Get all your news in one place.
100’s of premium titles.
One app.
Start reading
Daily Record
Daily Record
Alastair McNeill

First Buchanan clan chief in 340 years 'crowned' at Callander ceremony

The inauguration of the first Buchanan Clan chief for more than 340 years took place in Callander at the weekend.

John Michael Baillie-Hamilton Buchanan was appointed as the true heir and chief of the Buchanan Clan at Cambusmore, the modern seat of Clan Buchanan and the chief’s ancestral home on Saturday, October 8.

International representatives of the clan’s diaspora celebrated alongside the chiefs and other representatives of 10 ancient Scottish clans.

As the leader of a global community of over five million members, and one of Scotland’s oldest and most prestigious clans, the newly inaugurated chief pledged to lead the clan into the modern era.

The chief, manager of the Cambusmore Estate, said: “This is a turning point in our clan’s history.

“For centuries our traditions were confined to the history books so it’s truly humbling that members of Clan Buchanan and our good friends from other clans have reunited to celebrate with us.

“I have pledged to bring Clan Buchanan into the modern era by restoring our ancient traditions and championing the values, relevance, and importance of the global community we represent.

Click here for more news and sport from the Stirling area.

“For centuries our clan had no chief or Clan Parliament, so this is the start of a new era for Clan Buchanan.”

Lucy Buchanan with the crown, Callander, October 8, 2022 (IG PHOTOGRAPHY LTD)

This historic clan chief’s inauguration ceremony was based on existing resurrected ancient Celtic rituals and customs.

The Buchanan chief has four children with his wife the Lady Buchanan including, Angus, Bruce, Lucy, and Rory.

The last Buchanan chief, John Buchanan, died in 1681 without a male heir.

Identifying the new chief required decades of genealogical research.

The inauguration event drew on traditions dating back prior to the coronation of the first King of Scots, Kenneth MacAlpine, in 843 AD.

Heralded in by trumpet fanfare and accompanied by a procession of pipers and banner bearers, the chief was officially named and presented by the Lord Lyon King of Arms, Dr Joseph Morrow.

The ceremony cemented its place in Scottish history as the first for many hundreds of years, and the new chief swore an oath to protect and champion the Buchanan Clan. His first act as chief was to restore the Clan Parliament, for the first time in over 350 years, in order to explore the future of Clan Buchanan and discuss how its traditions can be celebrated in the modern day.

The chiefly family was joined by several hundred clansfolk from across the globe, members of the Clan Buchanan Society International and heraldic expert Sir Crispin Agnew.

The chief was honoured with the Letters Patent, which confirmed the Court of the Lord Lyon’s acceptance and legitimacy of his claim as chief.

He was ‘crowned’ in traditional chiefly fashion with the ‘Balmoral Bonnet’ hat featuring three golden eagle feathers, the more contemporary style of headwear now used by Scottish clan chiefs.

He was then presented with painstakingly recreated ‘clan jewels’ based on those historically thought used for this type of ancient inauguration ceremony. This included the Chief’s Signet Ring bearing The Buchanan coat of arms, representing family heritage, eternity and the clan unification.

While Clan Buchanan can be traced back to 1010 AD in Scotland, its global community includes members across Great Britain, the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa among many other countries. Over 120 affiliated family surnames are recognised as part of the clan including Watson, Morris, Richardson, Coleman, Gilbert, Walter and Harper.

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

Vice president of Clan Buchanan Society International based in California, Kevin (Buck) Buchanan, said: “It’s fantastic to be here representing Clan Buchanan’s members from the USA. Our clan is spread across the globe but today we’ve united to make it relevant in the modern day while restoring our ancient traditions. This has been such a historic moment in Scotland – I’m proud to be part of it.”

Sign up to read this article
Read news from 100’s of titles, curated specifically for you.
Already a member? Sign in here
Related Stories
Top stories on inkl right now
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
Already a member? Sign in here
Our Picks
Fourteen days free
Download the app
One app. One membership.
100+ trusted global sources.