THE WARRIOR HERITAGE OF CONOR MCGREGOR
By: Pedro Olavarria, FIGHTLAND
"Like most ancient families, the origins of the McGregor (a Scottish surname also spelt MacGregor) clan are ultimately shrouded in mystery. What we know of the clan’s origins is a mixture of ancient tradition and verifiable fact. The clan’s motto, ‘S Rioghal Mo Dhream, meaning “Royal is our race”, reflects the family’s claimed connection to Celtic royalty. The first recorded chief of the MacGregor clan was Gregor of the Golden Bridles. They are also said to have fought alongside William Wallace, in the first Scottish war for independence. During said war, Wallace suffered a crushing defeat at the Battle of Falkirk. Historians agree that Wallace was betrayed at Falkirk but the identities of his betrayers are unknown; a popular theory holds that Robert the Bruce was one of his betrayers. If true, this would explain his later treatment of the MacGregor clan.
"After Wallace’s execution, Robert the Bruce would lead the Scottish clans in their war for independence and won it, temporarily. During his reign, members of the MacGregor clan fought for him in the Battle of Bannockburn. However, despite their loyalty, Robert the Bruce took large parcels of MacGregor lands and granted them to the Campbell clan. The MacGregor holdings would continue to wane as later marriages to the Campbells and skirmishes accelerated the rival clan’s grasp on their property. This is the beginning of a pattern of disenfranchisement that would impoverish the MacGregors and produce the most resilient and heroic members of the clan."
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