Argent, three wolves’ heads couped Sable


An heraldic tyger rampant Ermine holding an arrow, point downwards Argent pheoned Gules


Constant and faithful


Two heraldic tygers Ermine

This Celtic name is also given as ‘Macsween’, or ‘son of Sweyn’. They are accordingly of the same descent as the great Clan Donald, claiming kinship with the Irish High Kings. The Macqueens are said to have provided a guard for a daughter of the house of Clan Ranald who married a Mackintosh chief, and they elected to settle around Findhorn and became part of that confederation of clans known as the Clans of the Cat, or Clan Chattan. They were known as Clan Revan, after the leader of the original escort. The principal family became the Lairds of Corriborough and they remained highly regarded among the supporters of the Macdonalds. In 1778 Lord Macdonald of Sleat wrote, ‘it does me great honour to have the sons of Chieftains in the Regiment and as the MacQueens have been invariably attached to our family, to whom we believe we owe our existence, I am proud of the nomination’. The Macqueens or Macsweens were numerous throughout the islands. The Reverend Donald Macqueen, minister of Snizort, was a man of such intellect that he even impressed the great Dr Samuel Johnson, who met him on his visit to the Hebrides. The fortunes


of the family failed, and the chiefs are believed to have emigrated to New Zealand and the family scattered throughout Scotland and the English-speaking world. The name was not always highly regarded, however: Robert Macqueen, a famous eighteenth-century Scottish judge, was elevated to the Bench with the title, ‘Lord Braxfield’. He was feared for his savage sentences and his predeliction for the death penalty. One famous incident is related where he found an old friend, and constant adversary in the game of chess, before him on a capital charge. He is said to have delivered the death sentence and then looked his old friend in the eye and declared, ‘and that’s checkmate to me’. Professor John Macqueen is a distinguished twentieth-century academic and for many years held the chair of Scottish Studies at the University of Edinburgh.

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