Halliday Macartney

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Sir Halliday Macartney

Sir Samuel Halliday Macartney (1833–1906) was a military surgeon and later a diplomat serving the Chinese government during the late Qing dynasty.[1]

Macartney was a member of the same family as George Macartney, the 18th century British ambassador to China.[2]

He studied medicine and served as a surgeon in the Crimean War, then went with his regiment to China and resigned his commission to join the Chinese army of General Charles Gordon which was subduing the Taiping rebels. He decided to make his home in China and married the niece of Chinese politician Li Hongzhang[3] in December 1864. He became a civil servant of the Chinese imperial government, first in China and then in England. His first wife was a near relative of Lar Wang (納王郜雲官), one of the leaders of the Taiping rebellion. They had three sons and a daughter;[4] the eldest son, George, served as the British representative in Kashgar for 28 years. The Macartneys lived in Nanjing until 1876 when Macartney left for London to serve as secretary to successive Chinese ministers at the Court of St James. His wife stayed behind and died two years later.[5]

Macartney received the first grade of the second class of the Imperial Chinese Order of the Double Dragon in May 1902.[6][7]


  1. ^ Boulger, Demetrius Charles; Crichton-Browne, James, Sir (1908). The life of Sir Halliday Macartney. London: J. Lane. 
  2. ^ Clarmont Skrine and Pamela Nightingale, Macartney at Kashgar: New Light on British, Chinese and Russian Activities in Sinkiang, 1890-1918 (London: Methuen & Co. Ltd., 1973); p. 2
  3. ^ "Li Hung Chang's Godson". Sevenoaks Chronicle and Kentish Advertiser. 23 April 1909. Retrieved 30 August 2015 – via British Newspaper Archive. (Subscription required (help)). 
  4. ^ Skrine (1973); pp. 2-3
  5. ^ Skrine (1973); p. 3
  6. ^ "Court Circular". The Times (36773). London. 21 May 1902. p. 9. 
  7. ^ "No. 27471". The London Gazette. 5 September 1902. p. 5751. 

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