War Cry: “Clar Innis” (An island in Lochlomond).
Badge: Dearc bhraoileag (Bilberry); or Darag (Oak).
TOWARDS the middle of the 13th century, Gilbert, seneschal to the Earl of Lennox, obtained from him a part of the lands of Buchanan in Stirlingshire, and took his name from them. Donald, sixth Earl of Lennox, renewed to Maurice of Buchanan the grant of what the former Earl had conferred upon his ancestor.
The king granted a charter of confirmation to his successor of the same name, to this effect, “Maurice of Bouchannane, son and heir of the late Maurice of Bouchannane of the land called Bouchannane, together with Sallachy, by these bounds from Kelyn to Aldmar, down to the water of Hanerch, and the land of Sallachy down to the pool of Lougchlomneid (sic), etc., with a court of life and limbs, to be held as often as he (the Earl) may incline;” to be held by the delivery of a cheese out of each house in which a cheese is made on the said lands.
Through marriage with a daughter of Menteith of Rusky, his son, Walter of Buchanan, became connected with the royal house. The latter married the sole heiress of the ancient family of Leny. Their eldest son, Sir Alexander, distinguished himself, under Stuart, the Constable of France, and at the battle of Bauje-en-Anjou, in 1421, is said to have slain the Duke of Clarence. The war-cry of the clan, Clarinch, in said to come from this event; but more probably from its rendezvous, Clarinnis, an isle in Loch Lomond. Sir Alexander was slain in the battle of Verneuilin 1424; his second brother Walter, succeeded to Buchanan, and his third to Leny.
Walter married Isabel (daughter of Murdoch, Duke of Albany), Countess of Lennox. Their eldest son, Patrick, married the heiress of Killearn and Auchreoch. Their youngest son, Thomas, founded the house of Drumikil, whence, in the third generation, sprang the historian, George Buchanan.
Patrick’s son, Walter, married a daughter of Lord Graham, and by her had a younger son, who became known in the time of James V. as the facetious “King of Kippen.” Patrick, who fell at Flodden, by his wife, a daughter of Argyll, left two sons George, Sheriff of Dumbarton in 1561, and Walter, founder of the line of Spittal.
By Margaret Edmondston of Duntreath, he had John, his heir, and by a second wife, Janet Cunninghame of Craigends, William, founder of the now extinct line of Auchmar.
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The principal line became extinct in 1682, when the representation was claimed by Buchanan of Auchmar, whose line perished in 1816.
The Lairds of Buchanan built the ancient peel of that name. The mill-town of Buchanan is near the parish church. The family lands lay in Menteith and the Lennox, near Lochs Katrine and Lomond, and are now possessed by the Duke of Montrose.
The present chief is John Buchanan Hamilton of Leny.
A Buchanan was created a Baronet in 1878.
Source: The Scottish clans and their tartans: with notes. Library Edition. Edinburgh and London: W. & A.K. Johnston, 1826.