Clann Tartan - (Sean Duncan MacFarland )


Clann Tartan Character Sketches

  Sean Duncan MacFarland
MacFarland, Sean Duncan. b: 21st June, 1609 Aberdeen, Scotland.
Son of Morgan MacFarland and Mhairi Duncan, successful wool merchants. Third son to reach adult age. Brothers Iain and Lesley. Educated at the Priory School in Aberdeen originally to be trained for the priesthood, but family turned Protestant in 1620 before he could enter into his novitiate. Sent to University of Aberdeen in 1625 but only stayed two terms there having no turn to serious scholarship though he did hone his latent musical skills and demonstrate some ability as a swordsman.

Went to Dundee on his own in the spring of 1626 and presented his services as a swordsman and scholar to Captain MacBride of Colonel Brodie's Regiment then preparing to take ship for Stettin. MacBride took him on as clerk. Later, after proving himself resourceful in his position and both clever and lucky in the field, the vacancy being open, he was made aide-de-camp.

In the 1629 season, Brodie's was all but destroyed in a very bad run of luck in three consecutive battles. In the last, and worst of these battles, Brodie himself took a musket ball in the face. Captain MacBride broke a leg but with McFarland’s help was able to join up with the retreat.

The remains of the regiment came to fifteen lads, two corporals, McFarland and MacBride. The rest were either killed outright or got lost in the retreat and didn’t rendezvous when the sorting took place. After this complete disaster, several of the survivors decided to take their pay and go home. About a dozen took up with other regiments to fill emptied ranks. McFarland accompanied MacBride back to Scotland.

MacBride, having been himself rendered unfit for further duty by the misfortunes of that season, provided MacFarland with a letter of commendation and suggested that he try his luck in Edinburgh.

In March of 1630, MacFarland found himself in the capital. There he encountered Phillip Carew and, having presented himself and his credentials, was offered the position of clerk. Carew, being attached at that time to Gaffney's, gave MacFarland to understand that he was planning to ship out with them at the beginning of the 1630 fighting season. This, of course, remains to be seen.