The surname McLAIN is of Irish and Scottish origin, deriving from the Gaelic MacCluin. They were a Dalcassian family of Ballymaclune, to be distinguished from MacCloon and Cluvane, but a variant of McLean. The use of fixed surnames or descriptive names appears to have commenced in France about the year 1000, and such names were introduced into Scotland through the Normans a little over one hundred years later, although the custom of using them was by no means common for many years afterwards. During the reign of Malcolm Ceannmor (1057-1093) the latter directed his chief subjects, after the custom of other nations, to adopt surnames from their territorial possessions, and there created 'The first erlis that euir was in Scotland'. The family at one time held extensive lands in the Western Isles and mainland, and were descended from Gilleathain na Tuaidh, Gillian of the Battleaxe in the 13th century. Two brothers, his descendants, were Lachlan Lubanach, progenitor of the MacLeans of Duart and Eachan Reaganach, progenitor of the MacLaines of Lochbuie. They were supporters of the MacDougalls of Lorn, but later transferred their allegiance to the MacDonalds, Lords of the Isles and became one of their most powerful vassals. The MacLeans fought at the Battle of Hawlaw, where their chief Red Hector of the Battles was killed. Lachlan Maclean of Duart was killed at Flodden in 1513, and during the 16th and 17th centuries the MacLeans were one of the most important clans in the Western Isles. In 1631 Lachlan MacLean of Morven, heir to Hector lacLean of Duart, was created a baronet. They fought at Inverlochy under Montrose, and at Inverkeithing, and in the latter battle occurred the famous incident of seven brothers in the clan each giving his life to protect his chief, each as he fell shouting 'Another for Hector'. The sacrifice was unavailing for Sir Hector too was killed.
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