MacLea Cadets and Lands
The Chiefs of McLea were the Coarbs of St Moluag, Hereditary Celtic
Abbots of Lismore. As you might expect the main strength of the clan
was in Lorn, centred on the old abbey lands. There was a large grouping
around Loch Etive where we find McLea of Achnacree, McLea of Lochnell
(who had the forty merk land of Lochnell) and McLea of Achnacloich (Stonefield)
McLea /Livingstones of Achnacree (North Shore Loch
This family seem to have been the principal cadets owning substantial
tracts of land on the North Shore of Loch Etive from Achnacree at the
Mouth of the Loch in Benderloch right up to Dalness, near Glencoe. This
land is terminated by the massive Buachaille Etive More. Family legend
has always described this as the border of our land.
They possessed peat rights in both Kingairloch and Benderloch at one
time: indeed it is held that no one could stop them if they even now
sought to take peat from the Moss of Achnacree” .
the close connection.
Bearing in mind that the whole of Lismore was considered to be a bout
80 merk lands the McLeas of Achnacree must have possessed much the same – or
even more. In 1557 the McLeays of Achnacree were almost wiped out, losing
80 men supporting the MacDougalls of Lorn against the Campbells of Inverawe
in a clan battle.
“ Donald Livingstone, Bun-a-mhuilinn,
Morvern, was of the Livingstones of Achnacree, Benderloch. These
Livingstones of Achnacree had been
the keepers of the Royal Forest of Dail-an-eas till this was wrested
them by the Macdonalds of Glencoe. The Livingstones of Achnacree
were of the same line as the Livingstones of Bachuill, Lismore, keepers
of the Staff of Saint Moluag. The two
families separated many centuries ago, yet they still resemble one
mentally, and characteristically.”
“There were also the McLeas of Achnacree of whom the family of Lindsaig
is descended, who were possest of the Lands of Achnacree for a long time, and
who made the longest appearance in that corner of any of the McLeas there…..
But before this happened, they tell a story that happened above more than one
hundred years ago, as there were at and before that time in Cowal feuds betwixt
several families in the Highlands, so the then McDugald and the family of Inveraw
were at variance, and both the familys brought all their sons and strength to
the field to fight it fairly and to decide their quarrell by the sword. And both
McDougalds and Inveraw with their families friends and followers having taken
the field, the McLeas being the followers of McDugald, McLea of Achnacree brought
with him four score of the McLeas to McDugald's assistance against Inveraw. ….
Achnacree and his fourscore McLeas were killed that day upon that spot,
and from that day to this time, the McLeas never made any head or appearance,
was a very great loss to them, so many of them to be killed in one day.”
McLea of Lochnell (2m East of Oban 5 m S of Loch Etive)
The forty merk land of Lochnell belonged to McLea of Lochnell who,
not having issue of his own, disponed his Lands of Lochnell to a son
of the family of
Argyle who was called John Gorm Campbell.
This was a substantial tract of land amounting to approx 8 square miles.
McLea of Achnacloich (South Shore Loch Etive)
A McLea of Stonefield (formerly called Achnacloich) in Muckairn who,
wanting children, gave his lands to a son of Campbell of Lochnell's
who was fostered
in the house.
McLea of Lindsaig (Cowal - Overlooking Loch Fyne near Otter)
On 26 December 1634 Archibald M'Enlay obtained from Lord Lorn a precept
for infefting him in the six merk land of Lindsaig. The McLeas of Lindsaig
are descended fromthe McLeas of Achnacree.
McLea of Ach na skioch (Cowal)
The five merk land of Achnaskioch was held by a family of surgeons, who
had for several generations had been Physician in Ordinary to the Family
of Lamont of Inveryn.
According to the Irish genealogies, the clan Lachlan, the Lamonds, and
the MacEwans of Otter, were kindred tribes, being descended from brothers
were sons of
Dedalan and tradition relates that they took possession of the greater
part of the district of Cowal, from Toward Point to Stacher at the same
being separated from the MacEwans by the river of Kilfinan, and the MacEwans
from the Maclachlans by the stream which separates the parishes of Kilfinan
and Strath Lachlan.
McLea of Strathconnon
An Earl of Seaforth married the heiress. According to some sources
they migrated there from Appin in the early fifteenth century. The
when a McLea of Strathconnon died leaving no sons and the Earl of Seaforth
the heiress. The McLeas of Achilty were overwhelmed in the Great Battle
of Bealach nam Broig in 1452.
The Maclays/Gorms in Perthshire
22 May, 2008
Others also of them call and design themselves Gorm, the first of them that came
to Perthshire having had that designation and yet also own themselves Livingston
and that they are come of the McLeas of Argyleshire.” Are these
descendents of An Gorm Mor who killed the Morvern bull?