Of Manret

Manrent refers to a Scottish contract of the mid-15th century to the early 17th century, usually military in nature and involving Scottish clans. The bond of manrent was commonly an instrument in which a weaker man or clan pledged to serve, in return for protection, a stronger lord or clan—in effect becoming a vassal that renders service to a superior, often made in the form of a covenant. Manrents were a Promise by one person to serve another, [such] that he shall be friend to all his friends, and foe to all his foes.

Some bonds of manrent, described as bonds of friendship, took place between men or clans of equal power, worded in the form of treaties of offensive and defensive alliance. These contracting parties bound themselves to assist each other. Manrents always acknowledged and prioritized the signatory’s duty of allegiance to the King, in terms such as: “…always excepting duty to our lord the king”. In the same manner, when men who were not chiefs of clans, but of subordinate tribes, thus bound themselves, their fidelity to their chiefs was always excepted, in terms such as “…always excepting duty to our kindred and friends”.

Smaller clans, unable to defend themselves, and clans or families who had lost their chiefs, frequently entered into manrent. Under such treaties, smaller clans identified themselves with the greater clans. They engaged in the quarrels, followed the fortunes, and fought under the greater chiefs. However, their ranks were separately marshaled, and led by their own subordinate chiefschieftainslairds or captains, who owed submission only when necessary, for the success of combined operations. Although manrents often used terms such as, “our successors”, “perpetually”, and “in all time coming”, their object was usually defence, aggression, or revenge, rarely extending further than the occasion for which they were formed

The listed clans are those of Manret with Clan Balfour many of those the Chief Elect of Clan Balfour is also Commander or Captain all of which run thru the line of the Chief

Ewen Campell of Otter

Cunningham of Barnes

MacDuff of Reese

Campbell of Clackmanshire

Mackenzie of kincraig Redcastle

Maclean of Coll 

MacLean of Muck

Gordon of strathbogie

Clan Spens

Fraser of Inverallochy

Montgomery of of Ardrossa

MacArthur of Tay

Stewart of Garlies

Cameron erchat of Bute 


Dunbar of Cumnock

Fraser of Forres

Clan Lyle 

Clan MacDonald of Dunnyveg

Mackenzie of Dundonnel

Bruce of Earlshall

Clan Maelanfaid




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