Clan Motto: Deo juvante invidiam superabo (Latin) (With God's help, I will overcome envy).
Clan Chief: Andrew MacThomas
of Finegand, 19th Chief of Clan MacThomas
Clan MacThomas is a Highland Scottish clan from the Glens of Eastern Perthshire.
The clan takes its name from Thomaidh Mor (Big Tommy), who was the great-grandson of the William Mackintosh, 8th chief of
the Clan Chattan. The seat of the Clan MacThomas was at Finegand (Scottish Gaelic: Feith nan Ceann, meaning "burn of
the heads") in Glenshee.
Origins of the Clan
Tomaidh Mor lived in the 15th Century in the Badenoch Region
of Scotland, south of Inverness. It was an inhospitable place and with the Clan Chattan becoming large and unmanageable (and
not being heir to the Chattan Chiefship) Tomaidh Mor took his family and followers in an easterly direction across the Grampian
Mountains before settling in Glenshee. There they flourished becoming an independent Clan in their own right, albeit retaining
close ties with the Clan Chattan Confederation for defence reasons.
The 4th Chief, Robert MacThomaidh,
lived at the Thom in Upper Glenshee. In 1587, the Clan MacThomas was mentioned in the Acts of the (Scottish) Parliament as
one of the " Clannis that the Capitannes,Cheffis and Chiftanes quhom on they depend". Robert was killed by a band
of highland marauders at the end of the 16C and as he only had a daughter, the Chiefship passed to his younger brother, John,
the 5th Chief, who lived three miles south of the Thom at Finegand.
17th Century, Clan Conflicts & Civil War
MacThomases were successful cattle breeders and had acquired considerable influence and power at the beginning of the 17th
Century. But it was turbulent time and marauding groups of robbers (caterans) caused continuous trouble. In 1602, the largest
raid took place when two hundred caterans rounded up some 3000 head of cattle on MacThomas territory. The robbers were pursued
and a furious fight took place known as the Battle of the Cairwell. Eventually the caterans were defeated but not before they
had killed most the cattle out of sheer spite which caused some financial loss to the MacThomases.
At the time, the
Scottish Parliament was dominated by the Covenanters, who supported Presbyterianism and Alexander, the 6th Chief, acted as
a Covenanter Government agent. He died in 1637 and was succeeded by his son, John, the 7th Chief, who was to become a legend
in his own life time and a Highland hero to this day. McComie Mor (as he is often known) put to flight some tax collectors
in defence of a poor widow; he killed the Earl of Athol's champion swordsman; he slayed a man who insulted his wife; he fights
his son in disguise to test his courage; he overcomes a ferocious bull and he is even familiar with the supernatural.
1644, John McComie of Finegand joined the Royalist Army and for the next two years served throughout Montrose's "glorious"
campaign with six brilliant victories but after a crushing defeat at Philiphaugh, he returned to cattle raising in Glenshee.
McComie Mor prospered to such an extend that he sold Finegand and purchased the Barony of Forter,a much larger estate over
the hill in Glen Isla leaving behind hundreds of clansfolk in Glenshee.
Towards the end of his life, the 7th Chief was
won over by the prosperity Oliver Cromwell brought to Scotland and started to co-operate with Cromwell's men. This was too
much for his Royalist neighbours and when Charles II returned to the throne in 1660, his enemies saw an opportunity for revenge.
A decree, lawsuit and a crippling fine together with a damaging feud with the Farquharsons over land which led to the murder
of his eldest and fourth son at a skirmish at Drumgley near Forfar 1673 led to his death the following year. The MacThomases
were at a low ebb and when Thomas,the 9th Chief, was forced to sell the Forter Estate the Clan started to drift apart.
Century to date
The Chiefly family fled to Fife where they became successful farmers before moving back across the Tay
to Dundee where the family, with interests in property and insurance, prospered as the population of Dundee doubled in the
18th Century. Other clansfolk moved to Aberdeenshire where one William McCombie of Tillyfour MP, became famous for breeding
Aberdeen-Angus cattle. Patrick, the 16th Chief, became Provost of Dundee in 1847 purchasing the Aberlemno Estate in Angus.
His son, George, became one of Scotland's youngest Sheriffs (Judges) in 1870. When he died George left his fortune (£4.3 million
in today's terms) to St Magnus Cathedral in Orkney, together with the Aberlemno Estate. His heir, Alfred,17th Chief, contested
the will in a famous court case in Edinburgh in 1905 but lost to the shocked dismay of his family. In 1954, the Clan MacThomas
Society was founded by Patrick, 18th Chief, who married a 3rd Cousin of Her Majesty the Queen. His son, Andrew, the 19th and
current Chief, has dedicated much time to his clan with a result that you can not be in Glenshee without being aware of the
historic connection with Clan MacThomas.
This will be of particular interest if your name, that of your mother or a
close relative is one of the following: Combe, Combie, McColm, McComas, McComb, McCombe, McCombie, MacOmie, MacOmish, McComie,
McComish, Tam, Thom, Thomas, Thoms, Thomson. (Note: the prefixes "Mc" and "Mac" are interchangeable.)
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