MACLEAN, FRANCIS. (1718–1781). British officer. Commissioned as an ensign in the Cameronians in 1738 and promoted in 1742, Francis MacLean resigned in 1745 to join the Clan Maclean Battalion of the Jacobite army as a lieutenant. He became a fugitive after the battle of Culloden, in which insurgents challenged the rule of the British king. He joined the Dutch army, but resigned his Dutch commission in 1750, when he rejoined the British army and purchased a lieutenancy in the forty-second ("Black Watch") Regiment two years later. As a captain of this regiment he fought in Canada and the West Indies before taking part in the capture of Belle Isle, off Brittany, in 1761.
Having distinguished himself in Portugal during the years from 1762 to 1778, he was ordered back to England, promoted to brigadier general, and sent to Canada as governor of Halifax. After routing the Patriots who mounted the Penobscot expedition, a naval assault that took place from July to August 1779, MacLean returned to Halifax, where he died on 4 May 1781.
revised by Michael Bellesiles