Rev John McLean

The following is taken from a newspaper article in 1908

Grantully minister’s unique record. Memorable function.Rev John M’Lean F.S.A., Grantully

There is probably a good deal of truth in the scriptural saying that ‘ a prophet hath honour in his own country and his own home,’  but in the case of the Rev John Maclean of Grantully, it fails of application. 80 years ago he was born in the district where his life has been done. For 50 years he has ministered to the spiritual wants of his people and now he is the most respected, most honoured, and most beloved personalities in the whole of the Strathtay district of Perthshire. On Monday the Jubilee of his ministry was celebrated at the parish gathering in Grantully Castle and it falls to the lot of few to take part a more memorable function.

Rev John M’Lean was born near Grantully in December 1828. His boyhood was spent amongst the picturesque and romantic scenery of Strathtay, and he received his earliest education at Tominciliue School, in the near neighbourhood. When he grew older he proceeded to Weem School where along with some of the present parishioners he was introduced to Mr Cowan who was then in charge. Thence he went to Perth, where he learnt his Latin and Greek under the a blind teacher, Mr Davidson who knew the classics by heart. At St Andrews University he spent eight years, first under Sir David Brewster in the United College, and then under principles Haldane and Tulloch in St Mary’s. In 1856 he was licensed and in 1857 he began to preach regularly in Grantully. Mr M’Lean has had the unique experience of having preached in three different churches in the parish. He began his ministerial career in the old pre-Reformation church. Then a new church was built, and for 37 years he laboured within its walls. In 1893, through the beneficence of Lady Stewart, a beautiful new church was erected and it is in it that he still preaches. Mr Maclean has been a wide-world traveller. In 1903 he took a trip to Palestine five years later he visited Egypt, and two years ago, at the advanced age of 78, he had a glimpse of the Western Hemisphere in the lower provinces of Canada. As an authority on the folklore of Breadalbane, Mr Maclean is well known and his researchers in this direction brought a diploma of F.S.A. (Scotland). He has been a keen student of nature and his botanical knowledge of the, Reaches of the Tay Tamil and bran is very wide and very accurate. This parish life has been an uneventful one of outcoming among his people, and now that it is well nigh ended he is spending the evening of his days among the people.

Rev Dr Marshall presided and Lady Stewart having said a  few graceful words of appreciation presented Mr Maclean with an illuminated address and a handsome silver salver. The address, which is a beautiful piece of illuminated work, is surmounted by a picture of Grantully church and the Gallic scroll “Is e Dia Fein a’s buachaill dhomb” - the Lord is my Shepherd. It is contained in a handsome dark oak frame and the inscription is as follows:- To Rev John M’Lean FSA Scot., Minister of the Parish of Grantully.We, your parishioners, congregation, and a few other friends most heartily congratulate you on the completion of 50 years of much appreciated and successful ministerial service in Grantully first as assistant to your predecessor, subsequently as missionary minister and ultimately as parish minister. Indeed it is owing to your persevering efforts that Grantully is now a parish. It is a pleasure to us to avail ourselves of this occasion to assure you of the benefit and the comfort which we have received from your earnest ministrations in church and in our homes; of the high esteem in which you are held as a faithful Christian pastor and gentlemen; and of the warm appreciation which your kind heart and thoughtful and obliging disposition have evoked from old and young among us. We hope that we may be permitted to give expression to our pride that we feel in the unique position to which you have attained throughout the wide district, watered by the Tay, the Tummel and the Braan, as an authority in all matters of antiquarian law and natural history, and to the sincere prayer and the grace of God, which you have so untiringly commended to us, your people, may be your own stay till the end. 31 August 1908

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