norman family (that went extinct).
The plant badge of the MacGregors as well as the Grants is the Pine tree.
According to Scots Kith and Kin, "Clan Skinner was in
Aberdeen in the 13th Century, and in the Inverness area in the 14th Century.
It is a sept of Clan Gregor" Surprising to know that we are actually given credit for some names out there.
The Fabricated History of Kilchurn Castle
The Lie: Official Scottish history now tells us that Kilchurn was first built by the Campbells.
The Truth: Bruce bore numerous grudges against these Highland clans who fought so valiantly for Wallace but now considered him a usurper, as he had actually fought against Wallace at Stirling Bridge. He retaliated by decreeing certain lands of his enemies to his supporters. Among these, the Barony of Loch Awe, site of the largest MacGregor fort, Kilchurn, was decreed to the Campbells by Bruce as retribution against MacGregor of Glen Orchy's intransigence.
It was left to the Campbells to enforce this edict. What they could not grab by force, they secured through subterfuge. The victims had no recourse to the courts as the office of Lord Justice General had been made hereditary to the Campbell Earls of Argyll since 1528.
To subscribe to the lie, is to contradict Sir Walter Scott, the most eminent Scot of his time, confidant of Kings, and Knight of the British Empire, when he wrote in his 'MacGregors Gathering', "Kilchurn and her towers are no longer ours".
The Demolition of Lanrick Castle (Mac
Gregor House). The National trust of
Lanrick Castle just before its demolition in 2002
The National trust of Scotland, in its own literature, describes itself as "Scotland's leading conservation charity and cares for Scotland's heritage". Nevertheless, it gave no protection to Lanrick Castle when it allowed the former home of Clan Gregor, and known as "MacGregor House" for centuries, to become decrepit, and be demolished in 2002 without as much as a whimper. The demolisher received a slap on the wrist fine of £1,000.00, when normally such a transgression would bring a fine of at lest £20,000.00. This outrage illustrates that Scotland's government and conservation authorities have no interest whatsoever in preserving Clan Gregor property or its heritage.
When the Pict MacGregors of Clan Alpin swept into eastern Argyle, and submerged the Dalriadan Scots there, they unwittingly brought into their midst the seeds of their own undoing. Out of this new area arose the strongest branch of the Clan, which eventually would dominate it, demand its allegiance, and transform the Clan into a hereditary oligarchy. Due to the stubbornness of the Glen Orchy Chiefs, Bruce "granted" the glen to the Campbells, which brought the wrath of the Campbell dragon onto MacGregors for the next four hundred years.
The upper reaches of the River Orchy
THE OFFICIAL DENIAL OF MACGREGOR ACCOMPLISHMENTS -
The last Pict King of Albann: Grig MacDungal attained the Pictic/Scotic Crown in the time honoured way of the Picts and the Scots by killing his predecessor. Gregor's father was a Pict, (Dungall of Fortrenn). His name in Latin was 'Ciricius'; in Pict it was 'Girig', in Gaelic it was 'Grioghair MacDunegal', in English it was 'Gregor MacDungal.' Official Scottish annals recorded he was a foster son of Hugh Kenneth, but this was an obvious ploy in a selfish parochial attempt to retain Scotic continuity of the MacAlpin Royal Family line, and to maintain the myth that Kenneth MacAlpin crushed Pictic power.
Gregor's prominence was apparent in his comparatively long reign from 878 to 889. Scotic authorities tried their best to deride him, minimize his deeds and accomplishments. Many Scottish and English historians have omitted any reference to Gregor or to his reign; some through ignorance, others by design. His significant presence is a real testament that Kenneth MacAlpin, contrary to Scottish myth, did not actually destroy the Picts, he needed them to help repel the Vikings..
In a typically jaundiced viewpoint, James Browne, in his "History of the Highlands," (published in 1838), stated "The worthless Grig, who had fought against his sovereign, ascended to the throne in 882."
King Grig (or Gregor) was recorded as "the conqueror of Anglia." Of course, this does not mean England, but is the old name for Tynedale and Lothian, populated by the Teutonic Anglo-Saxons, in a region that covered an extensive area in the southeast of Scotland (including Edinburgh). Gregor is also recorded as being successful in conquests in "Hibernia" (Ireland). Importantly, he was given a free hand by the English to dislodge the Vikings from Northumbria. So, he was quite successful in his military exploits.
Nevertheless, most Scottish historical accounts ignore Grig, and some even go as far as to claim he never existed. Those that do, insist he either co-ruled with another regent or he was a son or nephew of Kenneth. It appears the Scottish establishment cannot bring themselves to admit his true greatness.
The Father of the Imperial Russian Navy - Grand Admiral Sir Samuel Greig. (1735-1788) This promising naval officer was sent on loan by the British Royal Navy to the Imperial Russian Navy as a lieutenant, under the auspices of Catherine the Great.
As part of a treaty of friendship between the British and Russians, his mission was to modernize the naval tactics and equipment of the Imperial Russian Navy , at that time in competition with the Swedes and the Turks.
By personal courage and skill, he rose rapidly in the ranks, much faster than he would have in the Royal Navy. He commanded the Russian fleet at the battle of Hogeland, where the Russians defeated the Swedes and put an end to Swedish ambitions in Europe.
He was mortally wounded in that battle and was given such a barbarically gorgeous funeral by the Empress that it was featured by every newspaper in Europe.
He was so successful in his mission that he became known as the "Creator of Russian sea power, "and a national holiday was declared in Russia in memory of him. Back in Britain, his exploits were shunned.
In spite of his record and numerous medals and honours bestowed on him, he is not even mentioned in accounts of the Battle of Hogeland by the Encyclopedia Britannia.
General of the Army, Gregor MacGregor, Simon Bolivar's "right hand man", he was the grandson of Gregor Glun Dhubh, heriditary Chief of the Glen Gyle MacGregors, and a nephew of Rob Roy. A veteran of the Napoleonic Wars, he fought in such sanguinary battles as the second battle of Carabobo in 1821, which decided the fate of a region larger than France and Great Britain combined. There are numerous monuments to this real hero in South America, although his exploits have gone entirely unnoticed by British Government institutions and press.
More to come