The Shaw family were constantly beset by the belligerent powers of their neighbours, Clan Comyn, and they sought support by allying themselves through marriage to the powerful MacDonalds. From this union emerged the large tribal confederation to be known as the Clan Chattan, and from this the first chief of Clan Shaw.
The clan Shaw went on to become one of the principal septs of Clan Chattan. The second, and best known, chief of the clan was Shaw Macghillechrist Mhic Iain, who was commonly known as ‘Sgorghiaclach’, which translates as ‘bucktooth’. He led the clan Chattan under the notorious Wolf of Badenoch, most notably on the legendary raid on Angus in 1391.
The Clan Chattan took part in a long standing feud with the neighbouring Cameron clan, which threatened the stability of the whole neighbourhood. It was decided to resolve this dispute with a trial by combat of champions. Shaw Bucktooth led the clan Chattan and over sixty Highlanders fought at Perth before an illustrious audience, which included the Dauphin of France.
Today the clan Shaw is recognised as a line of unbroken continuity to the ancient earls of Fife.