The Clan History
MACBETH / MACBEATH: Perhaps the best remembered is Shakespeare's arch-hero who became King c.1040, and whose peaceful reign was far from the tale related by the 'bard' - although he did in fact die in battle, at Lumphanan - not when Birnam Wood moved to Dunsinane as is often believed. The name MacBeatha was also that of a family of physicians who served the Lords of the Isles, and such are thought to have originally come from Ireland in the train of a Macdonald bride. On the fall of the Lordship in 1493 they migrated to various locations along the western seaboard, but mainly to Pennycross on Mull, where they exercised their `physic' under the Macleans. Others duly removed to the shires of Inverness, Sutherland & Easter Ross and the name was also found in Moray where they had association with the Macbeans. In Angus, 'MacBeths' received a charter from David II in 1369, but this family were of the ancestral line of the Fife Bethunes, who anciently held lands in the area. The later history of the MacBeths, the Highland Beatons and Bethunes has become hopelessly confused for, in the various lands with which they are associated, both forms were used, often referring to the same family, sometimes even to the same person. Their story became even more complicated when many MacBeths anglicised their name to Beaton and became further confused with a lineage of Bethunes, who also had tradition of `physic' and practised in Skye. These latter were also of Fife ancestry, one of whom had been enticed north to pursue his healing arts. Many former MacBeths now bear such names as `MacVeigh' (from Gaelic `Bh' = `V') - a common form on Mull, or `Leich', (from the popular name for their occupation). No chief has been recognised and tradition records that they held various affiliations with the Macdonalds, Macleans or Macbeans. Specific clan association should not be assumed without genealogical or geographical evidence, and in the absence of such the MacBeth tartan, now over 100 years old and based on the Royal Stewart pattern with a blue background edged with yellow, may quite appropriately be used by all of the name.
Motto: Conjunctio Vertuti Fortuna "Fortune is allied to Bravery".
Names associated with the clan: MACBEITH MACBHEATH MACBAE MACBEATHY MACBATHE MACBEY MACBEE MACBEA MACBHEATHA MACBEATHA MACBHEATHAIN MACBA MACBETH MACBAITH MACBEATH MACBAY MACGILLEBEATHA MACKBAYTH MAELBETH MALBETH MELBETH MACBETHA BEATON BETHUNE BETHON BEATHUNE BETOIN BEATTONE BAY BEATTOUN BEATOUN BEATHY BETON BEUTAN BETTUNE BETOWNE BETTON BITTOUNE BEY BETOWN BETONE BETOUN LECHE LEITCH LECH LEECHE LEETCH LEATCH LEICHE LEACH LEECH LEITCHE LICHE LITCH LIECH LIETCH LEYCHE MACVEIGH MACVEAY MACVEAGH MACVAY MACVEY BEATH BELTON
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