Maclean, John (1811-1895) (DNB01)

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MACLEAN, Sir JOHN (1811–1895), archæologist, son of Robert Lean of Trehudrethbarton, in Blisland, Cornwall, and his wife Elizabeth, daughter of Thomas Every of Bodmin, was born at Trehudreth on 17 Sept. 1811. In 1845, as a descendant of the Dochgarroch branch of the clan Lean, he resumed the prefix of Mac.

Maclean entered the ordnance department of the war office in 1837, was keeper of the ordnance records in the Tower of London from 1855 to 1861, and deputy chief auditor of army accounts from 1865 to 1871. In that year he retired on a pension, and on 14 Jan. 1871 was knighted at Osborne. While engaged in official life he dwelt at Pallingswick Lodge, Hammersmith, and as an active churchman took much interest in the ecclesiastical administration of the parish of St. John, Hammersmith. After his retirement he lived at Bicknor Court, near Coleford, Gloucestershire, and from, about 1887 at Glasbury House, Clifton, where he died on 6 March 1895. He married at Holland church, Cornwall, on 5 Dec. 1835, Mary (b. 1813), elder daughter and coheiress of Thomas Billing, of Blisland and St. Breward. She survived her husband.

Maclean's great undertaking was: 1. 'Parochial and Family History of the Deanery of Trigg Minor,' 3 vols., a rural deanery of East Cornwall, comprising the topographical particulars of several important parishes, the principal of which was Bodmin, and containing elaborate pedigrees of many of the leading families in the county. It came out in parts between 1868 and 1879, and in it was embodied the labour of twenty years. His other works and editions included: 2. 'The Life and Times of Peter Carew,' 1857. 3. 'Letters from George, lord Carew, to Sir Thomas Roe, 1615-17,' Camden Society, 1860. 4. 'Letters from Sir Robert Cecil to Sir George Carew,' Camden Society, 1864. 5. 'The Life of Sir Thomas Seymour, knight, Baron Seymour of Sudeley,' 1869 (one hundred copies only). After his withdrawal into Gloucestershire he edited 6. 'The Berkeley Manuscripts: John Smyth's Lives of the Berkeleys,' 1883-5, 3 vols. 7. 'Annals of Chepstow Castle. By John Fitchett Marsh,' 1883; and 8. 'Historical and Genealogical Memoir of the Family of Poyntz,'1886. With W. C. Heane he edited 9. 'The Visitation of Gloucester in 1623,' Harleian Society, 1885. While living in London Maclean shared with enthusiasm in the work of its chief antiquarian societies. He was elected F.S.A. on 15 Dec. 1855, and was long a member of the council. At the meetings of the Royal Archæological Institute he was a frequent attendant, supplied articles to the journal, and completed the general index to its first twenty-five volumes. He was one of the founders of the Harleian Society, and co-operated with Dr. Drake and Colonel Vivian in editing and annotating 'The Visitation of Cornwall in 1620.'

Maclean joined in the foundation of the Bristol and Gloucester Archæological Society, contributed many papers to its 'Transactions,' and edited vols. iii-xvi., a silver inkstand being presented to him for his services. Many articles by him appeared in the publications of the Royal Institution of Cornwall, the Clifton Antiquarian Club, and the Somerset Archæological and Natural History Society.

[Boase and Courtney's Bibl. Cornub. i. 333-4, ii. 973, 1273; Boase's Collectanea Cornub. pp. 523-4; Maclean's Trigg Minor, i. 390; Academy, 16 March 1895, p. 237; Trans. Bristol and Gloucester Archæol. Soc. xix. 3, 168-9; Dod's Peerage, 1894.]

W. P. C.