Scottish clan chief

Scottish Clan Chief

Scottish clan chief

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for a list of the Scottish Chiefs and their clan, see List of Scottish clans.

The Scottish Gaelic word clann means children. In early times, and possibly even today, clan members believed themselves to descend from a common ancestor, the founder of the Scottish clan. From its perceived founder a clan takes its name. The clan chief is the representative of this founder, and represents the clan as well. In the Scottish clan system, the term chief denotes a greater chief than that of a chieftain. In consequence, branch chiefs (heads of branches of a clan) are designated chieftains. Scottish clans who no longer have a clan chief are referred to as armigerous clans.

Functions of the Clan Chief

Historically the principal function of the chief was to lead his clan in battle on land and sea.Maclean of Ardgour v. Maclean, p.711 The chief and the chieftain were at one time in the Scottish Highlands influential political characters, who wielded a large and often arbitrary authority.Maclean of Ardgour v. Maclean, p.636 The existence of chiefship and chieftainship has...
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