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Clan Colquhoun of Luss

Clan Colquhoun Luss Scotland

Clan Colquhoun is a Highland Scottish clan. The clan motto shown best interprets to "if I can."

Originally, the name Colquhoun applied to territories, these Dunbartonshire lands being granted to Humphrey de Kilpatrick by Malcolm, earl of Lennox, in the reign of Alexander II. The clan thereafter loyally supported Robert Bruce and the royal house of Stewart, benefitting accordingly. The estate of Luss runs beside the western side of Loch Lomond, climbing up to the summit of Ben Dhu.  It came into the family through marriage in the 14th century when Sir Robert Colquhoun married the heiress of Luss, a descendant of Maldwin, dean of Lennox, in 1150. Through this marriage, the Colquhouns also became hereditary guardians of the Crozier of St Kessog, a saint who had lived on an island in Loch Lomond. Sir Robert's son was appointed keeper of Dumbarton Castle in the minority of James II, but met his death with many of his clan at Inchmurrin Island on Loch Lomond in 1439, when fighting off an invasion mounted by men from the Isles.

Throughout their history, the Colquhouns were constantly at odds with neighbouring clans such as the MacFarlanes of Arrochar and Clan Buchanan on the eastern shores of Loch Lomond. To the north, Clan Gregor was being persecuted by the Campbells and forced into raiding neighbouring lands in order to survive. In 1603, the MacGregors attacked Luss, inflicting serious casualties at a battle in Glenfinlas. This skirmish resulted in sixty Colquhoun widows travelling to Stirling where they presented James VI with the bloodstained shirts of their dead. Shortly afterwards, the Battle of Glenfruin, the 'Glen of Sorrow', took place and the Macgregors won a further victory against Alexander, 12th laird of Luss, killing 200 of his men. The Colquhouns at this time held a royal commission. This second massacre so outraged the King that he outlawed Clan Gregor, hanging the chief with 11 of his principal clansmen. This Act of Outlawry was reversed by Charles II in 1663, reimposed in 1693 by William of Orange and then finally repealed in 1775.

In the 17th century, the Colquhoun chief married Lady Lilias Graham, sister of the noble first marquis of Montrose. There was a great scandal when years later he absconded with Montrose's wilful youngest sister, Lady Katherine. Partly because of his scientific experiments, and no doubt to defend the honour of the ladies concerned, Colquhoun was branded a necromancer and warlock, having weaved his spells with 'certain philtra or poisons of love'.

Sir Humphrey, 17th laird of Luss, had one daughter who married James Grant of Pluscardine. In 1704, in order to preserve the Colquhoun heritage, Sir Humphrey resigned his baronetcy to the Crown and obtained a new grant for his daughter and son-in-law providing that their heirs should take the name and arms of Colquhoun.

Sir Humphrey was a member of the last Scottish parliament and fiercely opposed the Act of Union in 1707. Thereafter his descendants remained active in Scottish affairs, both national and local. Towards the end of the 18th century, Sir James Colquhoun was responsible for laying out the older part of the town of Helensburgh, which is named after his wife, who was a daughter of Lord Strathnaver.

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