MacEwan Places & People

Clan MacEwen People

William MacEwan (1827-1913)
Alloa is famous for beer and William MacEwan worked at the Heriot Brewery for his uncle before leaving in 1856 to brew for himself at the Fountain Brewery in Edinburgh. He sold his product across the British Empire, becoming extremely wealthy by the 1880s.

He gained a seat the Parliament as Liberal for Edinburgh until the turn of the century. He gave the administration of the brewery to William Younger, his nephew, and concentrated on his other investments, imparting a degree of philanthropic generosity upon his favourite city, Edinburgh.
Sir William Macewen


Sir William Macewen (1848-1924)
With a medical degree from Glasgow University, Rothesay-born Sir William MacEwan embraced the antiseptic breakthroughs of Lister and went on to be the first to remove a brain tumour in 1879. He developed a surgical approach to the treatment and cure of rickets.

John MacEwan (1887-1992)
Observing how his father was treated by landowners while working their estates, MacEwan grew up a radical socialist.

Employment in Edinburgh’s Royal Botanical Gardens and with the new Forestry Commission allowed him to work as a forester without the ill-treatment from private landowning employers. In 1922 he organised a union for foresters and help found the Society of Foresters of Great Britain.

For this contribution to forestry he was awarded the OBE in 1960. His work “The Acreocracy of Perthshire-Who Owns Our Land?”, published in 1971, revealed that almost 50% of Perthshire’s land was owned by 31 people.

In 1977 he produced, with his wife, “Who Owns Scotland?”, exposing the shameful behaviour or landlords. He died two days before his 105th birthday.