MacColl Places & People

Clan MacColl People

Evan MacColl
Evan MacColl (Eoghann MacColl; 1808–1898) was a Scots-Canadian Gaelic poet who also produced poems in English. He was known as the Clarsair-nam-beann (literally the “Harper of the Mountains”) or the Mountain Minstrel. Later he became known as “the Gaelic Bard of Canada”.

Evan MacColl was born at Kenmore on the banks of Loch Fyne, Argyll and Bute.

MacColl’s family emigrated to Canada in 1831, but he could not make up his mind to leave his native land. He continued his employment in road repairs while composing many of his best Gaelic lyrics. He published his first book of poems at his own expense in Glasgow in 1836. This was The Mountain Minstrel; or, Clàrsach nam Beann, and it sold enough to give the author a small profit. In 1837 he began contributing to the Gaelic Magazine then published in Glasgow. From October 1838 to January 1839, MacColl made a tour of northeast Scotland which was recorded in a diary published by Alexander Mackenzie in his biography of MacColl. Later in 1839 he became a clerk with the Customs House in Liverpool. He remained in Liverpool until 1850, when, because of declining health, he obtained six months’ leave of absence and visited friends and relatives in Canada. While staying on his brother’s farm on the Trent River, he was introduced to the Hon. Malcolm Cameron, then a Minister of the Crown and was offered a position in the Canadian Customs at Kingston, Ontario, which he accepted. MacColl remained in this post for thirty years and was superannuated about the year 1880. His first wife was Frances Lewthwaite whom he married in Toxteth, Liverpool on 6 May 1847. He later married Isabella MacArthur in Kingston. He had nine children from one or both marriages.He died on 24 July 1898 in Toronto and was buried in Kingston.

Kirsty MacColl
Kirsty Anna MacColl (10 October 1959 – 18 December 2000) was an English singer and songwriter. She wrote and recorded several pop hits between the early 1980s and the 1990s. In addition, she sang on hit recordings produced by her then-husband Steve Lillywhite, notably on tracks by The Smiths and The Pogues.

At the age of 41, MacColl died after being hit by a boat in Mexico.