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Clan Macbain

Clan Macbain , also known as MacBean are a Scottish chiefly family


There are several possible Gaelic origins for the name. The most likely appears to be 'bheathain', which means 'lively one'. <ref>George Way of Plean and Romilly Squire, Scottish Clan and Family Encyclopedia, 206 </ref> This could also have been interpreted as 'Mac' ic'Bheatha' or MacBeth. Afer Malcolm III (1058-1093)) deposed Macbeth his power continued to be challenged in Moray. <ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 206</ref> Later, parts of the family fled to other areas of of Scotland. According to tradition, the ancestor of the Macbains settled around Inverness and joined the Chattan confederation of clans. <ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 206</ref> It is believed that Macbain formed part of the wedding party that accompanied Eva, daughter of Dougal Dall of Clan Chattan on her wedding to Angus, chief of Clan Mackintosh, in 1291. <ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 206</ref> The earliest certain record of the name in its more modern form is from a mid-fourteenth century manuscript which names both Bean MacMilmnhor and his son, Milmor Macbean. <ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 206</ref>

Middle Ages

The MacBains supported Robert the Bruce in the struggle for Scottish independence. They are credited with the killing of the steward of the Red Comyn, after Comyn himself had been stabbed by Bruce in 1306. <ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 206</ref> They fought at the Battle of Harlaw in 1411 on the side of the MacDonald Lord of the Isles, against a royal army led by the Earl of Mar. <ref>Michael Lynch, Scotland- A New History, 143</ref> This battle was the last serious attempt to assert the independence of the Lordship of the Isles from the king of Scots. <ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 206</ref> It was portrayed by chroniclers as a struggle between Highland and Lowland culture. <ref>Michael Lynch, Scotland- A New History, 143</ref>Clan McBain suffered heavy losses- in the history of Clan Mackintosh it is recorded that 'the Mackintosh mourned the loss of so many of his friends and people, especially of Clan Vean'. <ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 206</ref>

Military Achievements

James McBain

Gilles Mor MacBean, grandson of the twelfth chief took up a commission as a major to fight for the Jacobites in 1745. <ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 207</ref> He succeeded in cutting down thirteen or fourteen Hanovarian soldiers before being mortally wounded. <ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 207</ref> Another Macbain assisted with the escape of Cameron of Lochiel from the battlefield after he was wounded. <ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 207</ref> Later clan members continued the military tradition. Lieutenant General Forbes Macbean was appointed commander of artillery in Canada in 1778. <ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 207</ref> William Macbean's military career saw him rise from the rank of private to that of major general, earning the Victoria Cross during the Indian Mutiny of 1858. <ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 207</ref> A Macbain commanded the Gordon Highlanders during the Boer War during the 1880s. <ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 207</ref>

Later History

Paul MacBean, the twelfth chief was weighted down by heavy debts and sold his lands around 1685. <ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 206</ref> The modern chiefly family descends from his younger son. <ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 206</ref> William McBain, 16th chief, emigrated to Canada in the early nineteenth century. <ref></ref>Many lesser clan members joined the disapora. Following the McBain support of the 1715 Jacobite rising many clan members were forcibly transported to Virginia, Maryland and South Carolina. <ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 207</ref>

In the early twentieth century Hughston McBain became interested in family history and discovered that the chieftanship had been vacant for almost 200 years, and was eventually able to achieved matriculation by the Lord Lyon to become 21st chief. McBain was instrumental in regaining some of the clan's traditional lands and established the Macbain Memorial Park near Loch Ness. <ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 206</ref> The current chief is James McBain of McBain. <ref></ref>

Septs and Variations

Alvin, Bain, Baine, Baines, Bane, Bayn, Bayne, Beain, Bean, Beane, Beattie, Bee, Beean, Been, Beene, Beth, Bheath, Binnie, Binning, Cabean, Cabeane, Cabeen, Cobain, Cobean, Elvain, Elvaine, Elvane, Elvayne, Elveen, Elwain, Elwane, Elwee, Ilvain, Ilvaine, Ilvayne, Ilvean, Ilveen, Ilveene, Ilwain, Ilwaine, Ilwane, Ilwee, MacAlbea, MacBain, MacBeath, MacBeth, MacBheath, MacIlvain, MacIlveen, Macilvian, MacVane, MacVean, McBain, McBeath, McElveen, Vain, Vaine, Vane, Vayn, Vaynes, Vean, Veane, Vee, Veen, Veene, Vian, Wain, Waine, Wane <ref></ref>