A Historical Clan Society Preserving Tradition
Clarior hinc honos
(Brighter henceforth, honour shall flourish)
Prepare to be immersed in a realm where valour meets adversity, where the timeless allure of Scottish history intertwines with the indomitable spirit of a proud clan. Our voyage commences with the Battle of Beauge, a defining moment in Buchanan’s legacy. Unfolding amidst the tumultuous Hundred Years’ War, this epic clash between nations left an indelible mark on the clan’s history. We unravel the intricacies of the conflict, exploring the valorous deeds and strategic manoeuvres that solidified place on the battlefield.
But our journey doesn’t end there. As we traverse the winding paths of genealogy, we unearth the captivating tale of O’Kyan’s descent. Unveiling the saga of an illustrious ancestor whose bloodline intertwines with the very fabric of the clan’s existence, we invite you to explore the captivating twists and turns that have shaped Clan’s narrative over generations.
Buchanan Origin Myth: Anselan O'Kyan
The traditional origin myth of the Clan Buchanan traces its lineage to Anselan O Kyan, an Irish king of north Ulster who arrived in Argyll in 1016. According to this tradition, he received lands there from King Malcolm II for his services against the Danes. However, historical accounts and DNA evidence suggest that this myth is inaccurate.
They are believed to be an old Scottish clan that has been in Scotland, particularly in Stirlingshire and on the shores of Loch Lomond, for thousands of years. Extensive genetic testing also indicates a connection to Clan Gregor, suggesting a common ancestor around 400 A.D., further supporting the existence of the Clan predating the Buchanan origin myth.
Evolution of the Buchanan Surname
Gilbert, Anselan’s successor, adopted the surname “Buchanan.” The name originates from “Macachanonaich,” meaning “son of the canon,” hinting at a potential clerical association. However, this theory lacks definitive proof. Another possibility is a direct link between “Buchanan” and the region of Clairinsh.
The transition from Anselan to Gilbert and the adoption of the “Buchanan” surname offer insights into ancestral lineage and a potential clerical connection, but caution is necessary due to the lack of concrete evidence. The geographical aspect suggests a connection to the surrounding lands, warranting further exploration through historical records and local traditions for stronger correlations.
Bruce Support: Beauge Battle & Buchanan Crest
During the War of Independence, Buchanan family aligned with the Bruce faction. Sir Alexander Buchanan, a notable member, journeyed to France to join forces with the French against Henry V of England. In 1421, Sir Alexander fought bravely in the Battle of Beaugé, defeating the Duke of Clarence and claiming his coronet.
The Buchanan Clan Crest depicts a hand grasping a ducal cap, symbolising this triumph. Sir Alexander’s valour and role in the battle immortalised the family’s contributions. They are remembered as defenders of their nation and examples of chivalry.
Buchanan Coat of Arms:
The Buchanan coat of arms, resembling the Royal Arms of Scotland, holds historical significance. The lion and fleurs de lis in black symbolise the marriage between Sir Walter Buchanan and Murdoch, Duke of Albany’s daughter. In 1425, Murdoch was beheaded by his cousin, James I, leading to the Buchanans becoming the closest relatives to the disinherited royal family. The black lion represents their regret for the family’s loss of status. This narrative highlights the meaning of heraldry beyond identity, showcasing the interplay of lineage,
politics, and identity. Their coat of arms reflects their connection to Scotland’s regal history and the repercussions of their alliance with the fallen Regent.
Their Succession & Revival!
In 1681, John Laird of Buchanan, the last direct male successor, passed away without a male heir. As a result, the clan was without a recognized Chief for centuries. In 2018, John Michael Baillie-Hamilton Buchanan, a descendant of the Leny and Arnprior, was recognized as the new leader by Lord Lyon. This marked a significant restoration for the clan, now officially titled ‘The Buchanan.’
John Michael Baillie-Hamilton Their leadership revitalised the clan, fostering unity and reconnecting with its history. As Chief, he upholds traditions and guides the clan in governance, representation, and preservation of its ancestral legacy. The recognition of a new Chief symbolises the clan’s resilience and continuity. It represents the enduring spirit of the Buchanans, which has thrived despite challenges. Under John Michael Baillie-Hamilton Buchanan’s leadership, the Buchanan clan enters a new era with pride and purpose, honouring the past while forging a prosperous future.
Buchanans of Arnprior: A Defiant Episode
The Arnprior Buchanans trace their lineage to the prominent Buchanans of Perthshire, known for their ancestral lands in Kippen. Their historical significance is illustrated by a famous incident, recounted by Sir Walter Scott, in which Buchanan of Arnprior intercepted royal venison destined for Stirling Castle. Definitely, the clan claimed his own sovereignty as the king of Kippen, disregarding the authority of James, the king of Scotland.
The king, displeased by the daring act, disguised himself and confronted Arnprior at his residence. He demanded entry at the front gate, but the guard, unaware of the king’s identity, refused, citing that Buchanan was having supper and should not be disturbed.
In response, James cleverly retorted, “Inform the king of Kippen that the Goodman of Ballengeich has arrived to feast with him.”
Through this coded message, Buchanan discovered the king’s presence and purpose. Realising the seriousness of the situation, he promptly apologised and hosted lavish festivities for King James. The king was pleased with their reconciliation efforts, and he became a loyal supporter. However, his allegiance to the crown ultimately led to his death in the Battle of Pinkie Cleugh in 1547, fighting for Queen Mary, James’ daughter.
Buchanans of Drumkill
Another cadet branch of the Buchanan family, known as the Buchanans of Drumkill, is a cadet branch of the Buchanan family, descended from Sir Walter Buchanan’s third son. George Buchanan (1506-1582), a renowned poet, scholar, and politician, belonged to this branch. He studied at the University of Paris and the University of St. Andrews, and travelled extensively across Europe. In 1562, he became the classics tutor to Mary, Queen of Scots, although he later wrote scathing tracts against her.
Buchanan's Role in Shaping James VI's Mind
Following Mary’s abdication, they were appointed as Preceptor and tutor to her son, James VI. He utilised his influence to steer the young king away from Catholicism, shaping his intellectual development in the process. their notable contributions include writing a history of Buchanan Scotland and De Jure Regni, a significant treatise on the deposition of tyrannical monarchs.
Other Cadet Branches
The family had several cadet branches, including Blairlusk, Carbeth, Ardoch, and their descendants, the Grey Buchanans of Scotstown. Other branches included the Buchanans of Auchmar, Spittal, Blairvockie, the Carrick-Buchanans of Drumpellier, and the Buchanans of Drummikill, Drumhead, and Auchentorlie. Sir Andrew Buchanan (1807-1882), a diplomat, belonged to the latter family and owned Craigend Castle from 1851, located near Glasgow.
As we delve deeper into the captivating history of the clan, it becomes evident that this illustrious lineage boasts not only a remarkable past but also a vibrant tradition of tartan designs. The clan traces its roots back to ancient times, with their presence entrenched in the Scottish landscape for centuries. Through tumultuous periods and moments of triumph, the clan has persevered, leaving an indelible mark on Scottish history. Yet, alongside their remarkable legacy, the Buchanan clan is also renowned for their exquisite tartans, patterns that symbolise their identity and provide a glimpse into their ancestral heritage.
Intricately woven with vibrant hues and intricate motifs, the Buchanan Tartans stand as a testament to the clan’s enduring pride and cultural significance. Each tartan design tells a unique story, capturing the essence of the legacy in its threads. The beauty of their Tartans lies not only in their historical significance but also in their contemporary relevance. Today, these renowned patterns serve as a source of inspiration for designing kilts, allowing clan members and enthusiasts alike to embrace their heritage in a truly personal and fashionable way. Whether it’s a Traditional Kilt adorned with the Buchanan Tartan or a modern twist that incorporates elements of these cherished designs, the possibilities are endless, offering a myriad of options for expressing clan pride.
They proudly possesses one of the most ancient clan societies in existence. Established in 1725 in Glasgow, the Clan was formed by affluent entrepreneurs with the purpose of providing assistance, education, and apprenticeships to disadvantaged clan members. Additionally, the society safeguards significant clan artefacts and lands, including the Island of Clareinch and an 18th-century obelisk in Killearn village, which commemorates George Buchanan.
Clan Buchanan Society International!
In 1970, the Clan Buchanan Society International (CBSI) was established in North Carolina to promote Scottish culture and clan heritage worldwide. The CBSI played a significant role in the restoration of the Chiefship in 2018. It officially acknowledges three steps: McAuslan, McWattie, and Risk.
“Frequently Asked Questions”
Clan Buchanan is known for its loyalty, bravery, and contributions to Scottish culture throughout history.
Yes, there is a clan by the name of Buchanan. The Clan Buchanan is an ancient Scottish clan that originated in the Highlands of Scotland. It is one of the oldest clans in Scotland with a rich history and heritage.
The primary surname is Buchanan, but variations include MacBuchanan, McBuchanan, Bucchanan, and Bichannan, among others.
Buchanan means “house of the canon” or “steadfast in religious commitment” in Gaelic.
The motto of Clan Buchanan is “Clarior Hinc Honos,” meaning “Hence the brighter honour.” It represents their pursuit of excellence and noble values.