James MacArthur was born to his latest role. Aware of
his destiny since he was eight, it has taken him another 80 years
to see it come to pass.
His task is daunting. No-one else in the past 230 years has been
able to take on the challenge he is now facing. Mr MacArthur, or
James Edward Moir MacArthur of the Noble and Ancient House of Milton,
to give him his full title, has been appointed the Chief of the
It follows a long campaign to prove his lineage. The Lord Lyon King
of Arms for Scotland has upheld a petition from Mr MacArthur for
the vacant chiefship and effectively confirmed a rebirth of the
The title disappeared in the late 1700's with the death of Charles
MacArthur of Tirivadich, who had no children and no obvious male
story, and the clan almost ended but, in 1986 the renowned genealogist,
Hugh Peskett, began poring through 12 generations of the MacArthur
He uncovered the heir apparent, James MacArthur, a Canadian-born
former Coal Board worker living in Edinburgh. The new chief, who
has a son and two grandsons, said yesterday he was keen to take
on the role, not for himself, but for the good of the clan.
"The clan is now like any other in Scotland and has a leader,"
he said. "I was not doing this for self-gratification, but
for the clan now and in the future. Continuity has now been established,
and hopefully the clan will not have to wait a another 230 years
in future for a chief."
Mr MacArthur first learned of his possible claim in 1922, when his
father told him the family were leaders of the clan, but the issue
was not pursued at the time.