Donald was just six years of age, his father ordered
construction of a new Achnacarry be commenced. At
that time the family had no residence in Scotland, but
did visit on occasion, residing in the estate's old post
office (now the Clan Cameron Museum.) Young Donald
must have grown up with an appreciation of Lochaber, for
he would proudly return in adulthood to reside where his
forefathers had lived.
attending Harrow (the first of long line of the Lochiel
family to do so) Donald was gazetted into the Grenadier
Guards in 1814. He fought with distinction at the
Battle of Waterloo, retiring from the army upon his
father's death in 1832.
that same year he married Lady Vere, daughter of the
Honourable George Vere Hobart and sister of the 6th Earl
of Buckinghamshire. Lady Vere was descended from
the Camerons of Glenderrary. Donald and his young
bride made a visit to Lochaber during the summer of
1834, and a large
gathering of Cameron clansfolk was on hand to
welcome them. Less than a year later a young male
heir was born; the Camerons of Lochaber rejoiced.
1837 Donald arranged to have new Achnacarry, which had
sat unfinished since his father lost interest in the
project years earlier, completed as a residence.
He and the family would spend their summers in
residence, wintering in England. Although he and
his wife had a great interest in the affairs of
Lochaber, and the running of the estate, due to their
lengthy absences the day-to-day affairs were left to
the years that followed, the Highlands went through
periods of great hardship. The factors cleared
many residents from the lands on which they had resided
for generations, and a great potato famine occurred in
1846. Donald did what he could to alleviate the
sufferings of the Cameron clansfolk, including wiping
out their arrears of rents and partially financing the
Highland and Island Emigration Society.