James Mackay, 1st Earl of Inchcape

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James Lyle Mackay, 1st Earl of Inchcape, GCSI, GCMG, KCIE (11 September 1852 – 23 May 1932) was a British businessman and colonial administrator in India.


Mackay was the second son of James Mackay of Arbroath and his wife, Deborah Lyle.


In 1874 Mackay went to India where he joined the staff of Mackinnon, Mackenzie & Co in Calcutta and by 1914 was the sole surviving senior partner of the company that would be renamed Inchcape plc in 1981. Mackay was appointed President of the Bengal Chamber of Commerce in 1890, a member of the Legislative Council of the Viceroy of India in 1891 and a member of the Council of the Secretary of State for India in 1897. In October 1901 Mackay was appointed His Majesty´s Special Commissioner to conduct negotiations with representatives of China,[1] arriving in Shanghai in early December for negotiations.[2] The following year he and Chinese statesman Sheng Xuanhuai negotiated and signed the Sino-British "Mackay Treaty," which anticipated the abolition of extraterritoriality in China.

Mackay was largely responsible for solving India's currency problems and for the adoption of the Gold Standard, he was knighted by King George V for his services to industry and nation in 1911. Mackay later served as Vice-President of the Suez Canal Company, Chairman of P&O and a Director of the Anglo-Persian Oil Company and the National Provincial Bank.

Mackay was appointed a Companion of the Order of the Indian Empire (CIE) in 1891, a Knight Commander of the Order of the Indian India (KCIE) in 1894, a Knight Grand Cross of the Order of St Michael and St George (GCMG) in 1902 and a Knight Commander of the Order of the Star of India in 1910. In 1911 he was raised to the peerage as Baron Inchcape, of Strathnaver in the County of Sutherland.[3] He chose the title to commemorate the Inchcape Rock, which lies off Arbroath, and Strathnaver in Scotland. In 1924 he was made a Knight Grand Commander of the Order of the Star of India and created Viscount Inchcape, of Strathnaver in the County of Sutherland.[4] In 1929 he was even further honoured when he was made Viscount Glenapp, of Strathnaver in the County of Sutherland, and Earl of Inchcape.[5]


Lord Inchcape married Jean Shanks on 10 July 1883. They had five children:



  1. ^ The London Gazette: no. 27367. p. 6846. 22 October 1901.
  2. ^ "Latest intelligence - China" The Times (London). Thursday, 5 December 1901. (36630), p. 5.
  3. ^ The London Gazette: no. 28512. p. 5169. 11 July 1911.
  4. ^ The London Gazette: no. 32900. p. 684. 22 January 1924.
  5. ^ The London Gazette: no. 33509. p. 4189. 25 June 1929.
  6. ^ The Peerage.com

External links[edit]

Peerage of the United Kingdom
New creation Earl of Inchcape
Succeeded by
Kenneth Mackay
Viscount Inchcape
Baron Inchcape