1833 – 1906
Who was Halliday Macartney?
Halliday Macartney was a military surgeon and later a diplomat serving the Chinese government during the late Qing dynasty. He was a member of the same family as George Macartney, the 18th century British ambassador to China.
Macartney studied medicine and served as a surgeon in the Crimean War. He 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 a Chinese woman 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, one of the leaders of the Taiping rebellion. They had three sons and a daughter; the eldest son, George, served as the British representative in Kashgar for 28 years. The Macartneys lived in Nanjing until 1876 when Macatney 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.
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