The Spread Of The Anglo~Norman Clans


   The new clans, which as noted above were mostly composed of families of Anglo-Norman origin, included the Chisholms, Frasers, Gordons, Grants, Hays, Inneses, Menzies, Muirheads, Sinclairs, Stewarts, and Sutherlands.

   In most cases, the Anglo-Normans played the role of assimilators, rather than conquerors, of the local culture and people. The new lairds tended to adapt and conform to the local Gaelic language and Celtic customs, making it quite easy for the indigenous people to impart their loyalty to them. MacKinnon noted that “some of these Anglo-Norman chiefs became more Highland than the Highlanders.”

   Over the next two centuries, the clans became more established in their feudal character. That character was shaped, somewhat, by the European Renaissance’s concepts and ideals of chivalry and genteel courtly behavior.