Sir Donald Charles Hugh Maclean, KBE, PC

Is your surname Maclean?

Research the Maclean family

Sir Donald Charles Hugh Maclean, KBE, PC's Geni Profile

Share your family tree and photos with the people you know and love

  • Build your family tree online
  • Share photos and videos
  • Smart Matching™ technology
  • Free!


Donald Charles Hugh Maclean

Birthdate: (68)
Birthplace: Farnworth, Bolton, Lancashire
Death: June 15, 1932 (68)
Immediate Family:

Son of John Maclean and Agnes Macmellin
Husband of Gwendolen Margaret Maclean
Father of Vice Admiral Sir Hector Charles Donald Maclean; Flying Officer Ian Maclean DFC and Donald Maclean (KGB spy)

Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Sir Donald Charles Hugh Maclean, KBE, PC

Sir Donald Charles Hugh Maclean, KBE, PC (9 January 1864 – 15 June 1932), was a British Liberal politician. He was Leader of the Opposition between 1918 and 1920 and served in Ramsay MacDonald's National Government as President of the Board of Education between 1931 and his death in June of the following year.


Born in Farnworth, Bolton, Lancashire, Maclean was the eldest son of John Maclean, a cordwainer originally of Kilmoluag, in the Inner Hebrides, and his wife Agnes Macmellin.[citation needed]

Political career

Maclean practised as a solicitor with practices in Cardiff and Lincoln's Inn Fields, London. A member of the Presbyterian Church of England, he was vice-president of the Cardiff Free Church Council in 1902-3, and also worked closely with the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children. He was a last-minute choice as one of the Liberal Party candidates in Bath at the 1900 general election, but was defeated at the polls. At the 1906 general election, he stood again and was elected as a Liberal Member of Parliament for the constituency.

He lost his seat at the January 1910 general election, but moved constituency at the December 1910 general election and was returned for Peebles and Selkirk,[3] a seat he held until 1918,[4] and then represented Peebles and South Midlothian between 1918 and 1922[4] and the Northern Division of Cornwall between 1929 and 1932.[5]

Maclean was knighted[citation needed] and appointed a Privy Counsellor in 1916,[6] and was Leader of the Liberal Parliamentary Party from 1918 to 1922, as the nominal leader of the Liberal Party, Herbert Henry Asquith had lost his seat in the House of Commons. For two years he also served as Leader of the Opposition, while Labour had no official leader and Sinn Féin refused to participate in parliamentary government.[7]

Towards the end of his life, Maclean joined the National Government headed by Ramsay MacDonald. He served as President of the Board of Education from 1931 to 1932, when he died from cardiovascular disease at the age of sixty-eight.


Maclean married Gwendolen Margaret Devitt (26 September 1880 - 23 July 1962) daughter of Andrew Devitt (1850–1931) and wife Jane Dales Morrison (1856–1947), on 26 October 1907. They and their eldest son, Ian, are buried in the churchyard of Holy Trinity Church, Penn, Buckinghamshire.

Another of his four sons was the diplomat and spy, Donald Duart Maclean.

Another son was:

Vice Admiral Sir Hector Charles Donald Maclean (d. 19 February 2003), married in 1933 Opre Vyvyan (27 September 1910 - 18 August 2010, a descendant of the baronets Vyvyan of Trelowarren and the German Freiherren (Barons) von Schmiedern), and had three children:

(1) Charles David Hector Maclean (b. 1 March 1936), married on 20 November 1966 Judith Patricia Maclehose, and had two sons:

Charles Hector Maclean (b. 7 August 1968)

James Lachlan Maclean (b. 1970)

(2) Sara Maclean (b. 19 September 1934), married on 7 May 1955 Major Anthony Michael Everett (1921–2009), the parents of Simon Anthony Cunningham Everett (b. 1956) and actor Rupert James Hector Everett (b. Norfolk, 29 May 1959)

(3) Katherine Mary Everett (b. 10 May 1937)

view all

Sir Donald Charles Hugh Maclean, KBE, PC's Timeline

January 9, 1864
Farnworth, Bolton, Lancashire
August 7, 1908
Age 44
Bangalore, India
Age 43
May 25, 1913
Age 49
City of London, Greater London, UK
June 15, 1932
Age 68