The Lamonts of Ardlamont, 1315-1554

Next to the McSorleys of Monydrain, and perhaps sib to them, should be reckoned the descendants of Ewen, son of Finlay, slain for friendship to Robert the Bruce about 1321 by the barons of Argyll and doubtless among them Sir JOHN mor I I I . A century later at least they were lords of Ardlamont, which from its name must have belonged to Sir LAUMON in his day. But when as such lords they acknowledged ROBERT V as their near cousin, chief of kin and feudal superior in 1433, they were not yet kenned as Lamonts, though lacking a patronymic of their own. In 1540, however, it was John Lamont of Ard who figured as consanguineus of Sir JOHN X, when with their namesake of Ascog they confronted MacCailein at the castle of Dunoon. It can hardly be doubted therefore that Finlay, first founder of the family according to record, was related to the chiefs, and from them had derived possession of the red point of Ardlamont. This Finlay as like as not was sprung from another Ewen, who has left his name on the farm of Achadachoun hard by, for that in the Gaelic and in old writ is Auchety-Ewen, or Ewen's dwelling. This would be before 1295, when Sir JOHN I I I alienated that steading to the Diarmaids, maybe through some coolness with his cadets who were soon thirled to the Stewards of Scotland, afterwards the royal house.

First word of Finlay i , son of Ewen, comes around 1315, when he had a grant from the Stewart Earl of Menteith of Lindsaig and Doirenan-Corach, near Kilfinan and in the lordship of Ardmarnock. In return he provided one bowman for the forces of the kingdom, and served as a juror at three courts in the year. Soon, however, the Earl's son renounced his interest and Ewen Finlayson held of the Crown direct. Strange it is, all the same, that at no date were the Lamonts of Ardlamont described as barons, so far as is kenned. Of his end one learns from an ancient index of charters recording about 1321-23 an appointment betwixt Walter the Seneschal of Scotland and the barons of Argyll (including Maclachlan) propter interjectlones quondam Eugenii filii Fjnlai et aliorum hominum dicti domini senescalli. No details have survived, for the original is no more. Doubtless, however, Ewen had been set upon by his neighbours for his adherence to the Bruce, and after Bannockburn they had to pay the penalty by way of assythment. Likely enough Sir JOHN mor III was then stripped of the superiority of Ardlamont in favour of Ewen's successors, who certainly claimed to have held it independently a century after.

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