This page covers past notables of the clan from recent history.
William McEwan, 1827-1913
Brewer and politician, Scotland
William McEwan established the Fountain Brewery in 1856, and McEwans remains the best-known of Scottish beers. He entered parliament in 1886, and made major bequests to the National Gallery of Scotland and the University of Edinburgh. He was Deputy Lieutenant of Edinburgh for 30 years, but declined the offer of a title.
Thomas Ewing, Jr., 1829-1896
General, lawyer and politician, USA
Ewing resigned as Chief Justice of Kansas to raise a cavalry regiment for the Civil War; reaching the rank of Major General in 1865. He declined President Andrew Johnson's offers to become Secretary of War and Attorney General. After serving two terms in Congress from 1877-81, he returned to legal practice.
Sir William MacEwen, 1848-1924
William MacEwen was a pioneer of modern brain surgery, bone grafts and hernia treatment. Among other honours, he was knighted for his contribution to medicine in 1902. MacEwen’s sign is a sign used to help to diagnose hydrocephalus and brain abscesses.
Sir James Alfred Ewing, 1855-1935
Physicist and engineer, Scotland
James Ewing held professorships at Tokyo, Dundee and Cambridge. He developed a new type of seismometer and coined the term hysteresis. From 1903 he was Director of Naval Education, and served as head of Royal Navy intelligence during the First World War. He became Vice-Chancellor of Edinburgh University in 1916 and was knighted in 1911.
Walter MacEwen, 1860-1943
Walter MacEwen worked mainly in Europe, being one of the founders of the art colony at Egmond, Holland, keeping studios both there and in Paris. He was awarded the Order of St. Michael of Bavaria and the Order of Leopold II of Belgium in 1909. He was made a Chevalier of the French Legion d'Honneur and an Officier in 1908.
James Ewing, 1866-1943
James Ewing helped to found three funds for cancer research, including the American Association for Cancer Research and the American Cancer Society. In 1908 he was president of the Harvey Society. He was an early proponent of radiation therapy, and discovered the malignant bone tumour known as Ewing’s sarcoma.
John Blackwood McEwen, 1868-1948
John Blackwood McEwen studied at the Royal Academy of Music. He is best known for compositions on Scottish themes. He invented the term “inflected speech” to describe his version of sprechgesang. His work is still played by orchestras, and his Symphony in A minor premiered in 2008. He cofounded the Society of British Composers in 1905 and was knighted in 1931.
Sir Alexander Malcolm MacEwen, 1875-1941
Provost of Inverness from 1925-31, Alexander MacEwan went on to lead the new Scottish Party in 1932. After its merger with the National Party of Scotland in 1934, he became the first leader of the new Scottish National Party (SNP) 1934–1936. He was knighted in 1932. His father was R. S. T. MacEwen, author of several articles about the clan which were collected posthumously as Clan Ewen : Some Records of its History.
Sir John McEwen, 1894-1962
Elected to the House of Commons in 1931, he served as Under-Secretary of State for Scotland from 1939-40, and as a Lord of the Treasury from 1942-4. He was created baronet of Marchmont in 1953.
John McEwen, 1900-1980
“Black Jack” McEwen was elected to the Australian House of Representatives in 1934, becoming a government minister in 1949. As Minister for Trade and Industry, he pursued a policy dubbed McEwenism, of high tariff protection for the manufacturing industry. He went on to serve as caretaker Prime Minister for three weeks 1967-68. He was made a Companion of Honour in 1969, and was knighted in 1971.
Dr. J.W. Grant MacEwan, 1902-2000
Agriculturalist and politician, Canada
Grant MacEwan was professor, later Head of Animal Husbandry at the University of Saskatchewan 1928-1946. He was Mayor of Calgary from 1963-5, and Lieutenant-Governor of Alberta 1966–1974. After his ‘retirement’ in 1974, he concentrated on writing books often about figures from Canadian history.
Canon Sydney MacEwan, 1908-1990
Singer and priest, Scotland
Sydney MacEwan began recording in 1934 while studying at the Royal Academy of Music in London, and was soon touring the world. In 1944, he took up the priesthood, but continued to tour as a singer until 1956. He used his earnings to help fund the building of St Columba's Cathedral in Oban, and the RC church at Lochgilphead on Loch Fyne.
Ewen McEwen, 1916-1993
Born in Paraguay, Ewen McEwen claimed descent through MacEwan of Muckley. In 1942, he was a founding officer of the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (R.E.M.E.), specialising in tank design. In peacetime he became Professor of Agricultural Engineering at Durham University (1947-54), before taking a succession of top posts in engineering. In 1976, he was appointed President of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers.
Harold Ewing, Lord Ewing of Kirkford, 1931-2007
Harry Ewing entered parliament in 1971; he was an early Labour proponent of devolution. He was made Under-Secretary for Scotland in 1974 and remained in front-bench politics until 1987. In 1989 he became joint chairman of the Scottish Constitutional Convention. He received a life peerage in 1992, and became Deputy Lieutenant of Fife in 1995.
Gwendolyn MacEwen, 1941-1987
Gwendolyn MacEwen published fifteen books of poetry as well as works of fiction and drama, and won several prestigious poetry awards. Her collected works were edited by Margaret Atwood and Barry Callaghan. She has a park named after her in her home city of Toronto.