Correspondence of David McLean

Scope and Content

The collection comprises 10 original letterbooks of David McLean (11 June 1862 - 23 May 1889). The letterbooks contain copies of McLean's family and official business correspondence during his career with the Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank. They provide an insight into the work and dealings of a British banker involved in trading with the Far East. The business correspondence is concerned with the condition of stocks and shares of various companies. The family letters are about personal financial matters. The letterbooks have also been transcribed into 3 typed volumes.

Administrative / Biographical History

David McLean was born on 4 February 1833 at Scotswall Farm, near Dunfermline in Fife. At sixteen he joined the National Bank of Scotland. In 1858 he took a post in the Far East with the Oriental Bank at Hong Kong and Shanghai. In 1865 he was appointed Manager of the Shanghai Office of the newly formed Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank. He remained there until 1873 when he was made Manager of the Bank's London Office, where he stayed until his retirement in 1899. McLean remained with the Bank as a Member of its London Committee for some years after his retirement. He died in June 1908.


The letterbooks have been arranged in chronological order.

Access Information


Acquisition Information

Donated in 1983.

Other Finding Aids

Unpublished handlist

Conditions Governing Use

For permission to publish, please contact Archives & Special Collections, SOAS Library in the first instance