Daniel/Donald MacLaurin Burgess of Inveraray

 Daniel/Donald MacLaurin Burgess of Inveraray

Even in the 17th century the Celtic tradition of sealing a peace treaty with a marriage continued, as below we see Donald MacLaurine witnessing a marriage contract with a guarantee of children, between the Campbells of Kenmore in Breadalbane and the Campbells of Lochnell in Lorn. McLaurins are tenants of both of these Campbell families in their respective lands. Archibald Campbell, 9th Earl of Argyll is a witness, so Donald MacLaurin has friends in high places. Donald appealed for the Earls help in 1658.

“At Inveraray, 3 April 1651 : Marriage Contract (antenuptial) between Dowgall Campbell, younger of Kenmoir, eldest lawful son of John Campbell of Kenmoir, and Isobel Campbell, eldest lawful daughter of Duncan Campbell, . . . to Colin Campbell of Lochnell, both fathers being parties. The bride is to be infefted in the 6 merk land of Fernoch and Soccoch; but during the lifetime of Margaret Campbell, wife of said John, she is to have, as warrandice, the 5 merk land of Ardinsture and Arrevdowane with the isle called Skeircallychfynnen and half the 2 merk land of Barquheil and Soccoch.”

Donald/Daniel MacLaurin John MacLaurin, Lord Dreghorn’s great grandfather, was a notable figure in Inveraray. Daniel was married to Catherine N’Viccar McArthur. Neil McLaurin in his book “Creag an Tuirc” states that Daniel and his family lived at the farm of Stronmagachan north of Inveraray, without citing a source. Upon further research I found out that Stronmagachan was owned by a McVicar Kindred at that time. I wonder if these are the McVicars that have the same YDNA as many McLaurins and McLarens?



Marriage: July 27, 1631 

Land Charter: November 28, 1631, Has pasine from his father Iain Mc Viccar for the Barony of Glenaray.


NEIL MCVICAR (ARCHIBALD, IAIN MC GILLE CHALLUM MC NEILL GLASSE3 MC VICCAR, MALCOLUM MC NAILL GLAISH, NIALL GLASSE MC VICCAR (OF STRONMAGACHAN)) was born Abt. 1650 in Scotland. He married JONET MAXWELL June 27, 1678 in Glasgow, Lanark, Scotland. She was born Abt. 1660 in Scotland. Marriage: June 27, 1678, Glasgow, Lanark, Scotland.” Clan MacVicar website

John’s Petition for Arms states:

“Donald was descended from a long line of Ancestors who appear from Monuments in Tyree”,

It does not state that Daniel was born on Tiree and monuments are referring to documents similar to the “Breadalbane Muniments”. 

“MacLaurin’s [Colin] family came from the island of Tiree in Argyll, their father settling in Inveraray.” ” The Collected Letters of Colin MacLaurin, Stella Mills, 1982.

I should mention Hew McLaurin perhaps a Clan MacLaurin chieftain the Cautioner (executor) of Donald McLaurin’s Testament dated 1686 at Coire Bliochdaig, Invercreran, Appin. Donald was likely a gentleman tacksman as expensive ‘armour’ is listed in his Testament. Hew McLaurin the Cautioner was from Drumurch, the home of  his relative Daniel MacLaurin in Inveraray In-laws the MacArthurs of Drumurk, Kepochan and Barinaryne according to his MacArthurs Arms. Another example of a clan chieftain executing a Testament, is thirty-five years later, also at Coire Bliochdaig, Alexander Stewart, Younger of Invernayhle is the executor of John McLaurine’s Testament 21, July 1725.

“The chieftain prided himself on the number of his gentlemen so much that he looked upon himself as their common father. In their distress he relieved their wants; and when one of them died, he became the guardian of his children, and the executor of his will; which trust was in general executed with fidelity.” Parish Life in Eighteenth-Century Scotland, Maisie Steven, Scottish Cultural Press, 1995, pog 182

“Unfortunately the marriage and birth registers of the Inveraray Parish for the whole of this period are lost so we cannot verify that Donald as, without doubt Daniel and John’s father. Neither can we certify, for the same reason, that Donald came from the Isle of Tiree. All we can state now as fact according to extant records is that there must have been McLaurins on the island prior to 1640 (for the later extant records show too many McLaurins on the island for there to have been none in 1640) ands that a Donald McLaurin was chosen to serve on Inveraray Council in 1656, thus implying he would have been amongst the earliest burgess. The loss of records prevents any verification of Donald having lived on Tiree or ever being married. However, all the genealogical citations made by John MacLaurin to the lord Lyon in 1781 which can be substantiated by extant records, are in fact so substantiated, so there seems little reason to doubt the few unsubstantiated statements made in that Petition. In addition, we should add that there is a manuscript record [Ms. Gen. 1042, No 122, McLaglen MSS, in Glasgow University] dated 1775, that there was ‘A genealogy’ [probably MS1 of McKinnon’s Descriptive Catalogue] of the family McDonald written in Gaelic seen in Mr Colin McLaurin’s possession in 1743 by Mr.Alex McTavish at Edinburgh, supposed to be still in possession of his son John McLaurin, Advocate. It was written upon Parchment & carried from Tiree by his great or great great grandfather. ‘We also know that Colin Maclaurin had seen his grandfather’s ‘Memoirs’ and these inspired  Colin to write his own(see Letter 9 of this volume). It is logical that Colin’s son, John [Lord Dreghorn], would have known of or seen these ‘Memoirs’, and used this knowledge in presenting his petition in 1781 to the Lord Lyon.” The Collected Letters of Colin MacLaurin, Stella Mills, 1982

The MS:1 is now known as MS:1467 and is discussed later in this volume. We know from John’s matriculation document that Donald married Katherine MacArthur heiress of Drumurch, Kepochan and Bainaryne in Lochawe. In another Donald McLaurin’s Testament dated 1686 who lived at Coire Bliochdaig, Glencreran in Benderloch just south of Appin, a Hew McLaurin from Drumurch is the Cautioneer or Executor. This Hew is likely another son of Donald, in addition to the Rev’s Daniel and John and also shows that Donald had relatives in Glencreran. These Glencreran McLaurin’s descendants later emigrated to North Carolina starting in the 1770’s, with al large group of sixteen related families arriving in 1790. DNA evidence also indicates that some McArthurs have identical STR Markers as Appin McLaurins.

It is mentioned that, failing issue to John, the lands revert to the descendants of his great-grandfather, Dowgall Campbell. The bride’s father provides a tocher of 3,000 merks, and there is mention of his wife, Moir (Mary) Campbell, mother of Isobel. Witnesses: Donald M‘olvorie, provost of Inveraray, Donald Cameron, sheriff clerk of Argyll, and his Servitor, Colin M‘Lachlan, Archibald Campbell, brother german of said Lochnell, Donald M‘Laurine, merchant burgess of Inveraray, and Archibald Ritchie, Servitor of George Campbell, sheriff depute.—(‘ A ’ and ‘ C.’). Note - the bride’s father was uncle to Colin of Lochnell, Sasines, 1st ser., ii.”

Miscellany of the Scottish history Society (fourth volume) Cordara’s Commentary on the Expedition to Scotland made by Charles Edward Stuart Prince of Wales, The Manuscript History of Craignish. Miscellaneous Charters, 1165-1300, from Transcripts in the Collection of the Late Sir William Fraser, K.C.B., 1926

“The record for Donald is his being chosen to serve on the Council on 29the September, 1656, there can be little

doubt that he was one of the earliest burgess when Inveraray was creatd into a Royal Burgh in 1648.

In February and March 1658, Donald was summoned before the magistrates to account financially for a ship-load of meal purchased on behalf of Inveraray. His explaination failed to placate the magistrates who ordered all his goods and shop to be seized until he could account the disputed sum - just of 500 merks [1 merk was 13s 4d.

Scots or 1s 1 1/2d Sterling]. Although Donald tried to use the influence of the marquiss of Argyll [who he was friends with from the 1648 wedding above], it was 28th September, 1661 before his previous position was restored and he was chosen, a few days later, as Treasurer of the Burgh. In 1662 he became the ‘Dean of Guild’, and the last reference to him, for shortly after this the Minutes are lost, is on 3rd April, 1663 when he was chosen to patrol the streets of the Burgh for Sabbath breakers.” The Collected Letters of Colin MacLaurin

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