This name used to always be pronounced with the emphasis on the first syllable, not as "La Mont" as it is frequently heard these days. The name is of great antiquity in southern Argyll where the chiefs were known as "Mac Laomain Mor Chomhail Uile" or "The Great MacLamont of all Cowal" - there is an inscription in an old churchyard in Kilmun recording this. The name comes from Logmaor, the Norse word for "law man" or "law giver".
Legend has it that the clan is descended the royal house of Dalriada and from the O'Neill princes of Tyrone in Ireland in the 11th century. But the first firm evidence for the name is in the early 13th century when Laumanus, son of Malcolm, granted land at Kilmun and Kilfinan in Argyll to the monks from Paisley Abbey.
In 1456 John Lamond was the baillie (a magistrate) of Cowal. The seat of the chiefs of the clan (styled the Lamont of Lamont) was at Castle Toward, opposite Rothesay Bay, south of Dunoon. Their territory stretched from the edge of Dumbartonshire to Loch Fyne. Some Lamonts, however, moved to Aberdeenshire and John Lamont from Braemar became professor of astronomy in Munich in the middle of the 19th century.
In 1643, Sir James Lamont supported the royalist cause - which brought him into conflict with the powerful Campbells>. The Lamonts ravaged some of the Campbell lands but after the defeat of the Marquis of Montrose, the Campbells besieged the Lamont castles. The chief surrendered and although the terms appeared to allow him and his family safe conduct, the Campbells imprisoned the Lamont chief in Dunstaffnage Castle> for five years and massacred 200 clansmen. The clan never recovered from the ravages of the Earl of Argyll. The last chief to live in Cowal was born in 1854. The clan lands were sold in 1893 and the chief emigrated to Australia where the present chief resides. A clan history of the Lamonts by Hector McKechnie was published in 1938.
In more recent times, Norman Lamont was a Chancellor of the Exhequer in Margaret Thatcher's government and famously took the UK out of the European Exchange Rate Mechanism.
The Lamont clan motto is "Ne parcas nec spernas" which means "Neither spare nor dispose".
Surnames regarded as septs (sub-branch) of the Lamont clan include Black, Blake, Brown, Burdon, Clement, Lamb, Lambie, Lammond, Lamondson, Landers, Lemond, Limond, Limont, Lucas, Luke, MacClymont, MacGilledon, MacLamond, MacLucas, MacLymont, MacPatrick, Meikleham, Munn, Patrick, Toward, Turner, White, Whyte.
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