The MacLarens are recorded as being in possession of lands in Balquhidder in the 12th century. They also possessed the Island of Tiree. They fought at the battles of Sauchieburn, Flodden and Pinkie and were loyal to the Royal Stuarts. They were a warlike clan and engaged in feuds with other clans. The mother of the founder of the Stewarts of Appin was a MacLaren. The clan participated at the Jacobite Rising of 1745 and many of them died at the Battle of Culloden. John McLaren, Lord Dreghorn, descended from the MacLarens of Tiree, was, in 1781, recognised as chief of the clan.