Clan Shaw


Badge: A dexter arm, the hand holding a dagger in pale proper.
Motto: Fide et fortitudine (By fidelity and fortitude.]
  • Gaelic Name: Mac Ghille-Sheathanaich.
  • Tartan: Shaw
  • Origin of Name: Gaelic seaghdha (pithy).
  • Plant Badge: Red whortleberry.


The Shaws are an ancient Scottish clan, which played a considerable role in Highland history, and which traces its ancestry to the old Earls of Fife and thus the royal line of the Scottish kings. Initially, prior to the general adoption of surnames and, specifically, the use of the name Shaw for that purpose, the Shaws were the first Chiefs of Clan Mackintosh. The Clan name derives from Shaw "Mor" "Coriaclich", great-grandson of Angus (6th Chief of Mackintosh) and Eva (heiress of Clan Chattan (a large confederation of Highland clans)). By tradition, he led the Clan Chattan contingent to victory at the famed Clan Battle of the North Inch at Perth in 1396 and was, as a reward, given the lands of Rothiemurchus, which became the first "seat" of the Clan. He is numbered as our third Chief. The lands of Rothiemurchus (site of the well-known castle Loch-an-Eilean), were sold and lost to the Clan in 1539.

Adam (Ay) of Tordarroch, grandson of Shaw "Mor", was the progenitor of Clan Ay, or the Shaws of Tordarroch. The Tordarroch branch of the Clan became preeminent, acted for Clan Shaw and, at Inverness in 1543 and Termit in 1609, signed the Clan Chattan bands. They supported Montrose and raised the Shaw contingent in the Jacobite rising of 1715.



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