P. Macfadyen

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Patrick Macfadyen (died 20 October 1906) was a British businessman, banker and politician. He committed suicide in 1906 due to the crash of Arbuthnot & Co.

Early life[edit]

Macfayden was born in the United Kingdom. On completion of his studies, Macfadyen started a business of his own. He initially operated from Madras and achieved considerable success. He was nominated to the Madras Legislative Council for the terms 1874-75 and 1875-76. He was also elected as the President of the Madras Chamber of Commerce in 1875.

Business career[edit]

Macfadyen traded in West Indian sugar and owned businesses in Java. He even invested in railroads in the United States of America. Based on his connections in Madras, Macfadyen established Macfayden & Co., the London branch of the Arbuthnot Bank. That firm is still remembered for the pooling arrangements in cross-border insolvencies.[1]


Macfadyen committed suicide on 20 October 1906 by walking into a railway tunnel as a train was approaching. The bank had been required to remit a sum of 50,000 pounds before 20 October.[2] It is generally believed that on the morning of 20 October, Macfayden received a telegram from Madras stating "Cannot remit any funds. Money still going out. We must stop payment on Monday".[2] Sir George Arbuthnot, active partner of Arbuthnot & Co, was arrested following the bank's collapse.[2]


  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ a b c "Madras Bank failure". The Advertiser (London). 27 September 1907.