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Clan Maclean Heritage Trust


The following Maclean anniversaries fell in 2013.

100 years

  • Birth of Paul D. MacLean, neuroscientist and psychiatrist, in Phelps, New York, on 1st May 1913. His claim to fame rests on his theory of the triune brain.
  • Dr Paul D MacLean
    Paul MacLean began studying the brain while a Fellow at Harvard Medical School in the late 1940s and as a faculty member of Yale Medical School from 1949. He first studied the brain's control of emotions, in a part which he later termed the limbic system.
    In the 1960s, Dr. MacLean expanded his theory to address the human brain's overall structure and divided its evolution into three parts, an idea that he termed the triune brain. In addition to identifying the limbic system, he pointed to a more primitive brain called the R-complex, related to reptiles, which controls basic functions like muscle movement and breathing. The third part, the neocortex, controls speech and reasoning and is the most recent evolutionary arrival.
    Dr. MacLean was named an assistant professor of psychiatry at Yale in 1951. He later became an associate professor of physiology there before moving to the National Institute of Mental Health in 1957. In 1971 he became the Chief of the Laboratory of Brain Evolution and Behavior, NIMH, newly opened in Poolesville, Maryland, and was chief of this Laboratory from 1971 to 1985.
    He died on 26th December 2007 in Potomac, Maryland.
  • Birth of Donald Duart Maclean, Soviet spy, in London on 25 May 1913.
  • Donald Duart Maclean
    Donald Maclean was the son of Sir Donald Charles Hugh Maclean, KBE, PC, a Liberal politician who was Leader of the Opposition between 1918 and 1920 and subsequently served as President of the Board of Education in Ramsay MacDonald's National Government. One of Donald's brothers, Alan Duart Maclean, became a highly-regarded editor at the publishers Macmillans.
    Donald Maclean was recruited into Soviet Intelligence by Anthony Blunt in 1934, while at Cambridge University, after which he joined the Foreign Office in London. After a spell in Paris, during which he met and subsequently married Melinda Marling, he began supplying the Soviets with information about Britain's 'uranium bomb' project. In 1944 he moved to Washington, DC, as First Secretary at the British embassy. During this period he acted as Secretary of the Combined Policy Committee on Atomic Development, enabling him to report to Moscow on the development of the American atomic bomb. He was also Stalin's main source of information about communications and policy development between Winston Churchill and Franklin D. Roosevelt, and then between Churchill or Clement Attlee and Harry S. Truman.
    In 1948 he was appointed Head of Chancery at the British Embassy in Cairo. By this time, however, his double life, coupled with his heavy drinking, was taking its toll and in 1950 he was sent home in order to recover from a 'nervous breakdown'. Promoted to head the American Department in the Foreign Office, he had access again to top secret information on the atomic development programme.
    By this time American code-breakers were closing in on the sources of Soviet information. Kim Philby, another of the so-called Cambridge Five, who was in Washington serving as Britain's CIA-FBI-NSA liaison, realised that Maclean was about to be identified. Fearing that Maclean would crack under interrogation, the Soviets put pressure on both Maclean and Guy Burgess to escape to Moscow, and on 25th May 1951 they did so.
    Maclean became a valued adviser to the Russians on British home and foreign policy and on the economic policy of the West. He died in Moscow on 6th March 1983.
  • Birth of Malcolm Purcell McLean, the 'father of containerisation', in Maxton, North Carolina, on 14th November 1913 (although some sources give his year of birth as 1914).
  • Malcolm Purcell McLean
    He began working as a truck driver, having bought a single second-hand truck in 1934. Together with his sister Clara and brother Jim he formed McLean Trucking Co., which they built into the second-largest trucking company in the US.
    By 1953, he was developing plans to carry his company's trucks on ships. It quickly became apparent, however, that carrying complete trucks wasted space. McLean therefore developed the idea of shipping only the containers, without the chassis. In order to pursue this, in 1955 he sold the trucking company (because at the time US regulations did not allow a trucking company to own a shipping line) and bought the Pan-Atlantic Steamship Company. He bought two Second World War oil tankers and converted them to carry containers on and below deck. On 26th April 1956 one of the converted tankers, the SS Ideal-X, was loaded and sailed from the Port Newark-Elizabeth Marine Terminal, New Jersey, for the Port of Houston, Texas, carrying fifty-eight 35-foot containers.
    McLean continued to buy vessels and add routes. Pan-Atlantic's name was changed to Sea-Land Service, Inc and when McLean sold it in 1969 it was the world's largest container carrier.
    Although he continued to establish new businesses, none of these met with the same success. In 1978 he bought another shipping line, United States Lines, but this went bankrupt in 1987. McLean himself, having been included in the Forbes 400 Richest Americans list in 1982 with a net worth of $400 million, had to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy owing debts of $1.3 billion. He died in New York on 25th May 2001.
    McLean not only revolutionised the shipping industry but also gave birth to the globalisation of trade. By making transport so cheap, he made it economical to develop production facilities remote from the end-consumer, paving the way for Asia to become the world's workshop.
    Fortune magazine inducted McLean into its Business Hall of Fame in 1982. In 1995, American Heritage magazine named him one of the ten outstanding innovators of the past 40 years. In 2000, he was named Man of the Century by the International Maritime Hall of Fame. Forbes Magazine called McLean "one of the few men who changed the world." He remains the only person to have founded three companies that were later listed on the New York Stock Exchange (plus two others on the NASDAQ).
  • In 1913 James Alexander MacLean took office as the first President of the University of Manitoba, Canada.
  • James Alexander MacLean
    Dr. MacLean was a native of southern Ontario. Educated at the University of Toronto and Columbia University, he spent his early academic career in the USA, first at Colorado University and then as President of the University of Idaho from 1900 until 1913, during which time he oversaw the university's first period of expansion. He was President of the University of Manitoba from 1913 until 1934.

    150 years

  • Death of Captain Rawdon Maclean RN, who fought at the Battle of Trafalgar, in Dublin on 8th November 1863.
  • Battle of Trafalgar
    Battle of Trafalgar by Louis-Philippe Crépin
    He was born in Berwick in 1785 or 1788*. He entered the Navy in October 1798 as a First-Class Volunteer. He was promoted to become a Midshipman in October 1800 and in that capacity fought in HMS Colossus in the Battle of Trafalgar on 21st October 1805, when he lost his right arm.
    He was made Lieutenant in July 1806. In November 1808 he served onshore in the celebrated defence of the fortress of Rosas, on the north-eastern extremity of Spain. He commanded a gun-boat during the siege of Cadiz. After several other appointments, he left the Navy in July 1825. From October 1841 to December 1843 he was Superintendent of the Royal Mail Steam Packet Company in the West Indies. At the time of his death he was Examiner at the Dublin Marine Board.
    *Admiralty records in the National Archives in Kew state that Rawdon Maclean was aged 20 at the time of the Battle of Trafalgar. His obituary in the United Service Magazine in 1863, however, states that he died at the age of 75. The former, which makes him 13 rather than 10 years old when he joined the Navy, is more likely to be correct.

    200 years

  • Birth of John Robinson McClean, civil engineer, in Belfast on 21st March 1813.
  • Among his many activities he was advisor to the British Government on the Suez Canal and Chief Engineer of the Plymouth and Dover Harbours. He also undertook extensive works for Emperor Louis Napoleon in France.
    McClean 0-4-2ST Engine
    'McClean' 0-4-2ST engine built by
    Beyer Peacock & Co. in 1856 for the
    Cannock Chase Colliery Company
    He was Chief Engineer overseeing construction of the South Staffordshire Railway, which opened in 1849. After an Act of Parliament was passed to allow it, he took a 25-year lease on the railway, becoming the first person ever to be the sole owner of a railway.
    He planned and built The South Staffordshire Water Works Company, which piped fresh water to all of the Black Country. He was also the owner, with partner Richard Chawner, of The Cannock Chase Colliery Company.
    He was chairman of the Anglo-American Telegraph Company, a company formed in 1866 which successfully laid the first telecommunication link across the Atlantic ocean.
    He was President of the Institution of Civil Engineers in 1864/65. Two busts of him stand in the Institution's offices in Great George Street, London SW1.
    In 1868 he was elected as the Member of Parliament for East Staffordshire and held this seat until his death on 13th July 1873.
    His son, Francis McClean, became a noted scientist in the fields of astronomy and spectroscopy and donated to the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge the second-largest collection that it had ever received. Francis' son, Sir Frank McClean, was a pioneering aviator and the father of British naval aviation. Frank's daughter Iona married Lord Carrington, who served as Britain's Defence Secretary in the Heath Government and as Foreign Secretary under Margaret Thatcher, later becoming Secretary-General of NATO.

    500 years

  • Battle of Flodden Field on 9th September 1513.
  • Flodden Field
    A granite cross, erected in 1910,
    marks the site of the battle
    The Battle of Flodden resulted from a desire by King Henry VIII of England to secure his country's position on the Continental stage. In furtherance of this he invaded France in 1513. The Scots however had an alliance with the French and, when Henry VIII invaded, King Louis XII of France called on King James IV of Scotland for assistance. James then invaded England in order to force the English to divert troops from France. This however had been anticipated by the English King, who had left troops in the north of England under the command of Thomas Howard, Earl of Surrey.
    The forces met near the village of Branxton in Northumberland. Despite having superior numbers, the outcome was devastating for the Scots. Among the 10,000 killed were twelve earls, thirteen barons, five heirs to titles, three bishops and two abbots, as well as the King himself.
    Several of the older Maclean histories state that Hector Odhar, 9th Chief, as well as his son Lachlan Maclean were killed at Flodden. There is however evidence that Hector Odhar was dead by 1509, as well as evidence that his son Lachlan Cattanach (the one who abandoned his Campbell wife on Lady Rock) survived until 1523. In order to overcome this difficulty, John Patterson Maclean in his History of the Clan Maclean invented an intervening generation, suggesting that Hector Odhar had an illegitimate son called Lachlan Maclean and that Lachlan Cattanach was his son, thus allowing Lachlan Maclean to be killed at Flodden. There is however no conclusive evidence of the existence of such a person (although he is counted as the 10th Chief in the list of Chiefs, which almost certainly means that the current Chief is actually the 27th, rather than the 28th as normally stated).
    The extent of the participation of Macleans in the battle remains unclear. Nicholas Maclean-Bristol in Warriors and Priests contents himself with the statement that "Whether or not Lachlan Cattanach was present at Flodden is uncertain."

    750 years

  • Battle of Largs on 2nd October 1263.
  • Pencil Monument at Largs
    The Pencil Monument at Largs, erected
    in 1912, commemorates the battle
    This battle between the Norse and the Scots resulted from an attempt by King Haco of Norway to consolidate control over the Isles and Argyll. At the time these lands were ruled by the Norse but the Scottish kings made regular attempts to conquer the territory.
    In July 1263 King Haco set sail from Bergen with 200 ships. In the Hebrides he was joined by the King of Man with additional forces. From there they sailed down the coast of Scotland raiding the mainland. Initial negotiations were opened but this was used by the Scots to buy time to raise their forces. Then in a storm some of the Norse ships were beached at Largs (in North Ayrshire on the Firth of Clyde) and an armed engagement began, forcing Haco to land his main force in disadvantageous circumstances on a difficult coast.
    Little is known of the detail of the action, which soon escalated into a full battle, but it seems that the Norse were never able to form up fully in battle array before they were engaged. The arrival of Scottish reinforcements may finally have turned the tide of the action, forcing the Norse army to break. It is said that they were then pursued with great slaughter, with most fleeing to their boats.
    According to John Patterson Maclean in his History of the Clan Maclean (pp 33-35), Gille-Iosa (or Malo-Iosa), the 2nd Chief of the Clan Maclean, "was a distinguished follower of Alexander III of Scotland, and was conspicuous in expelling Haco."
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