The Macnab Website
The official website of Clan Macnab in Scotland
I am sad to announce the death of my father, James Charles Macnab of Macnab, 23rd Cheif of Clan Macnab. He died peacefully in St Andrews Community Hospital on 11th January after a short illness. He was aged 86.
There was a Memorial at the Kirk in Killin at 2pm on Friday 15th March, followed by a procession to Innis Bhuie (The Macnab Burial Island) for the interment of the ashes of the Chief and his late wife Diana Mary Macnab of Macnab who died only one year ago.
Jamie Macnab of Macnab
(An article on the Memorial Service can be viewed on the Dundee Courier Website Click Here to view)
James Macnab of Macnab, the 23rd chief of Macnab, who has died aged 86, claimed lineage back to the Celtic era of an early Abbot of Glendochart in Perthshire, Mac an Aba meaning "son of the abbot". Succeeding as 23rd chief in 1970, James Charles Macnab was styled The Macnab, following the Scots custom of employing the definite article to denote chiefship of an important family.
The Macnab took his clan duties diligently, meeting clansfolk, playing an active role for many years in the Standing Council of Scottish Chiefs. He was involved in both the International Gathering of the Clans in 1977 and the subsequent Gathering at the Scottish Homecoming of 2009.
The Macnab made his home at Kinnell, by Killin, centre of Macnab territory, taking a lively part in local life. In days when the Lochearnhead Games was the local gathering (Killin Games did not start until years later), he is particularly remembered for being what a fellow chief affectionately termed "a dominant character" at the Lochearnhead Games, being chieftain on several occasions.
Death duties of a predecessor meant that in 1978, he had to sell the family home of Kinnell House, but he remained by his beloved Loch Tay at Finlarig, just outside Killin, until the death of his wife's parents in 1985 when he moved to Leuchars.
Macnab was born in London as James Macnabb, a seventh consecutive eldest son named James (with his son and grandson maintaining the tradition). His father Lt-Col James Macnabb (sic), de jure 21st Macnab of Macnab, won Olympic gold in rowing in the coxless fours at the 1924 Games in Paris.
Accumulated burdens saw not only clan lands passing into the House of Breadalbane, but the succession to the chiefship itself became tangled after 17th chief Archibald died without a direct heir in 1860. It took almost a century of research before Archibald Corrie Macnabb (sic) – who successfully strove to buy back the immediate Macnab estate – was recognised as 22nd chief by Lord Lyon Sir Thomas Innes of Learney in 1954. James, his great-nephew and heir, changed his surname from Macnabb to Macnab, becoming James Macnab, Younger of Macnab, succeeding to the chiefship in 1970 as 23rd Macnab.
Educated at Radley College, Oxfordshire, young James was evacuated from London to Canada at age 14 in 1940, returning aged 18 in 1944 as a volunteer, and seeing active service in the closing year of the Second World War in India, Java and Singapore before being commissioned into the Seaforth Highlanders. His transfer in 1948 to the Federation of Malaya Police Force for nine years meant much to him, and he attended London reunions of the Malaya Police Association until last year. He was involved in several gunfights against guerrillas.
The Macnab combined running the family acres at Kinnell with public office, serving for 21 years from 1961, first with Western District Council of Perthshire, and then for 14 years until local government reorganisation in 1975 as a county councillor with Perth and Kinross, and finally as a member of Central Regional Council. He maintained service with the Seaforths (TA) until 1964, as well as duties as a Justice of the Peace for 18 years until 1986. For a decade until 1992, he held an appointment with the investment company Hill Samuel as a consultant. A keen shooter, he cut a colourful figure on the hill, always in the kilt.
History shows that Clan Macnab survived somewhat against the odds. Known as a "considerable clan" before the reign of 13th-century King Alexander III, the then Macnab chief fought against King Robert Bruce, having his lands and possessions ravaged in return.
Further lands were lost when 6th chief Finlay Macnab mortgaged a great portion of territory to the Campbell of Glenorchy ancestor of the Marquis of Breadalbane. Support for the Royalist cause of Charles I led to Covenanters burning Macnab lands, and the clan was saved from extinction possibly only by support for the Hanoverian cause in the 1715 and 1745 Risings. The Macnab had a long and happy marriage to the Hon Diana Anstruther-Gray, elder daughter of Lord Kilmany, and when she died in January last year, it was his wish that their ashes be interred together on Innis Bhuide, the island in the Falls of Dochart in Killin that has been the burial place of Macnab chiefs for centuries. This is due to take place after a memorial service in Killin Kirk on March 15.
He is survived by his four children Virginia, Jamie, Geoffrey and Katie; and eight grandchildren. James, born 1963, becomes 24th Macnab.
Reproduced from The Herald
Wednesday 30th January 2013
with kind permission of the author, Gordon Casely
Hon Diana Mary Anstruther-Gray Macnab of Macnab
DIANA Macnab, who has died aged 75, was an effervescent aristocrat with a sense of duty running through her veins.
Generations of her family had represented the Royals by serving in the Lieutenancy and she was delighted to follow family tradition, carrying out the role of Deputy Lieutenant with panache, bubbling over with enthusiasm for the people she met on her duties.
She also had an enormous sense of public responsibility, serving the communities in which she lived and chairing Scotland's Gardens Scheme for many years.
But her most loyal support was reserved for her husband, a land-owner, councillor and clan chief, and their family among whom she was admired as a wonderful hostess and grandmother, with a huge affinity for young people.
The elder daughter of William Anstruther-Gray, Baron Kilmany PC MC, and his wife Monica, she was born in Edinburgh and attended St Katherine’s Preparatory School for Girls in St Andrews before becoming a weekly boarder at Kilgraston School, Perthshire.
Leaving school at 18, as a young debutante she did the season in London and was presented at Court before working in various secretarial jobs in the English capital, including at the War Office and at Fortnum& Mason.
She met her future husband, James, now clan chief Macnab of Macnab, at a party in Edinburgh. They married in St Andrews in April, 1959, and rented Auchtubmhor House, Balquhidder, from Sir Gregor MacGregor of MacGregor for a time before buying Finlarig and Tirarthur Farms in Killin.
The couple ran their estate there for many years until moving to Kilmany after the death of her parents. Both died within months of each other in 1985 - her father collapsed in the House of Lords and her mother, who had earlier been badly hurt in a fall from a horse, subsequently succumbed to a blood clot on the brain.
Like generations before him, her father had been Lord Lieutenant. Her mother was Deputy Lieutenant and Mrs Macnab followed in their footsteps in 1992, accepting an invitation from the then Lord Lieutenant of Fife, Lord Elgin, to become his deputy.
It was a role that she relished and which suited her personality. She was great fun, always interested in other people's lives and always ready to listen. Every opportunity to meet a centenarian or share a diamond wedding anniversary was seized with enthusiasm. And though she was a woman of incredibly high standards she was imbued with an innate kindness and an ethos that saw her treat everyone with the same courtesy.
Her other great outside interest was Scotland's Gardens Scheme which she served as chairman from 1983. When she stepped down, in 1991 she was made honorary vice president.
At home she adored gardening, whether it was in her walled garden or the greenhouse where she spent hours cultivating plants from seed, growing beautiful flowers for the house.
She was also involved in the National Trust for Scotland as a member of the executive committee from 1991-1996 and as chairman of the organisation's East Fife Members' Centre from 1995-1998.
Latterly she lived at Leuchars Castle Farmhouse, Leuchars, where she continued to be a proud supporter of her husband as clan chief, always accompanying him, wherever he went to events, dressed in Macnab tartan. The couple, whose partnership endured for 52 years, also made three trips together to the Far East where her husband had served for 12 years in the Seaforth Highlanders and the Malayan Police before their marriage.
But it was surrounded by children and grandchildren that she was at her happiest. A mother of four and grandmother of eight, they were the centre of her life and her ability to engage easily and meaningfully with youngsters meant that many other young friends also flocked to her side. The life and soul of every party, she is also remembered as a great friend, a woman who burst with vivacity, her hospitality and welcome immeasurable. She is survived by her husband James, sons Jamie and Geoffrey, daughters Katie and Virginia and grandchildren, Alice, Emma, James, Daisy, Finlay, Francis, Bridget and Eliza.
Reproduced with permission of Herald & Times Group.
Wednesday 1st of February 2012
The Chief's New Year Message 2010
The 23rd Chief's final Message (2012) is still available, click on the heading above to read, or download it.
chosen as Chieftain of 2012 Lochearnhead highland Games
An interesting article has been submitted by Mr. Fergus Cannan about the Macnabs of Barachastlain, This article was originally published in the Journal of the Antique Metalware Society in 2011. With thanks to Mr Cannan, and the journal's editor, Angus Patterson.
The file is an Adobe Acrobat format, read or download here
Most Recent Trust Report and
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The present Clan Chief's late father, James Alexander Macnabb was an Olympic Gold medal winner, read more about it here
The Chief intends at some
time in the future to convene a
to advise him how interest in
the Clan and its affairs may be
In particular he would like to
constitute Clan gatherings at
Killin - watch this space.
Would clansmen who would be
interested in helping in such
an endeavour and helping to
organise events, please write to
him at his home address.
J.W.A.Macnab of Macnab
22 Royal Crescent
Jamie is best contacted at his work email address: firstname.lastname@example.org