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Sir Malcolm Donald McEacharn


1852 - 1910

Ship-owner, businessman and politician. Although born in London, McEacharn's parents came from the Island of Islay. Having lost his father, a master-mariner, when his ship was wrecked in the Bass Strait off Australia in 1854, McEacharn was given an education at the Royal Caledonian Schools in London. He entered a shipping office and, in 1875, founded his own shipping business with another Scot, Andrew McIlwraith (1844 - 1932). The pair were soon running a fleet of ten ships to Australia known as the Scottish Line. Together they were responsible for establishing the export of refrigerated meat from Australia to Europe.

Settling in Australia, McEacharn amassed significant commercial and property holdings, while becoming a major player in coastal shipping. He was soon a prominent member of Melbourne society and twice served as Mayor of the city. He was knighted in 1900. He entered the Australian Parliament in 1901, but was not successful quickly losing popular appeal. Facing defeat, he not only abandoned politics but also Australia, returning to Scotland where he bought Galloway House, the ancestral home of the Earls of Galloway, in 1908.

McEacharn died in Cannes (France). His son, Neil (1884 - 1964), became a notable gardener.


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