The Clan Gregor Society Prize

The University of Glasgow

Attention all University of Glasgow students – you may be eligible!

Students at Glasgow UniversityThe Clan Gregor Society has created a prize for the benefit of University of Glasgow students who descend from Clan Gregor. It will also provide free membership in the Clan Gregor Society to a selected number of students each year.

The Society will make an annual gift of £500 to support the award, which commenced in September 2017.


The Clan Gregor Society is one of Scotland’s oldest clan societies. It was formed in 1822 and is a registered charity. It’s objects include

  • educational assistance to young persons being sons and daughters of parents belonging to Clan Gregor, whether members of the Society or not
  • the giving of aid to deserving persons of Clan Gregor, whether members of the Society or not
  • promotion of research into the origins and history of Clan Gregor
  • preservation of buildings and articles associated with Clan Gregor
  • preservation of musical, literary, and artistic traditions of Clan Gregor and of Scotland

The Society has approximately 750 members worldwide. It’s patron is Sir Malcolm MacGregor, chief of the clan. His wife, Lady MacGregor, is the broadcaster Fiona Armstrong, Lord Lieutenant of Dumfries. The annual gathering of the Society takes place at the Lochearnhead Highland Games each July and every 4 years, approximately, the Society holds an International Gathering where members from abroad attend the games, tour Scotland, and visit historic MacGregor-related sites. The next International Gathering is this year, from 15 – 22 July 2018.

The Society sponsors a genealogy and a DNA project, a piping competition, the preservation of historic MacGregor grave stones at Dalmally, and archaeological digs near Loch Awe and Loch Lomond. Members participate at the digs under the supervision of professional archaeologists based in Glasgow. Clan Gregor also appeared, together with other clans, at the 2017 Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo and there are plans to make this a regular event.

Membership and Benefits

Being part of a clan society provides links of kinship and friendship in whatever countries members may live. It also provides a focal point for people to learn of their past and of their clan’s role in Scotland’s history. It goes without saying that clans and the upkeep of the traditions thereto, are hugely important to Scotland in terms of tourism, industry, and national identity.

Membership brings two newsletters each year, the potential for international liaison, the opportunity to take part in any of the activities mentioned above, and the chance to “do your bit for tourism and for Scotland” while enjoying yourself at the Lochearnhead Games, for example. Photographs of clan events are greatly valued by members abroad and the Society’s newsletters give members the opportunity to provide articles of interest.

Students who join the Society are, therefore, encouraged to send photographs and contribute to the newsletter. Whatever student members do and wherever they go, if it’s of interest to Clan Gregor, the Society would delighted to hear about it.

The Clan Gregor Society looks forward to a long and productive relationship with the University of Glasgow and trusts that the prize will bring lasting benefits to students and members alike.

Summary of Prize

The Prize is to:

  • be known as The Clan Gregor Society Prize
  • be awarded each year to new entrants to the University of Glasgow descending from Clan Gregor
  • be open to both undergraduate and postgraduate entrants who have confirmed their place at the University
  • be awarded on the basis of academic excellence and/or financial need evidenced through a submitted paper of application
  • be funded through an annual gift of £500 from the Clan Gregor Society

The selected recipient will also be granted free membership of the Society for a given period.


All students considered for the award must descend from Clan Gregor. This permits students with the surname or proof of ancestral lineage to Grigor, Gregor, MacGregor, McGrigor and McGregor, to be eligible for the award. All eligible new entrants to the University will be notified of the award and encouraged to apply. The recipient of the award will be selected on the basis of a written application summarising their academic accomplishments and financial needs. The winner will be selected by a panel of University of Glasgow staff. The Prize will be awarded to one student per year. A student cannot re-apply if they have previously received the award. In the event of no suitable candidate being identified in any year, no award will be made and funds for that year will carry over for the award in a future year.

The Prize will be advertised on the University’s scholarships webpages to encourage applications. The terms of the prize will be reviewed on an annual basis.

Requirement for Award Winners

All students awarded The Clan Gregor Society Prize will be asked to submit a short letter of thanks to the Development and Alumni Office for onward transmission to the members of the Society for publication in the Society newsletter.

The Society would like to invite the current award holder to attend the International Gathering at the Lochearnhead Highland Games on 21st July 2018, in order to be presented with a certificate to commemorate their achievement of being selected for the award.


The Dalmally Stones Project


 The village or clachan of Dalmally is situated near Loch Awe in Argyll. It’s old name is Dysart, which means a retreat or a hermitage and it is recorded, under various spellings, as Clachan Dysart in early Scottish annals. The present church at Dalmally is the third one known to have been built on the site and is called Glenorchy Parish Church. The original parish of Glenorchy comprised the ancient MacGregor lands of Glen Orchy, Glen Lochy and Glen Strae.

The Church and Graveyard

 The original church is first mentioned in written records as a burial place of Clan Gregor in the 14th century, with The Book of the Dean of Lismore giving detailed accounts of the Chiefs of Clan Gregor interred there, circa 1390 – 1528. The present building, which is a superb, white painted, octagonal design with bell tower, was constructed by the Earl of Breadalbane in 1811.

Around 30 years ago, extensive repairs were carried out to strengthen the stairwell in the tower and to support the gallery in the main body of the church. When part of the floor was dug up for this purpose, a scatter of human bones were found. These were presumed to have been disturbed during construction of the building in 1810/11.

With the floor removed, signs of the medieval church were also found but these were insufficient to give an exact layout of that building. It would seem, however, that the High Altar, at which the leaders of Clan Gregor were buried, must lie under the present tower. This conclusion stems from the earlier churches being of different design.

The graveyard contains several sculptured stones from the 14th and 15th centuries. Many appear to have been re-used, as was common in earlier times, and most are found on the west side of the church. The likelihood is that that they were placed there during The Reformation in Scotland when great change took place. Altars were moved and burials within churches were forbidden in 1572 so cists, i.e. stone coffins, which had previously lain inside churches, were thrown out. This may be why one of the MacGregor stones, which lies among the early sculptured stones, appears to be part of a cist.

The graveyard is very ancient and also has a MacNab stone, a walled Campbell enclosure and an area said to be for tinker children’s burials.


Clan Gregor Society has taken an active interest in the church and conducted historical research there for some years now. In 2011 we donated a beautifully carved wooden lectern to commemorate the building’s 200th anniversary and in 2012 we surveyed the interior of the church, using ground penetrating radar, as part of our archaeological program of digs in the surrounding area. We seek to discover and preserve Clan Gregor history within the church itself and in the adjacent clan lands of Glen Orchy and Glen Strae. We also seek to protect and preserve the Clan Gregor gravestones from further decay by wind and weather.

One possibility is to mount the stones inside the church, together with a history of Clan Gregor, as part of a display, thereby preserving them for future generations to see. Another is to house them in a separate building adjacent to the church. Either way the cost will be considerable and we urge members and readers to donate to this worthy cause via the Contact Us directory here on the website.

Extracts from the Book of the Dean of Lismore

“Death of John Macgregor of Glenurquay, at Glenurquay.” (Glen Orchy). “He was buried in Dysart on the north side of the High Altar, on the 19thof April, in the year 1390.”

“Death of John Dhu Macgregor of Glenstray, son of Patrick, at Stronmelochan (Stronmilchan).  He was buried in Dysart, north of the Great Altar, in a stone coffin, upon the 26thof May, in the year 1519; on which day a great meteor was seen in Glenurquay.”


Glenorchy Kirk is a beautiful church in a superb location. It is well worth visiting now. If you also visit Kilchurn Castle, the magnificent MacGregor holding on nearby Loch Awe side, it puts the church’s position within the clan lands into context.

We have received very welcome donations from all over the world which have allowed the Society to set up the Dalmally Stones project, the Ed Boothe Fund and the GPR projects. We are extremely grateful to our American cousins and, in particular, to Ms JoAnn Pippin, her family and the members of SEUS, for their generosity.  – Sincere thanks to everyone who gives of their time and resources, and to Dalmally church itself, for the progress we have made in five years of archaeology; a study never done before, in the clan’s history.

 The Dalmally Stones Project will take time to complete but it will make the church an even greater attraction for visitors and researchers once the MacGregor grave stones  are readily on view.

(Sources = Clan Gregor Society, Wikipedia, Church of Scotland).

International Gathering 2018 – Last chance to apply

Dear All,

The International Gathering start date of 15th July is fast approaching and we’re making final arrangements for the coaches, ferry trips etc. If anyone is seeing this advert for the first time, we have a very limited number of places available – but you must apply now as we need to call a halt to fresh applicants, imminently.       

NB. We won’t have another International Gathering until 2022 – and this is definitely the last chance to apply for 2018 – so, if you are at all interested, please contact Clan Gregor Society, without delay, to join us for a superb week, taking in the sights and sounds of the west highlands and islands.

Full details on The 2018 International Gathering can be found on The Gatherings page  under the Membership heading above. Emails should be sent to our Secretary at  Don’t miss out. It’s going to be terrific.

(Page updated 7.4.2018) 

See Clan Gregor at the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo 2017

March to the Castle

Monday 21st August 2017 saw Clan Gregor take part in the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo accompanied by the Hannays and Buchanans. It was a fabulous evening.

We met at the Royal McGregor bar restaurant for a meal beforehand and then moved up the Royal Mile, banners flying and pipers playing, to the rendezvous point near the castle where we were greeted by our Clan Page, Miss Daisy Macnab of Macnab.

The scene at the castle was wonderful – a combination of history, pageantry and film set. Being within the ramparts and walking over the cobbled stones with groups of pipers and performers all around was truly awe inspiring.

At the reception in the Great Hall we were warmly greeted by Brigadier David Allfrey, briefed thoroughly and amusingly by the Garrison Sergeant Major and given rousing speeches by Sir Malcolm, chief David Hannay and George McAusland of the Buchanans. The Great Hall, itself, was spectacular with a magnificent painting of the capture of the French standard at the Battle of Waterloo and the walls hung with weapons. – Then we were off.

In line of march, pipes playing and patrolling down through the castle, the sense of occasion gripped us once more. Heads held high, we moved past the waiting REMT performers to the cheers of the Jacobite clan re-enactors and arrived at the Gates. – A deep breath, a roar to announce our arrival and then we were through – Into the arena, lights, cameras, thousands cheering, people smiling and waving, the welcome drowning the initial commentary.

Taking up position by the red carpet, prior to the arrival of the guest of honour, the French Admiral Patrick Chevallareau, we then witnessed Sir Malcolm and the chiefs take part in the welcome to all and the Gaelic Toast to the Chief of Chiefs, her Majesty the Queen.

And then it was over. – Up to our seats, smiling and happy, for a splendid evening’s entertainment.

A truly memorable occasion and an absolute privilege for all.


Sincere thanks to all who took part and commiserations to those who couldn’t.

Sincere thanks, also, to Richard Findlay of Fotofling who took such wonderful photographs.

To view the MacGregor Clan Album and the photographs of the Tattoo see – Galleries – Events – Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo – Clan Event.


The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo has been taking place since 1950. It is run for charitable causes and is broadcast on BBC television each year. The Tattoo attracts over 200,000 spectators annually, with a further 100 million watching the televised showings in 30 different countries. It comprises military bands from British, Commonwealth and International armed forces, massed Pipes and Drums and spectacular performers from all over the world. – If you are coming from abroad, it is a definite highlight of your visit to Scotland.


Society member honoured as Chieftain of the Games

By Lois Ann Garlitz

MacGregors ready to march in the noon parade.

MacGregors getting ready to march in the Parade of Clans.

I enjoyed a lovely weekend at Utah Scottish Festival and Highland Games at Thanksgiving Point in Lehi, Utah on June 12th and 13th 2015 as their Chieftain of the Games. As an additional honour, I was asked by the Chief of Clan Gregor, Sir Malcolm MacGregor, to fly his Pinsel flag as his personal representative in the United States.

What’s a Pinsel?

In heraldry, a Pinsel is small triangular flag granted only to Chiefs or very special chieftain-barons by the Lord Lyon King of Arms in Scotland. It’s used to denote a person to whom the Chief has delegated authority to act in his behalf on a particular occasion. The MacGregor Pinsel was presented to the American Clan Gregor Society decades ago by Sir Malcolm’s father, Sir Gregor MacGregor. You can see this special Pinsel flag in the photo below.

Lois Ann Garlitz with Steven Argyle

Lois Ann Garlitz with Steven Argyle holding the Pinsel.

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