Ewen Cameron (banker)

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KCMG insignia

Sir Ewen Cameron KCMG (23 June 1841, Aberdeen – 10 December 1908, London) was a British merchant banker and chartered accountant of the late 19th century, who rose to be chairman of Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank in London.

Early life and family[edit]

Muckovie, Invernessshire

Ewen was born in Invernessshire, Scotland, a déclassé[clarification needed] eldest child of William Cameron (b. 4 February 1806 at Abertarff)[1] of Upper Muckovie, near Culloden by Croy,[2] by his wife (m. 16 June 1840), Catherine née Cameron (b. 22 January 1809), daughter of Ewen Cameron, a farmer and kinsman of Tomchrasky, Glen Moriston (1775 - 1842) and Helen McDonnell (1776 - 1861).[3][4]

Caledonian Bank, former HQ in Aberdeen


In 1859, Cameron joined the Caledonian Bank in Aberdeen as an accounting clerk. After qualifying as a chartered accountant he was posted to the banks of Hindustan, China, and Japan before being transferred to Hong Kong in 1866. His abilities, described as "remarkable" by The Times, helped him to land a senior position with the newly formed Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank after the Bank of Hindustan went into liquidation.

A chartered accountant, Cameron became principal agent to the Calcutta branch of HSBC, following which he acted as manager of its Shanghai branch, where he served until 1890. Cameron's success in reorganizing the bank was rewarded by his appointment as a director before returning to the United Kingdom, becoming chairman of the bank in the City of London.

Cameron was appointed KCMG at the end of 1901 for his "services to overseas banking",[5] before being elected a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society (FRGS) in February 1902.[6]

During 1904 Cameron was involved with other leading London financiers including Lord 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 (later Viscount Bearsted) of Samuel Samuel & Co, Sir Carl Meyer and Otto Kahn in negotiations with the Japanese central banker and later PM Takahashi Korekiyo in the selling of war bonds to finance Japanese defence during the Russo-Japanese War.[7]

Marriage and issue[edit]

In 1878, Cameron married Josephine Elizabeth (born at Shotford, Norfolk in 1857), daughter of John Houchen of Thetford, Norfolk (Wereham, Norfolk, c. 1818 - Thetford, Norfolk, 6 October 1898[8]) and wife (m. St James's, Westminster, 29 November 1845[9]) 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.[10] and member of the Council of Foreign Bondholders[11] (who died 14 November 1937 in Vienna[12]) was the great-grandfather of David Cameron, Conservative Party Leader (2005–) and British Prime Minister since 2010.[13][14]


After suffering bouts of ill health in 1903 and at the end of 1904, Sir Ewen retired in February 1905 and later died at home in Hampstead NW3 on 10 December 1908 at the age of 67.

Coat of arms[edit]

Arms of Ewen Cameron
Sir Ewen Cameron COA.jpg
By matriculation with Lord Lyon King of Arms
A Hand Proper grasping a Sprig of Crowberries also Proper
A Knight's helm
Gules three Bars Or in chief four Bezants of the Second
Bi Dhichioll (Eng: By best endeavours)
(above the Crest)
Circlet of the Order of St Michael and St George
Other elements
Cameron tartan (Vestiarium Scoticum).png Cameron tartan
Cameron of Lochiel arms.svg
Sir Ewen Cameron's arms are similar to those of the chiefs of Clan Cameron: Gules two Bars Or

qv. (twitter.com/yorkherald)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ www.scottishchurches.org.uk
  2. ^ www.strathnairnheritage.org.uk
  3. ^ Pedigree for Ewan Cameron, Cameron Genealogies
  4. ^ http://www.wargs.com/noble/cameron.html
  5. ^ The Times, Obituary, 11 December 1908
  6. ^ "Court Circular" The Times (London). Wednesday, 12 February 1902. (36689), p. 9.
  7. ^ Rothschild archive, Takahasi Korekiyo, Rothschilds and the Russo-Japanese War, 1904-07
  8. ^ The Times 11 Oct 1898, 1A
  9. ^ The Gentleman's Magazine Jan. 1846, p. 88
  10. ^ The Times, "Committee for Bondholders", 2 November 1935
  11. ^ The Times, "Council of Foreign Bondholders", 24 July 1936
  12. ^ The Times, "Deaths", 16 November 1937
  13. ^ Pedigree for Ewen Donald Cameron, Cameron Genealogies
  14. ^ Ewen Donald Cameron, thePeerage.com

External links[edit]