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Clan Buchannan is a Scottish kin group or family who do not have a recognised chief and are therefore considered an armigerous clan. There has not been a chief since the seventeenth century, however the North American based Clan Society is currently active in efforts to locate one.


Traditionally, Clan Buchanan can trace its chiefly line back to Anselan O Kyan who was a son of Okyan, provincial king of south Ulster who landed in Argyll in 1016. <ref> Buchanan of Auchmar, William (1733). The Historical and Genealogical Essay Upon the Family and Surname of Buchanan. Glasgow. p 15</ref>

However, the traditional account is inconsistent with other accounts for the period in Ireland, and may be little more than an origin myth. <ref> Buchanan, Watson W. (2002) 'History of Clan Buchanan and its Septs: a Millennial Update' Pro Familia Publishing, Toronto, Canada, p 7</ref> For his services against the Danes he received the lands of Buchanan from king Malcolm II which lie to the east of Loch Lomond around the village of Killearn.<ref>Buchanan of Auchmar, 16</ref>

During the reign of Malduin, Mormaer (Earl) of Lennox, 1217–1250, Anselan (third of that name) was granted, in 1225, the island of Clareinch. <ref>National Archive of Scotland, RH1/2/40</ref>

He is referred to as 'clericus meus', meaning 'my clergyman'. He is subsequently recorded as Absalom de Buchanan and it is understood that to have this title, there must have been other grants of land in the parish of Buchanan. <ref>Buchanan of Auchmar, 20</ref>

During the reign of king Alexander II (1214–1249), Gilbert de Buchanan, seneschal to the Earl of Lennox, received, in 1231, a charter confirming Clareinch and other lands in Buchanan.

Buth chanain is Gaelic for 'house of the canon' and Absalom may have been a clergyman or from a family dedicated to the service of the Celtic Church. <ref>George Way of Plean and Romilly Squire, Scottish Clan and Family Encyclopedia, 366</ref>

Middle Ages

In 1282 Morris of Buchanan received a charter which confirmed his lands. <ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia</ref>

During the Wars of Scottish Independence the Clan Buchanan supported King Robert the Bruce by aiding his escape in 1306, the chief, Maurice 10th of Buchanan, refused to sign the Ragman Roll, and the chief and lairds of the clan (and presumably their clansmen) served under Malcolm the Earl of Lennox. <ref>Buchanan of Auchmar, William (1733). The Historical and Genealogical Essay Upon the Family and Surname of Buchanan, 20</ref>

It is tradition and likely given the aforementioned service, but ill-documented, that the clan fought at the Battle of Bannockburn. <ref>Buchanan, W. Watson (2002). The History of Clan Buchanan and its Septs: a Millennial Update. Toronto: Pro Familia Publishing, 29 </ref>

During the reign of king David II (1324–1371), undated, at least part of the lands of Buchanan belonged to Sir Gilbert Carrick. <ref>National Archive of Scotland, GD220/1/D/5/1/4 </ref>

During the reign of David II the Earl of Lennox confirmed the lands of Buchannon by charter. <ref> Robertson’s Index for Charters of Sovereigns of Scotland, cited in Nimo, William, 346</ref>

Fifteenth Century

Sir Alexander Buchanan, second son of Walter Buchanan of Buchanan, led men of the clan in support of the French against the English at the Battle of Baugé in 1421. It is said that Alexander killed the Duke of Clarence, who was the second son of Henry IV of England, and took his coronet as a trophy. <ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 367</ref> However Sir Alexander was later killed leading the clan against the English at the Battle of Verneuil in 1424. <ref>The Scottish Clans and Their Tartans". W. & A. K. Johnston Limited. Edinburgh and London. 1886. Page 3.</ref>

Sir Walter Buchanan married the only daughter of Murdoch, Duke of Albany and Regent of Scotland in 1443. Duke Murdoch had been executed by James I in 1425 and his estates had been confiscated. <ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 367</ref>

During the 15th century a feud broke out between the Buchanan's of Leny and the Clan MacLaren resulting in a full-scale battle. In 1497 Kenneth Mackenzie, 8th of Kintail, chief of Clan Mackenzie was killed by the Laird of Buchanan.

Sixteenth Century

During the Anglo-Scottish Wars the Clan Buchanan fought against the English at the Battle of Flodden 1513 where the chief's elder son Patrick was killed. However Patrick had already married a daughter of the Earl of Argyll and had two sons and daughters. <ref>The Scottish Clans and Their Tartans". W. & A. K. Johnston Limited. Edinburgh and London. 1886, 3</ref>

John Buchanan, the second son of Walter Buchanan the 14th of Buchanan and uncle of George Buchanan the 15th of Buchanan, became proprietor of Arnprior, and afterwards the noted "King of Kippen", a phrase which originated in a whimsical episode between himself and James V. Less whimsical was the Battle of Pinkie in 1547, where the Laird of Buchanan was killed. <ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 367</ref>

George Buchanan (1506-1582) was a Scottish historian and humanist scholar who was responsible for educating James IV as well as poisoning his mind against his mother, Mary, Queen of Scots. Buchannon was born at Killearn in Stirlingshire in 1506, third son of Buchanan of Drumikill. He was educated at Paris and travelled extensively on the Continent. <ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 367</ref>

Seventeenth Century

During the Wars of the Three Kingdoms Sir George Buchanan commanded the Stirlingshire Regiment and led the clan at the Battle of Dunbar (1650) on the side of the Scottish Covenanters. <ref>Anderson 1862, 461 </ref>

He later led the clan at the Battle of Inverkeithing but here he was captured and died in captivity later the same year. It is claimed that in Buchanan's Stirlingshire Regiment "most of his officers, and a good many of the soldiers" were of the name Buchanan, and that at the Battle of Inverkeithing a 'vast number of the name Buchanan' died. <ref>Buchanan of Auchmar, 108</ref>

Other Buchanans involved with the Royalist cause include:

David Buchanan, Royalist soldier captured at Worchester. Transported on the John and Sarah, from Gravesend 13 May 1652 to Boston. <ref>Dobson, David (1983). Directory of Scots Banished to the American Plantations: 1650–1775. Genealogical Publishing Com, 18</ref> John Buchanan, Royalist soldier captured at Worchester. Transported on the John and Sarah, from Gravesend 13 May 1652 to Boston. <ref>Dobson (1983) 18</ref>

Some Buchanans fought on the side of the Covenanters at the Battle of Bothwell Brig in 1679. One was George Buchanan (1657–1719) later a magistrate, maltman (whisky distiller) and successful Glasgow merchant, the son of Andrew Buchanan of Gartacharne (a small farm 2 km due south-east of Drymen).

George was the father of four of Glasgow’s most distinguished citizens: George Buchanan of Moss and Auchentoshan (maltman and Glasgow city treasurer and bailie), Andrew Buchanan of Drumpellier (Tobacco Lord and Lord Provost of Glasgow), Archibald Buchanan of Silverbanks and Auchentortie (Tobacco Lord) and Neil Buchanan of Hillington (Tobacco Lord and Member of Parliament for Glasgow district of burghs).<ref>Buchanan, Arthur William Patrick (1929) “Later Leaves of the Buchanan Book,” p223, E. Garand</ref>

These four sons were among the founding members of the charity, The Buchanan Society of Glasgow.

The lands of Buchanan were sold on the death of the last chief in 1682 to meet debts instead of passing to the Buchanan of Arnprior branch of the family.<ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 367</ref>


The Buchanan Society are the oldest Clan Society in the world. <ref>http://www.buchanansociety.com/html/about_the_society.html</ref>

There is an International Clan Society who are represented on the Council of Armigerous Clans <ref>http://www.clans-families.org/council--members.html</ref>

Further Information

http://www.theclanbuchanan.com/index.html /www.buchanansociety.com

References <references/>