John MacLean (historian)

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Sir John Maclean[1] (or MacLean) (pronounced "mac'lane'), KB, FSA, (born 17 September 1811 in Blisland, Cornwall; died 5 March 1895 in Clifton, Bristol) was a British civil servant, genealogist and author.


Maclean was a son of Mr. Robert Lean, of Trehudreth, Blisland, Cornwall, where he was born in 1811. His mother Elizabeth was a daughter of Mr. Thomas Every, of Bodmin. After genealogical research he assumed his ancestors were connected to the Scottish Clan Maclean,[2] and in 1845, with his brothers, he resumed the original prefix of "Mac". (His name was originally John Lean but he adopted that of Maclean.)

In 1837 he entered the Ordnance Department of the War Office, and became deputy auditor in April, 1865. He resigned this post on a pension, and received a knighthood in January, 1871. Sir John Maclean died at his residence, Glasbury House, Richmond Hill, Clifton, Bristol, of influenza. on Tuesday 5 March 1895.[3]


He married at Helland, Cornwall, in 1835 Mary Billing, eldest sister and co-heiress of Mr. Thomas Billing, of Lanke, Cornwall.[4]


Trehudreth Mill

Sir John's Parochial History of the Deanery of Trigg Minor (1872–1879) in 3 volumes is the most detailed work of parochial history which deals with Cornwall (the deanery consisted of 20 parishes at the time he wrote). It was published in parts intended for binding as three volumes: there was also a separate edition of the part on Blisland. He was the author of several other historical works, including Life and Times of Sir Peter Carew, Letters of Sir Robert Cecil to Sire George Carew[disambiguation needed], and Memoir of the Family of Poyntz,[3] (of Iron Acton, Gloucestershire).

List of works[edit]


  1. ^ "Maclean, John, Sir, 1811-1895". Library of Congress. Retrieved 2012-03-01. 
  2. ^ It is now thought by Alan Kent that he was in error in this
  3. ^ a b "Obituary". The Times (London). 7 March 1895. p. 10. Retrieved 11 September 2010. 
  4. ^  Courtney, William Prideaux (1901). "Maclean, John (1811-1895)". In Sidney Lee. Dictionary of National Biography, 1901 supplement​. London: Smith, Elder & Co.