Ewen Cameron (banker)

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Sir Ewen Cameron, KCMG (23 June 1841 – 10 December 1908) was a British accountant and banker who rose to be London head of the Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation.

Early life and family[edit]

Born in Inverness-shire, Scotland, he was the eldest of the offspring of Sir William Cameron, of Upper Muckovie, near Culloden (b. Abertarff, Croy and Dalcross, Inverness-shire, 4 February 1806) and wife (m. Glenmoriston, Inverness-shire, 16 June 1840) Catherine Cameron (b. Tomchrasky, Inverness-shire, 22 January 1809), daughter of Ewen Cameron, a farmer of Tomchrasky, Glen Moriston (Dores, Inveness-shire, 1775 - Tomchrasky, Invernessshire, 17 February 1842) and Helen McDonnell (1776 - Tomchrasky, Inverness-shire, 18 April 1861).[1][2]


He joined the Caledonian Bank in 1859 and subsequently the Bank of Hindustan, China, and Japan which transferred him to its Hong Kong branch in 1866. His abilities, described as "remarkable" by The Times helped him to land a position with the newly formed Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation bank after the Bank of Hindustan went into liquidation. Serving first as accountant, he then became the agent of the Calcutta branch, subsequently becoming manager of the Shanghai branch, in which position he served until 1890 when he became head of the company's London office. He was knighted in 1901,[3] and was elected a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society (FRGS) in February 1902.[4]

During 1904 Cameron was involved with other leading London financiers including John Baring, 2nd Baron Revelstoke of Baring Bros., Arthur Francis Levita and W.M. Koch of Panmure Gordon (Levita's daughter Enid would later marry Cameron's grandson Ewen Donald Cameron in 1930), Sir Marcus Samuel of Samuel Samuel & Co, Carl Meyer and Otto Kahn in negotiations with the Japanese central banker and later Prime Minister Takahashi Korekiyo in the selling of war bonds to finance Japanese defense during the Russo-Japanese War.[5]

Marriage and issue[edit]

He married in Norfolk in 1878 Josephine Elizabeth Houchen, born in Shotford, Norfolk, in 1857, daughter of John Houchen of Thetford, Norfolk (Wereham, Norfolk, c. 1818 - Thetford, Norfolk, 6 October 1898[6]) and wife (m. St James's, Westminster, 29 November 1845[7]) Susannah Vautier (Stanton, Suffolk, c. 1819 - Thetford, Norfolk, 1859), by whom he had five children. His eldest son, Ewen Allan Cameron, senior partner in Panmure Gordon & Co.[8] and member of the Council of Foreign Bondholders[9] (who died 14 November 1937 in Vienna[10]) was the great grandfather of the Conservative party leader David Cameron, who became Prime Minister of the United Kingdom in 2010.[11][12]


After suffering bouts of ill health in 1903 and at the end of 1904, Cameron retired in February 1905 and later died at Mansfield Gardens, London, on 10 December 1908 at the aged 67.


  1. ^ Pedigree for Ewan Cameron, Cameron genealogies
  2. ^ http://www.wargs.com/noble/cameron.html
  3. ^ The Times, Obituary, 11 December 1908
  4. ^ "Court circular" The Times (London). Wednesday, 12 February 1902. (36689), p. 9.
  5. ^ Rothschild archive, Takahasi Korekiyo, the Rothschilds and the Russo-Japanese War, 1904-1907
  6. ^ The Times 11 Oct 1898, 1A
  7. ^ The Gentleman's Magazine Jan. 1846, p. 88
  8. ^ The Times, "Committee for Bondholders", 2 November 1935
  9. ^ The Times, "Council Of Foreign Bondholders", 24 July 1936
  10. ^ The Times, "Deaths", 16 November 1937
  11. ^ Pedigree for Ewen Donald Cameron, Cameron Genealogies
  12. ^ Ewen Donald Cameron, thePeerage.com