Famous MacBain People

(source: http://www.clanmacbean.net/famousmacbeans.html)

Gillies MacBain

A captain in the Mackintosh Regiment at Culloden killed 14 Hanovarian soldiers before being cut down by the cavalry. He was an unusually tall man, of 6’7″. An opening was discovered in a wall and Gillies stepped in and filled the breach and killed the Hanovarians before being killed himself.

Gilles MacBean

Lord Byron, a British Poet wrote:

“The clouds may pour down on Culloden’s red plain,
But their waters shall flow o’er its crimson in vain,
For their drops shall seem few to the tears for the slain,
But mine are for thee, my brave Gillies MacBain!

“Though thy cause was the cause of the injured and brave;
Though thy death was the hero’s and glorious thy grave,
My sad heart bleeds o’re thee, my Gillies MacBain!

“How the horse and the horseman thy single hand slew!
But what could the mightiest single arm do?
A hundred like thee might the battle regain;
But cold are thy hand and heart, Gillies MacBain!

“With thy back to the wall and thy breast to the targe,
Full flashed thy claymore in the face of their charge:
The blood of their boldest that barren turf stain,
But, Alas! Thine is reddest thee, Gillies MacBain!

“Hewn down, but still battling, thou sunk’st on the ground –
Thy plaid was one gore, and thy breast was one wound;
Thirteen of thy foes by thy right hand lay slain
Oh! Would they were thousands for Gillies MacBain!

“Oh! Loud and long heard shall thy coronach be,
And high o’er the heather thy cairn we shall see;
And deep in all bosoms thy name shall remain
But deepest in mine, dearest Gillies MacBain!

“And daily the eyes of thy brave boy before
Shall thy plaid be unfolded, unsheathed the claymore;
And the white rose shall bloom on his bonnet again
Should he prove the true son of my Gillies MacBain!”

Judge Roy Bean

Born Phantly Roy Bean, Jr. (1825), Judge Roy Bean was Justice of the Peace in Val Verde County, Texas, U.S.A. He called himself “The Law West of the Pecos” and often held court in the saloon that he owned. Roy had an extremely colorful life worthy of the many films and books written about his life. If you are looking for some entertainment be sure to look him up (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roy_Bean).

Judge Roy Bean

Major-General William MacBean

This marble bust is on display in Inverness Town House, on the staircase, on the right hand side of the landing. The inscription reads:

“Major General William Macbean V.C. 93rd Sutherland Highlanders. Born at Inverness January 1819. Died at Woolwich 22nd June 1878. Who served with great distinction at the Crimean War and Indian Mutiny. Presented to the Town in 1897 by the family of his brother the late Dean of Guild James Macbean.”

Major-General William MacBean

William Macbean enlisted as a young man in the 93rd Sutherland Highlanders, the regiment he remained with until he retired. He spent fifteen or sixteen years in the ranks as a non-commissioned officer. In 1854, while serving in the Crimea, he was raised to the rank of ensign. At Varnia he was in charge of the wounded men when he successfully intervened in a dispute between French and Turkish troops. He was awarded the ‘Order of Medjidie’ by the Sultan.

Macbean served at the siege of Sebastapol. In India he was honoured with the Victoria Cross for his actions at the main breach of the Begum Bagh at Lucknow in 1858, where he single-handedly killed eleven of the enemy. In 1973 he attained the rank of Lieutenant Colonel and on his retirement in 1877 he was accorded the rank of Major General.


Leon Leonwood Bean

Born in 1872, Leon was a prolific businessman and avid outdoorsman. Combining his two loves he founded the company L.L. Bean. You can read more about Leon and his company at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leon_Leonwood_Bean.


Major Forbes MacBean

Major-General and Aide-de-Camp to King Edward VII. Earned the Distinguished Service Order for his bravery in 1897 when fighting for the Gordon Highlanders when taking the heights of Dargai in Afghanistan.

Commander Alan Bean

An American astronaut who commanded Appollo XII to the Moon in 1969. He took a Clan MacBean tartan on his journey to the moon and brought it back to Earth. He gave a piece of the tartan to the Clan. A small portion was also attached to one of Alan’s paintings (Clan MacBean Arrives on the Moon, pictured below) and he presented it to the Clan at its 1996 Gathering. There is also a small portion that hangs in Scotland commemorating the event. You can learn more about Alan and this story at Alan Bean’s Website.

Clan MacBean Arrives on the Moon


Marnie MacBean

Made Olympic history along with her rowing partner, Kathleen Heddle, in 1996 for Canada when they became the first Canadians in any Olympic sport to win three gold medals.


Doug MacLaren

Climbed Mt. Everest in 2001 and placed a piece of the Clan tartan at the top of the world. Doug is cousin to Marnie McBean. As he stood on the top of the mountain he said:

“Peter, Sherrill, Alex, Ian, Jamie, Jessica, Teal, Marnie & John, I gather from Ian that there is a piece of McBean tartan somewhere on the moon. Well a little more terrestrial, but there is now a swatch of McBean tartan (provided to me by Ian) fluttering proudly at the summit of Everest. Just where the name belongs – at the top of the world.

All the best, Doug”

Clan MacBean on Everest


Sawney Bean (Legend)

Though many of our anscestors have contributed positively to humanity we have one that will forever live in infamy, though keep in mind that there is some debate over whether or not Sawney ever actually existed (http://www.bbc.co.uk/scotland/history/sawney_bean.shtml). Sawney Bean was the head of an incestuous cannibalistic family that killed over 1,000 people. He and his family of 45 lived in a coastal cave for 25 years that was 200 yards deep and piled high with human bones.

They were able to hide out for so long because the entrance was blocked by high tides, which was how they were able to stay hidden for so long. It took the help of the Scottish king and a battalion of soldiers to bring them to justice. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sawney_Bean

Sawney Bean

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