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CREST: A demi-cat-a-mountain rampant guardant Proper, grasping in his dexter paw a serpent Vert, langued Gules, its tail environing the sinister paw
MOTTO: Deo juvante invidiam superabo
TRANSLATION: I will overcome envy with God's help


Mac Thomas History

Thomas, a Gaelic-speaking Highlander known as Tomaidh Mor, from whom the clan takes its name, was a descendent of the Clan Chattan Mac Kintoshes, his grandfather having been a son of William, eighth chief of the Clan Chattan. Thomas lived in the fifteenth century, at a time when the Clan Chattan Confederation had become large and unmanageable, and he took his kinsmen and followers across the Grampians, from Badenoch to Glenshee, where they settled and flourished, being known as McComie, a phonetic form of the Gaelic, as well as Mc Colm and Mc Comas. To the government in Edinburgh, they were known as Mac Thomas, and are so described in the roll of the clans in the Acts of Parliament of 1587 and 1595.
The early chiefs ruled from the Thom, on the Fast Bank of the Shee Water opposite the Spittal of Glenshee, thought to be the site of the tomb of the legendary Diarimid, of the Fingalian saga. In about 1600, when the fourth chief, Robert Mc Comie of Thorn, was murdered, the chiefship passed to his brother, John Mc Comie of Finegand, who lived about three miles down the glen, and Finegand in turn became the seat of the chief. Finegand is the corruption of the Gaelic, "feith nan ceann", meaning "burn of the heads", which is said to be a reference to the fate of some unfortunate tax collectors who were killed and whose sev-ered heads were tossed into the burn. The Mac Thomases consolidated their power in the glen and became well established at Kerrow and Benzian, and up into Glen Beag. The seventh chief, John Mc Comie, more properly known as lain Mor, has passed into the folk-lore of Perthshire and Angus as Mc Comie Mor. Tax collectors appear to have been particularly offensive to him, especially those of the Earl of Atholl. The Earl enlisted a cham-pion swordsman from Italy, whom he hoped would slay Mc Comie, but the swordsman was himself slain by his intended victim.
The Mac Thomases supported Charles I, and lain Mor joined Montrose at Dundee in 1644. When Aberdeen fell to royalist forces it was lain Mor who captured Sir William Forbes of Craigievar, the sheriff of Aberdeen and Covenant cavalry commander. After Montrose' s defeat at Philiphaugh, the chief withdrew his men from the struggle and devoted his energies to his lands and people, extending his influence into Glen Prosen and Strathardle. Re purchased the Barony of Forter in Glenisla from the Earl of Airlie. Forter Castle had been burned eleven years earlier and so lain Mor built his house at Crandart on the bank of the River Isla, a few miles north of the castle ruins. Despite his earlier royalist sympathies, lain Mor admired the stability of the government brought by the Commonwealth, with the attendant prosperity it brought to Scotland. This soured his relation-ship with his royalist neighbours, including Lord Airlie.
At the Restoration in 1660, the local royalists took their revenge. Mac Thomas was fined heavily by Parliament and Lord Airlie took legal action to recover the forest at Canlochan, although it was actually part of the Fortar estates. Airlie' s suit prevailed, but the chief refused to recognise the decree and continued to pasture his cattle on the disputed land. Airlie, in turn, exercised his legal right to lease the land to Farquharson of Broughdearg, a cousin of lain Mor, which led to a bitter family feud. In an affray on the 28 January 1673 at Drumgley just west of Forfar, at a spot now known as Mc Combie' s Field, Broughdearg was killed, along with two of lain Mor' s sons. The feud continued, and crippling law suits and fines ultimately ruined the Mac Thomases, and after lain Mor' s death in 1676 his remaining sons were forced to sell their lands.
The Mac Thomas chief is mentioned in Government proclamations in 1678 and 1681, but the clan was now drifting apart. Some moved south into the Tay valley where their name became Thomson, or to Angus in Fife where they are found as Thomas, Thom or Thorns. The tenth chief, Angus, took the surname Thomas, and later Thorns, and settled in northern Fife where he and his family farmed successfully. They moved to Dundee at the end of the eighteenth century, acquiring the estate of Aberlemno near Forfar.
In Aberdeenshire the name became corrupted to Mc Combie, as well as the anglicised forms Thorn and Thomson. William Mc Combie of Tillifour, descended from the youngest of lain Mor' s son, was MP for South Aberdeenshire at the end of the nineteenth century, and is today regarded as the father of Aberdeen-Angus cattle breeding. The fifteenth chief, Patrick Hunter Mac Thomas Thorns of Aberlemno, was Provost of Dundee from 1847 to 1853. Re was succeeded by his son, George, an advocate and a great philanthropist. In 1967 George' s great-nephew was officially recognised by the Lyon Court as Mac Thomas of Finegand, eighteenth chief.

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