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Clan MacEwen aims to end 500-year chief wait

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image copyrightSir John McEwen
image captionSir John McEwen hopes to be recognised as the clan chief

An actor and writer from the Borders is hoping to be recognised as a clan's first chief in more than 500 years.

Sir John McEwen, who lives near Duns, said he had "no particular qualifications" to take up the role other than his love of the clan.

He said the last known Clan MacEwen chief had died in 1492.

A gathering will be held in June near their ancestral home near Loch Fyne to "solidify" the clan's position that Sir John should be its new chief.

The Clan Ewen Society - formed in 1977 - claims to represent many variations of the name including MacEwan, MacEwen, McEwan and McEwen.

image copyrightJohn Ferguson
image captionA gathering will be held near the clan's ancestral home this summer

Chairman Sean McCuin said a previous Derbhfine (gathering) in 2014 had seen Sir John selected as clan commander for a period of five years.

"This is the first step in having a chief of the name recognised," he said.

"The clan is happy with his fulfilment of this role and the next steps are to verify our support through the attendance of our gathering in June 2019.

"We also have an online petition for those who are unable to physically attend.

"From there we can petition the Lyon Court to have a coat of arms of the name be matriculated, which in turn recognises Sir John as chief of the name."

Sir John said he had been contacted by the clan society as his grandfather, the first Baronet of Marchmont and Bardrochat, had been approached in the 1950s.

'Small clan'

"I am the fifth baronet, after my grandfather, my uncle Jamie, my father Robin and my brother James," he said.

"I am an ordinary writer and actor, husband of a teacher, small-holder and the main carer of our four children.

"I have no particular qualifications for chiefship - unless you count the baronetcy - but I love my clan, and my country, and would love for the clans to play a full and active part in the life of modern Scotland."

Mr McCuin said it would be a major boost if Sir John was recognised as clan chief.

"Clan MacEwen is an ancient though small clan and have been subject to larger clans in the past," he said.

"Having a chief of the name allows for a seat on the standing council of Scottish chiefs and recognises our clan as independent and autonomous.

"It also helps to provide clan unity throughout Scotland and the rest of the world."

Related Topics

  • Kilfinan
  • Duns