James Leith Bain

November 21, 1860, at his parents’ house on Inverness Road, Pitlochry, Perthshire, Scotland.

1925, Liverpool, England.

The 1881 census shows Bain a Student of Arts living in Jane Bow’s Lodging House at 5 Glen Street, Edinburgh. According to a young friend of his youth in Oakfield Terrace, John Smeaton Smith (Vice-President of the Glasgow Orpheus Choir, 1926–51), Bain, before his student days in Edinburgh, had been a Pupil Teacher in a Pitlochry school, and thereafter had attended both the Edinburgh Free Church College and the Edinburgh Established Church College, with a view to becoming a Minister of Religion. He gained practical experience during this time by preaching in Argyllshire as well as Pitlochry and neighboring Blair Atholl. His ministry took him to Liverpool over the next decade, before going to London to work as a Spiritualist Minister. John Smith recalls the following of him:

He went to London, but occasionally visited Pitlochry. His career in London was not known there in Perthshire, except that he worked among the poor. He was a nature lover, a wanderer among woods and hills, a shade eccentric perhaps, author of a number of books, mainly religious, and added Macbeth as another middle name for these publications. I can recall only two incidents involving James and myself…Once when he was on his way to fish in the Tummel, he asked me to accompany him. He had not long started when his cast caught in a branch. He climbed the tree to dislodge the cast and, much to his annoyance, he accidentally broke the branch. I asked him why he was annoyed. Man, he said, I’ve just lost a real good friend. Many a fine cast have I found on that self-same branch. Later in life when I enquired of a lady who had lived next door to him in Oakfield Terrace as to whether she knew James to be musical, I was told that she did not think he played any instrument, but he was aye hummin.

Bain’s works include:

  1. Brother James’ Air