MacLarens and McLaurins in the 1745/46 Jacobite Rebellion
Several Appin and Benderloch MacLaurins fought in the Stewart of Appin Clan Regiment, many historians leave the word clan out of the name. This was a clan regiment, fathers, sons, uncles and nephews, fighting in a horrific battle side by side, there were no outsiders. James Hunter in his book "Culloden and the Last Clansman" gives an accurate and graphic description of the Clan Stewart of Appin Regiment.
Most historians incorrectly write that Capt. Donald MacLaren and his Balquhidder McLarens fought with the Stewart of Appin Clan Regiment. Mistakingly placing Donald MacLaren of East Invernenty in the Appin Regiment started in 1867 with the publication of The Scottish Nation by William Anderson where he writes, the Maclaurins were followers of the Murrays of Atholl, therefore they would fight under the Murrays leadership in the Atholl Brigade.
"The Maclaurins were out in the rebellion of 1745. According to President Forbes, they were followers of the Murrays of Atholl, but although some of them might have been so, the majority of the clan fought for the Pretender with the Stewarts of Appin under Stewart of Ardsheil. Among them Maclaurin of Invernenty, who was taken prisoner after the battle of Culloden.”
Anderson is the first history writer to mistakenly place Donald in the Appin Regiment, it was then repeated so often it became fact. Prisoners of the 45 placed Donald correctly in the Atholl Brigade in the first volume, but then in the third volume placed him in the Stewart of Appin Clan Regiment, go figure. Even the official Stewart of Appin histories have Donald in the Appin Regiment. Muster Roll of Prince Edward Stuart’s army 1745-46, Alistair Livingstone of Bachuill and other Editors, also got it wrong.
If he and his men were in the Appin Regiment, that would mean they looked to Appin as their chief. That is not the case, Capt. Donald MacLaren was a vassal of the Duke of Atholl, so he was obligated to follow the Dukes feudal authority, that was told to him by the Dukes factor, Gregor Murray MacGregor. Many times these messages were carried by the Blair Atholl gardener/courier also a McLaren.
"1745 August 22nd Duke James Murray of Atholl had sent orders to Gregor Murray of Coinneachan to raise the Glen Almond men and join Cope as he passed which he accordingly did at Amulrie. When the army reached Tay Bridge Gregor and his men left and continued to Blair to get further orders from Graham of Fintry the factor. He accompanied them back to the army which they rejoined at Dalnacardoch ; but as Cope would allow them no pay with which to support themselves, they dispersed there and returned to their homes." (Atholl and Tullibardine Chronicles)
So it is likely that Donald MacLaren and other Balquhidder MacLarens were in the British Army for a short time in late August at the pleasure of the Hanoverian James Duke of Atholl. Gregor Murray was also instrumental in Donald's activities in late January, 1746, as you see in the letters below.
It is a major concern, that many writers cite The Stewart of Appin Clan Regiment Order Book as his or her source for Donald and his Balquhidder McLarens in The Stewart of Appin Clan Regiment. I have a certified digital copy of the Order Book provided to me by the National War Museum of Scotland. Capt. Donald MacLaren of East Invernenty is not in the Order Book nor or any other Balquhidder McLarens.
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