2007.119.1

John MacLean of Balephuil and Manitoba

Photograph of John MacLean of Balephuil in Manitoba around 1900.

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Courtesy of Mr Wallace Robertson

This photograph, taken around 1900, shows John MacLean of Balephuil outside his homestead in Manitoba. John, the son of Donald MacLean and his wife Ann MacLean, emigrated to Canada in 1878 with his brother Charles and nephew Hector.

They arrived in Tiverton, Ontario where John met and soon married a Tiree woman, Flora MacKinnon née MacLean, a widow with a daughter Kate. They all moved to the Brandon Hills area of Manitoba and homesteaded at Dewart Farm in Little Souris. They were among the first settlers in the area.

John, it was said, was a good bard, but his childhood friend John MacLean of Balemartine was the better of the two. He wrote a famous song ‘Manitoba’ describing their leaving from Balephuil, and the rage he felt that the Highlands, which had provided so many soldiers for the British Empire, were being stripped of its people.

Sepia photograph of John MacLean, the Balephuil bard, in Manitoba around 1900.

John MacLean (1825-1912), the son of Donald McLean of Sandaig and Anne McLean of Balemeannach. He emigrated from Balephuil in 1878 with his brother Charles and nephew Hector, eventually settling in Manitoba.

Object Details

Other Number: L184

John MacLean - the Balephuil Bard

Photographed in Manitoba, Canada around 1900. John emigrated from Balephuil in 1878 with his brother Charles and nephew Hector, eventually settling in Manitoba. He was a talented composer of Gaelic songs and poetry, with his works published in books alongside other Gaelic bards.
Normal Location: Photograph Shelves: photographs – L100-199
Current Location: normal location

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