College, National Gallery, and other institutions, and for many years president of the Board for the Protection of Aborigines. He died on 4 Nov. 1892, at his residence, ‘Scotsburn,’ near Toorak. He married in 1853 a daughter of William Smith of Forres, the brother of his Inverness employer.
[Melbourne Argus, 5 Nov. 1892; Mennell's Dict. of Australasian Biography.]
MACBEAN, ALEXANDER (d. 1784), one of the six amanuenses whom Johnson employed on the ‘Dictionary,’ was previously employed in a like capacity by Ephraim Chambers [q. v.] About 1758 he obtained, through the doctor's interest, the post of librarian to Archibald Campbell, third duke of Argyll [q. v.] When, on that nobleman's death in 1761, he was left ‘without a shilling,’ he became mainly dependent upon charity. Johnson, who praised his learning and faculty for languages, but described his ‘ignorance of life’ as complete, subsequently advised him to write a geographical dictionary, and wrote a preface for his ‘Dictionary of Ancient Geography’ when it appeared in 1773. The book was well conceived, but Johnson confessed to Madame d'Arblay it destroyed his hopes of Macbean doing anything properly ‘when he found he had given as much labour to Capua as to Rome’ (D'Arblay, Diary, i. 114). Two years later, when Macbean was starving, as his former colleague, Peyton, had already done, Johnson gave him four guineas and collected more (Piozzi, Letters, i. 218), and in 1780, through his influence with Lord Thurlow, obtained him admission as a poor brother to the Charterhouse. There he died on 26 June 1784, removing, Johnson lamented, ‘a screen between him and death’ (cf. Swift, Works, 1803, xi. 246). Johnson said of him: ‘He was very pious; he was very innocent; he did no ill, and of doing good a continual tenour of distress allowed him few opportunities.’
Besides the ‘Dictionary of Ancient Geography’ Macbean published, in 1743, ‘A Synopsis or short Analytical View of Chemistry, translated from the high Dutch of Dr. Godfrey Rothen,’ and in 1779 he compiled ‘A Dictionary of the Bible,’ which Horne describes as ‘a useful book in its day, though now completely superseded’ (Bibl. Bib.) He also compiled numerous indexes, among others that to Johnson's edition of the ‘English Poets’ (Nichols, Lit. Anecd., v. 30).
[Piozzi's Letters, ii. 373; Boswell's Johnson, ed. G. B. Hill, i. 187, ii. 379, iii. 440; Moore's Memoirs, 1853, i. 94; Gent. Mag. 1785, i. 413; Allibone's Dictionary, p. 1161; Darling's Cycl. Bibl.; Brit. Mus. Cat.]
MACBEAN, FORBES (1725–1800), lieutenant-general royal artillery, born in 1725, entered the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich, as a cadet-matross, 16 July 1743, and passed out as a lieutenant-fireworker royal artillery, 25 March 1745. His subsequent promotions were: first lieutenant 1 March 1755, captain-lieutenant 1 April 1756, captain 1 Jan. 1759, brevet-major 22 July 1772, brevet lieutenant-colonel 29 Aug. 1777, regimental major 19 Jan. 1780, regimental lieutenant-colonel 2 Dec. 1781, brevet-colonel 26 Nov. 1782, colonel 1 Dec. 1782, major-general and colonel-commandant of the invalid battalion of artillery 1793, lieutenant-general 1798. Three weeks after his appointment in 1745 Macbean marched with the artillery from Ghent (see Duncan, i. 125, for a curious account of the order of march), and had command of two guns at the battle of Fontenoy, 30 April 1745 (ib. p. 127). On the news of the rising in Scotland, the whole of the artillery of the Duke of Cumberland's army (four companies) was sent home. Macbean joined Cumberland's army at Lichfield, and served at the siege of Carlisle in December 1745. In the following summer he went back to the Low Countries, and made the campaigns of 1746–8, commanding the battalion of the 19th foot at the battle of Roucoux, and a detachment of two guns at Val (Laffeldt).
In 1752, when the East India Company decided to form two new companies of artillery, one at Fort St. David, the other at Fort William (Wilson, Hist. Madras Army, i. 46–7), Macbean appears to have been recommended for the command, but to have been replaced by another officer at the wish of the Duke of Cumberland (cf. Proc. Roy. Art. Inst. vol. xiii.) In 1755 he was selected to command a detachment of royal artillery ordered to Ireland, which formed the nucleus of the royal Irish artillery, but the adjutancy at Woolwich falling vacant at the same time, he purchased it under the system then in force, and held it until promoted to a company in 1759. In April of that year he proceeded with his company to Germany, and commanded the heavy brigade of British artillery in the campaigns of 1759–60. At the battle of Minden (Thornhausen), August 1759, where his brigade consisted of ten medium 12-pounders, manned by two companies, he rendered conspicuous services, for which he received an autograph letter of thanks from Prince Ferdinand of Brunswick, and a gratuity of 500 crowns (Duncan, i. 201–14). He was again distinguished at Warburg, 30 July 1760, and at Fritzlar, 12 Feb. 1761, where he commanded a brigade of eight heavy 12-pounders (ib. pp. 215–16). On his