Mac Nab History
The Clan Mac Nab, a branch of
the Siol Alpine, are of ecclesiastical origin,
being termed in Gaelic Clann-an-Aba,
children of the abbot'
, and claim
descent from the abbots of Glendochart in
Perthshire, where the clan lands were for several
centuries. As early as the 12th century they were
an important clan, but they joined the Mac
Dougalls in their fight against Robert the Bruce.
After Bannockburn, the Mac
Nabs lost all their lands except the Barony of
Bovain in Glendochart, which was confirmed to
them by a charter from David II to Gilbert Mac
Nab in 1336. Towards the end of the 15th century,
Finlay, 4th chief, added greatly to the family
estates. In 1552, however, Finlay, 6th chief,
mortgaged most of his lands to Campbell of
Glenorchy, but the clan refused to acknowledge
s superiority. In 1606, Finlay,
7th chief, entered into a bond of friendship with
his cousin, Lachlan Mac Kinnon of Strathardle,
which is often quoted as proof of their common
The Mac Nabs, under their
chief Smooth John'
, supported the
Stuarts during the Civil Wars, and the chief was
killed at the Battle of Worcester in 1651. In
1745, the then chief sided with the government
but the clan supported Prince Charles. Francis,
12th and last chief in the direct male line, was
a noted eccentric and the subject, in Highland
dress, of Raeburn'
s striking portrait.