Exclusive to Penhollows, 8″x5″ glass decoupage tray by Carol Kaas.
The district of Lorn, Argyllshire, is generally regarded as the habitat of the MacCallums. The personal name “Calum” is from Columba, and was of old “Maol-Caluim,” devotee of Columba, and later Malcolm.
Colgin, about three miles and a half out of Oban, has long been the headquarters of the MacCallums. With this family a curious tradition is recorded. Once upon a time the Laird of Colgin had a family to twelve handsome sons. On a certain Sunday he went with them to the church of Kilbride, entering the edifice at their head, and the sons following him in order according to their ages. The Lady of MacDougall of Lorn was in the church and inquired who the man was with the large family of sons. Being informed that it was the Laird of Colgin she replied: “A third of Scotland would not be too much for MacCallum.” From that day his family began to pine away, till only three were left. MacCallum being advised to send the survivors from home, he prepared three horses with panniers and fave one to each of the lads. He then sent them away with the direction to take up their residence in whatever place the panniers would fall off the horses. The panniers of the horse of one of them having fallen within the boundaries of the farm he remained at home. The other two went on their journey, going in different directions. The panniers of the one having fallen in Glenetive he settled there, and the panniers of the other having fallen at Kilmartin he made his home in that district (see Malcolm). The brothers married and each had a family. By marriage they in course of time became numerous. It happened that the MacCallums of Glenetive and the MacCallums of Kilmartin to the number of thirty each set out to visit each other on the same day. Meeting in a narrow pass on “Sliabh an tuim” in Glemore Moor neither party would allow the other to pass on the right. A fight occurred in the consequence, which was maintained fiercely till all were killed except two, one of each party. Overcome by the toils of the conflict these two sat down to rest. Entering into conversation they ascertained that they were relatives. Thus it was that the MacCallums came to be called “Sliochd nan tri fickead burraigh” – “The descendants of the sixty fools” – (Records of Argyll).
It would appear that the original tartan of the MacCallums (MacCallum Old) was supplanted by the modern design, called Malcolm, where a red line has been substituted for the light blue of the original. It is a well-known fact that the new design has existed some forty or fifty years at least, and it is interesting to note that in the collection of the Highland Society of London, in that at Moy Hail, as well as in other similar collections, the MacCallum (Old) as here illustrated is ranked, and the Malcolm is wanting. The general impression is that this family having lost trace of the original sett fifty or sixty years ago, endeavored to have it prepared from the recollection of aged natives of Argyllshire, but, as might be expected, the recovery of the old sett shows that marked deviations had been made.