Clan MacNaughton Tours of Scotland. The MacNachtens are one of the clans who claimed descent from the great Pictish rulers of Moray. The name Nechtan, which may mean 'pure' or 'clear', was popular in at least one branch of the Pictish royal line.
In the thirteenth century there are records of three brothers, Gilchrist, Athe and Gilbert, the sons of Malcolm Macnachten. Gilchrist received from Alexander III a charter in 1267 granting him the keepership of a castle warding the narrow Pass of Brander, the gateway to the west.
The Macnachtens appear to have changed their allegiance and a Baron Macnachten, possibly Alexander of that Ilk, is recorded fighting at Bannockburn in 1314. The Macnachtens gained little from their late change of heart, and from that point on the Campbells dominated Loch Awe.
In 1548 Gilbert Macnachten succeeded as chief. When he died without issue, the succession devolved upon his younger brother, Alexander. He started the rebuilding of Dunderave Castle on Loch Fyne and it was completed by his son, lain, in 1596.
Alexander died in 1630, followed shortly afterwards by his childless heir, leaving Dunderave in the hands of Alexander's brother, Malcolm of Killearn. He was knighted after the Restoration in 1660, but was later denounced as an outlaw.
The lands were almost entirely lost through debt, and lain, the next chief, who succeeded in 1685, inherited little more than an empty title. He was denounced as a Jacobite rebel, and his remaining lands were forfeited. His younger son, John, was the last chief of this line.
On the extinction of the Dunderave line his great-grandson, Edmond, was pressed to become chief. He declined, hut his son, Edmund Alexander, was recognised as chief in 1818. When he died in 1832 he was succeeded by his brother, Francis, who was a judge in Madras and Calcutta.
Septs of Clan: MacHenry, MacHendry, MacKendrick, MacBrayne, MacEol, MacNaught, MacKnight, MacNitt, MacNair, MacNuir of Argyllshire, MacVicar of Kenmore, Macays and MacKays of Strathtay.