Malcolm Maclean, 3rd Chief

Malcolm Maclean, 3rd Chief
Maolcaluim mac Giliosa Maclean, 3rd Clan Chief
Other names Maol-Calum
Servant of Columba
Gilli Colium mac maoiliosa
Known for Battle of Bannockburn
Title 3rd Chief of Clan Maclean
Term 1300-?
Predecessor Malise mac Gilleain, father
Successor John Dubh Maclean, 4th Clan Chief, youngest son
Spouse Rioghnach of Carrick, daughter of Gamail of Carrick
Children John Dubh Maclean, 4th Clan Chief
Parents Malise mac Gilleain
Relatives Gilleain na Tuaighe, grandfather

Malcolm Maclean or Maolcaluim mac Giliosa in Scottish Gaelic (flourished 1310s), was the 3rd Chief of Clan Maclean. Malcolm's name has been written Maol-Calum and Gille-Calum, which means Servant of Columba. He was succeeded by John Dubh Maclean, 4th Clan Chief, his youngest son, because the law of primogeniture did not apply in Scotland yet.[1]

Marriage and children

He was married to Rioghnach of Carrick, daughter of Gamail, Lord of Carrick and had the following children:.[1][2]

  • Donald Maclean had four sons
  • Neil Maclean had three sons
  • John Dubh Maclean, 4th Clan Chief, the youngest son, who succeeded his father because the law of primogeniture did not apply yet

Battle of Bannockburn

Malcolm, at the head of his clan, fought at the Battle of Bannockburn, in the First War of Scottish Independence on Monday, June 24, 1314. It was at this battle that the power of the English Edwards was broken, and the sovereignty of Scotland once more recognized. Edward Bruce's army consisted of thirty thousand men, while that of Edward II of England has been estimated at over one hundred thousand. The English lost thirty thousand, and that of the Scots did not exceed ten thousand. With Edward II of England were all the great English nobles and barons, and their followers, all well equipped. The engagement was commenced by the English, who poured forth their arrows, until they fell like flakes of snow. The Scottish army was arranged in a line consisting of three square columns, the center commanded by the Earl of Moray, the right by Edward Bruce, and the left by Sir James Douglas[disambiguation needed ] and Walter Stewart, 6th High Steward of Scotland. The reserve, composed of the men of Argyle, Carrick, Kintyre, and the Isles, formed the fourth line of battle, and was commanded by King Robert I of Scotland in person. In this reserve were five thousand Highlanders, under twenty-one different chiefs, commanded by Angus Og MacDonald, father of John of Islay, Lord of the Isles. The following clans, commanded in person by their chiefs, have the distinguished honor of fighting nobly: Stewart, MacDonald, MacKay, Maclntosh, MacPherson, Cameron, Sinclair, Drummond, Campbell, Menzies, MacLean, Sutherland, Robertson, Grant, Fraser, MacFarlane, Ross, MacGregor, Munro, MacKenzie, and MacQuarrie. The Clan Cumming, MacDougall of Lorn, MacNab, and a few others, were present, but unfortunately on the wrong side. As already observed, the Macleans were under the immediate command of their chief, Malcolm. After the battle was fully on, Robert the Bruce brought up the whole of his reserve, which completely engaged the four battles of the Scots in one line. The noise of the battle, as described by an eyewitness, was awful. There was the clanging of arms, the knights shouting their war-cry, the flight of the arrows maddening the horses, the banners rising and sinking, the ground covered with gore, the shreds of pennons, broken armor, and rich scarfs soiled with blood and clay; and amidst the din was heard the groans of the wounded and dying. Step by step the Scots gained ground, and fortunately, in a critical moment, the camp-followers, desiring to see the battle, appeared over the hill, and were taken by the English for Scotch reinforcements. Immediately dismay spread through the English ranks, which, the Scots noticing, made a fearful onslaught, which broke the English army into disjointed squadrons. The flight at once became general, and the slaughter fearful to behold. In the thickest of the fight the Highland clans plied their battle-axes with terrible effect. This did not escape the attention of the watchful Bruce. To show his appreciation for the great service, he assigned to Angus and his descendants, forever, the honorable position of the right flank of the royal army.[2]


 This article incorporates text from A history of the clan Mac Lean from its first settlement at Duard Castle, in the Isle of Mull, to the present period: including a genealogical account of some of the principal families together with their heraldry, legends, superstitions, etc, by John Patterson MacLean, a publication from 1889 now in the public domain in the United States.

  1. ^ a b "One Clan, Two Families". Clan Maclean. Retrieved 2009-03-24. "Gilli Colium mac maoiliosa - or Malcolm son of Maoiliose - married Rignach, a relation of Robert Bruce, Lord of Carrick. This set up a dynastic link to the powerful Bruce family and from this marriage there appears to have been three sons Donald, Neil and John (Iain Dubh in Gaelic), all of whom were active in 1326 when they appear in the Exchequer Rolls of that year. The family link to the Bruce family must have benefited the emergent kindred or clan now calling itself MacGille eoin (Maclean) as Neil was appointed Constable of the royal castle of Scraburgh (possibly Tarbet) in 1329, while his elder brother, Donald, appears to have been a commander of the Kings galleys and John (Iain Dubh) can be found at Sael (Seil) Castle in Lorn - another royal stronghold." 
  2. ^ a b MacLean, John Patterson (1889). A History of the Clan MacLean from Its First Settlement at Duard Castle, in the Isle of Mull, to the Present Period: Including a Genealogical Account of Some of the Principal Families Together with Their Heraldry, Legends, Superstitions, Etc.. R. Clarke & Company. 

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