This clan, known for being “fiercer than fierceness itself” are one of the more ancient of Scotland’s clans. As with all ancient clans, the origins of the Camerons is hotly disputed but one of the more interesting theories claims that the clan is descended from the Danish royal family. It is also suggested that the clan’s name derives from one of the early chief’s unfortunate but prominent features – his crooked nose. The Gaelic for crooked nose is cam-shron which was seemingly adopted by the chief’s followers and eventually transformed (the name not the nose) into the familiar Cameron.
Battle of North Inch
Going along with their reputation for ferocity, the Camerons were one of the clans supposedly present at the battle of North Inch. I have spoken about this battle before and it never ceases to amaze me as, in order to settle a minor dispute, the king of Scotland decided to put on a sort of gladiatorial reality show – sort of Maximus Decimus Meridius meets the X-Factor. Each of the clans involved in the dispute put forward the same number of men and met just outside Perth where an amphitheatre had been prepared for the event. At the end of the day The Chattan federation had obliterated all the other forces except for one member of Clan Cameron who, realising that his side had lost, jumped into the River Tay and swam to safety.
The Queens Own Cameron Highlanders
One of the British army’s more famous historic regiments, the Queens Own Cameron Highlanders were first brought into being with the onset of the revolutionary wars in France. The regiment was raised by Sir Alan Cameron of Erracht who put so much stock in the fighting skills of the highlanders that he refused a group of English riflemen from being admitted to the regiment. The Cameron Highlanders fought with distinction at the Battle of Waterloo and during the Crimean War as well as the Indian Rebellion. In thanks for their distinguished service Queen Victoria presented them with colours in 1873 and decreed that the regiment should henceforth be known as the Queens Own. The regiment served in the first and Second World Wars and were the last regiment to wear kilts into battle – giving rise to their nickname “the ladies from hell”. The regiment was merged with the Seaforth Highlanders in 1961 to form the Queens own Highlanders.
The Highland Clearances
Many of the Clan Cameron chiefs have been noted for their generosity and kindness, especially Donald Cameron the 19th chief of the clan, later known as Lochiel the Gentle. Unfortunately, the grandson of this gentle chief was not inclined towards kindness. Donald Cameron the 22nd chief oversaw the majority of the clearances of tenants from his lands, sending Camerons from their homeland to destinations far and wide – notably to Canada. So, although the clearances were definitely a hardship for the people at the time, we have them to thank for the global community of Camerons we see today.
If you are a part of this global Cameron Community, why not show your solidarity to your roots with a tasteful touch of tartan? ScotlandShop has a huge selection of clothing and accessories available in Clan Cameron’s tartan.