Battle of the Clans, Perth. 1396, Macphersons and Davidsons (Clan Chattan) Perhaps one of the most bizarre clan battles, staged in a gladiatorial style with Robert II taking the best seat –Perth. Some have recorded the battle as a fight between Clan Chattan and Clan Kay but later versions have claimed it was held to settle internal warfare of Clan Chattan, a conglomerate of clans which included Macphersons, Davidsons, Keith and Macintoshes, among others. The clans were at war over which group got to take the right flank, the position of the highest honour in clan warfare. Robert II called a staged battle to settle the differences once and for all. Thirty men from each clan were selected to represent their side and fight it out to the death. Swords, axes and maces were used in battle with the Davidson numbers quickly diminishing in the face of around 20 Macphersons. The last Davidson jumped in the River Tay and the victory was claimed by the Macphersons.
The Battle of Champions, 1478 or 1464. A romance that ended in bloodshed, this Highlands story of love and betrayal ended with an amicable agreement over 500 years later. Clan Gunn and Clan Keith were always at odds. When the Chief of Clan Keith discovered Helen of Braemore was due to marry a Gunn, he abducted her, killing her lover in the struggle. Helen committed suicide by jumping from Ackergill Tower. 140 years of warfare, raids and rustling followed. Finally the two clans agreed to settle the feud in a ritualised trial of combat at the standing stones of Mannistanes Hill. Here the Keith champion Caidh Mor (“The Big Keith”) felled 5 Gunn warriors with his Claymore, before one of the wounded Gunns on the ground hamstrung him with a dirk. The Keiths conceded defeat to the Gunns and the feud was settled. It was only on 1978 that clans reunited to sign a peace treaty.