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MacBeth (1005-1057) was the grandson of King Malcolm II and his wife was the granddaughter of King Kenneth III. Most famously known through Shakespeare's play of the same name, it is based on the man who became King c.1040. Unlike the play MacBeth had a relatively peaceful reign, although he did die in battle at Lumphanan.
The name MacBeatha was also that of a family of physicians who served the Lords of the Isles, and as such are thought to have originally come from Ireland with a MacDonald bride.
On the fall of the Lordship in 1493 they migrated to various locations along the west coast, but mainly to Pennycross on Mull, where they exercised their `physic' under the MacLeans. Others went to Inverness, Sutherland & Easter Ross and the name was also found in Moray where they were associated 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 previously held lands in the area.
The later history of the MacBeths, the Highland Beatons and Bethunes has become confused as 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 a tradition of `physic' and practised in Skye. These latter MacBeths were also of Fife ancestry, one of whom had gone north to pursue healing practice. Many former MacBeths now bear such names as `MacVeigh' or `Leich'.
No chief has been recognised and tradition records that they held various affiliations with the MacDonalds, MacLeans or MacBeans. The MacBeth tartan is based on the Royal Stewart pattern.
Choose from one of the MacBeth Tartans listed below
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