James Leith Bain


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

Died: 1925, Li­ver­pool, Eng­land.


James was the son of John Bain and Mar­ga­ret Leith.

The 1881 cen­sus shows him 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.




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