One of the oldest of the clans and renowned for their martial ardour, Clan Macfarlane, known as the ‘Wild Ones’, was a cadet branch of the ancient Celtic Earls of Lennox and take their name from ‘Parlan’, a supporter of Robert the Bruce during the Wars of Independence.
Loch Lomondside was their territory and they became infamous for raiding their neighbours’ livestock , while even the tune played on the bagpipes at their clan gatherings was Thogail nam bo – Lifting the Cattle.
It was by the light of the moon that they carried out many of their raids, and their hapless victims came to refer to the moon as ‘Macfarlane’s Lantern’.
But they also proved of service to the Scottish Crown, at great cost to themselves, with Sir Iain Macfarlane among the many Scots slain at the battle of Flodden in 1513.
Recounted here is the stirring and colourful tale of the Macfarlanes.