Benjamin Maclean

Biography of Benjamin Maclean

Benjamin Maclean was born in Burghead in 1878, and was the son of Lewis Maclean - a seaman. In his early life Benjamin worked for the Highland Railway Company in Inverness and Fort-George, however his true interest lay in working for the Church. Benjamin began studying for an MA at the University of Glasgow in 1903, at the age of 25.

In his first year at University, Benjamin took courses in Latin and Greek, followed by English and Logic in his second. In his final year he studied Moral Philosophy, Mathematics, and Political Economy. Benjamin graduated on the 21st April 1908.

Having completed his MA, Benjamin was now eligible to undertake further study in Divinity. He enrolled at the United Free Church Divinity Hall in Aberdeen in 1908. In the summer of 1909 he acted as missionary in charge of the vacant congregation at Kilberry, Argyllshire, where his "earnest preaching" and "consistent character... won the respect of all".

Benjamin died after completing his second session at the Free Church, in August 1909. A young doctor named Alastair Macdonald had got into difficulty while bathing near Burghead - in an attempt to rescue him, Benjamin entered the water and swam through heavy surf to reach the struggling man. His actions saved the man's life, however by the time a boat arrived from the harbour, Benjamin himself had sadly drowned.

The Town Council of Burghead erected a Memorial Fountain in memory of Benjamin, which can still be found in Burghead today. The Carnegie Hero Fund Trust presented Benjamin's parents with a memorial medallion, and an allowance of £1 a week in view of their loss.


Benjamin Maclean
Born 18 March 1878.
Died August 1909.
University Link: Graduate
GU Degree: MA, 1908;
Additional Information: Registry Records - R3/1/1 (vol 2), R4/1/4, R8/5/24/5. Burghead Memorial Fountain - The Inverness Courier (31/8/1909) and The Aberdeen Daily Journal (2/10/1909) -
Record last updated: 3rd May 2017

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