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MacLean Hatchment
Brigadier General Francis McLean (1717 - 1781)

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Representatives of our Association visited St Paul's Church in Halifax, to honour the two hundred and twenty fifth anniversary of McLean's death.

Brigadier General Francis McLean's military career began when he was very young and progressed with distinction. McLean was among the British Forces sent by King George III to assist Portugal in it's resistance to the combined forces of Spain and France. The King of Portugal made McLean Governor of Almeida, a strong fortified town on the Spanish frontier, where he commanded for several years. Upon leaving Portugal, an appreciative King Pedro II presented him with a handsomely mounted sword, and Queen Maria I gave him a valuable diamond ring.

McLean commanded a body of troops under General James Wolfe and participated in the capture of Montreal. Subsequent to other distinguished engagements, in the fall of 1778 he arrived in Halifax, where, the next year, he replaced Major General Eyre Massey (after whom Fort Massey, Halifax is named) as military commander. McLean was appointed to the rank of Brigadier General and in addition to his military command, was given responsibility for overseeing Indian Affairs, and looking after incoming Loyalists.

McLean died, unmarried, on May 4, 1781, and was buried in a crypt of St Paul's Anglican Church. His ancient hatchment (a panel, upon which the coat of arms of the deceased person is displayed) has been completely refurbished. Clan Maclean Atlantic, the Clan Maclean Heritage Trust (a worldwide organization dedicated to preserving or commemorating Maclean history), and a number of individual Macleans, donated funds to St Pauls Church in Halifax, for this purpose.

The above is excerpted from an article by Donald F MacLean, (former) Clan Historian.