Clan Buchanan prepares for first inauguration in more than 340 years

·3-min read

One of Scotland’s largest and most ancient clans is preparing to reunite for the inauguration of the first Buchanan clan chief for more than 340 years.

In October, John Michael Baillie-Hamilton Buchanan is set to be officially made the first clan chief since the last inauguration ceremony took place in the 17th century.

And, before the ceremony, Clan Buchanan is calling on clansfolk, affiliated families and supporters to gather for the historic occasion at its modern clan seat, the Cambusmore Estate in Perthshire.

One of Scotland’s largest and most ancient clans is preparing to reunite for the inauguration of the first Buchanan Clan Chief for over 340 years (Clan Buchanan)
One of Scotland’s largest and most ancient clans is preparing to reunite for the inauguration of the first Buchanan Clan Chief for over 340 years (Clan Buchanan)

The chief of Clan Buchanan said: “For centuries our ancient clan was left without a chief or clan parliament, but this year we are finally gathering in Scotland.

“This is a chance to restore Scottish traditions that have been confined to the history books for hundreds of years, bringing them back with a thoroughly modern twist.”

The last chief of Clan Buchanan was John Buchanan, who died in 1681 without a male heir.

The Buchanan’s appointment to lead the clan came after decades of research conducted by Hugh Peskett, the late genealogist who traced President Ronald Reagan’s Irish ancestry in the 1980s.

His inauguration on October 8, as part of a weekend of events, will feature millennia-old clan rituals and a stone throne carved by specialist craftsmen.

New clan jewels have also been reconstructed after years of research. These include the ancestral Sword of Leny, a white rod to symbolise clan justice, and a falcon-shaped sguian dubh, the small knife traditionally worn with a kilt.

And, with a global community of more than five million members, the chief will lead the first Clan Parliament in over 350 years to explore the future of Clan Buchanan and discuss how its traditions could be celebrated in the modern day.

While Clan Buchanan can be traced back to 1010 in Scotland, its members include people across the UK, the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and many others.

And there are 120 affiliated family surnames recognised as part of the clan including Watson, Morris, Richardson, Coleman, Gilbert, Walter and Harper.

In the modern day, these are know as affiliated families but were previously known as septs of the clan.

They are represented by the Buchanan Society, the world’s oldest clan society, which was set up in 1725 to support members of the clan in times of hardship, and the worldwide society.

David Byrne, president of the Clan Buchanan Society International, said: We’re eagerly looking forward to the inauguration of our new Chief, which will demonstrate to the world that Clan Buchanan is still a vital and thriving family with a shared history.

“What has been most encouraging to clansfolk scattered across the world is the chief’s modern approach, while still embracing our heritage and traditions. We’ve used this as an opportunity to renew pride in the history of Clan Buchanan alongside a new sense of purpose as we look to the future.”

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