Descending from the royal house of Lorn through Gillean of the Battle-Axe, the MacLean clan possessed extensive lands in Mull.
The Lochbuie branch of the family are descended from Hector, the brother of Lachlan, who founded the Duart branch of the MacLeans. The brothers received their estates from John of Islay, 1st Lord of the Isles, in the mid fourteenth century. The lands of Lochbuie were later confirmed in a charter from James IV to John Og MacLaine.
The two branches of the family were unable to co-exist peaceably and John Og was killed, along with two of his sons, as a result of a feud with the MacLeans of Duart. His only surviving son, Murdoch, at that time a small child, was conveyed to Ireland for safety. On reaching manhood he returned and, with the aid of a childhood nurse who recognised him, he recaptured Lochbuie Castle.
It is from this Murdoch that the present chief is descended.
The MacLaines of Lochbuie were converted to the Catholic faith by the Franciscan missionary, Cornelius Ward, and were strong supporters of the Stewart monarchy, with 300 clansmen fighting at the Battle of Killiecrankie.
By the nineteenth century the family estates were burdened by debt, but the 21st chief of Lochbuie amassed a fortune in the Far East, and used this to save the estate. Sadly, however, the estates of Lochbuie were impounded by an English bondsman.
MacLaine Clan History