Highland Clans - Scotland
Highland Clans (2008)
Director: Paul Murton, Peter Strachan
The highlands and islands of Scotland have been shaped by centuries of clan history. They have a past overflowing with countless tales of bloodshed and bravery, rivalry and revenge. Eurochannel is proud to take its viewers to a travel back in time and know the engaging history of the Highland Clans.
This spectacular series takes a journey beyond the myths and the tartan to uncover the real story of Scotland's Highland Clans.
Focusing on the major characters and events, each episode throws light on the history of one of Scotland's most famous Clans: their origins, myths and traditions, their political ambitions, military prowess and - for some - their fight for survival.
Paul Murton uncovers the history of Scotland's most famous clans. He begins his journey by exploring his own MacGregor ancestry. In the 17th century this Highland clan reached such heights of infamy that it was outlawed by the State and the name MacGregor became punishable by death.
For almost 400 years the MacDonalds dominated the Highlands and Islands of Scotland but at the end of the 15th century this mighty clan was ripped apart by a bitter family feud. The struggle between father and son had disastrous consequences from which the MacDonalds never recovered.
During the 16th century terrible atrocities were committed as rival Highland clans battled for supremacy. The Age of Feuds and Forays was a high point for Gaelic culture but one stained with blood. One clan in particular flourished during this violent chapter in Scottish history and its name was MacLeod.
There can be few Highland Clans more mired in bloodshed than Clan Campbell. The Campbells combined an understanding of the law with formidable might to become the most powerful and influential clan in the country.
The story of Clan Fraser begins in the twelfth century when a French knight named Frezel left Normandy for a new life in Scotland. His descendents became one of the most powerful and ferocious Highland Clans. Almost a thousand years later Simon, the twenty-fifth chief of the clan, landed back in Normandy during D-Day, June 1944.
The Mackenzies were of Celtic stock and were not among the clans that originated from Norman ancestors. Descendants of the long defunct royal Cenél Loairn of Dál Riata, they are believed to be related to Clan Matheson and Clan Anrias
The Armstrongs bold raids, carried out on horseback in both England and Scotland, secured them a place in folklore as the Scottish equivalents of "Robin Hood and his merry men." The Crown did not have such a romantic interpretation of these border bandits, eventually calling for their execution.
Clan Cameron played a pivotal role in the uprising of 1745 - without their support, the rebellion would never have happened, tragically, the Camerons paid the ultimate price for their loyalty to Bonnie Prince Charlie. This is a story focused on the fortunes of the Cameron Chief and his two brothers; defenders the Jacobite cause to the bitter end.
The Douglases were one of the most powerful families in late medieval Scotland who ruthlessly pursued their ambition to become the country's number one dynasty. They rose from obscurity as a result of the loyalty of James Douglas – otherwise known as "Black Douglas" - to Robert the Bruce.
Presenter Paul Murton travels to Mull to uncover the incredible story of Clan Maclean, whose warrior tradition prompted Elizabethan intrigue, a sunken Spanish Galleon... and even inspired James Bond.
Paul Murton reveals the fascinating origins of Scotland's most famous family. The Stewarts became Scotland's royal family in an intriguing twist of fate – they were actually from France – and their prodigious ability to breed was the making of them. Much of the interest in this family to date has focused entirely on the Stewart monarchs but this program offers a fresh perspective, investigating two of the most enthralling Stewart characters who were never Kings but none-the-less had a tremendous impact on Scotland: Alexander and Robert Stewart, both brutal in nature and ruthless in pursuit of their ambitions.
The season finale uncovers the remarkable story of Clan Grant, a clan adventure in the colonies of the British Empire which brought prosperity to Scotland – and left an uncomfortable legacy, still difficult to acknowledge today. The Grants do not conform to the often repeated cliché of highland clans – romantic heroes sacrificing everything for a noble but doomed cause.