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Thomas McCullagh Browne Agnes Campbell
Born: May 28, 1857 Born: March 14 1887
Died: August 6, 1937 Died: March 31 1967
Father: Daniel Gunn BROWNE Father: William CAMPBELL
Mother: Margaret JACKSON Mother: Mary RAWSON
Married: Agnes CAMPBELL November 28, 1907 in Glasgow

Update September 3, 2008. Some dates and conjectures added.
Update July 15, 2008. Thanks to the kindness of Eve Southgate, I can add the following:

Thomas McCullagh Browne, Retired Bank Manager, (married to Agnes
Campbell) ,died 1937 August 6th 2h 0m PM at 45 Parkside Street, Rosyth,
Dunfermline, age 80 years, father Daniel Gunn Browne mother Margaret
Browne (Jackson,) cause of death Cerebral Embolism Hypostasis, as cert.
by C.J.Irvine-Jones MB.ChB., Informant S.C.Browne son, of 84 Surrey
Street, Poplar, London, registered 1937 August 7th, at Dunfermline. David
Watson Registrar.

Agnes CAMPBELL died of stomach cancer after a lengthy residence in a mental institution. She was merely 20 years old when she married in 1907 (Thomas McCullagh BROWNE was aged 49 at the time and had retired from HSBC). In the nine years after her marriage, she had five live births. What was it that broke her? Hard to say. Untreated post-partum depression was not uncommon. Also, since her father was described as a coal miner and his father was described as a university educated man, there may have been a class-based potential for stress. Be it as it may, she survived her husband by thirty years. Long before this, their three sons had all emigrated to Canada. By the time they would have reached their adult years, their father would have been in his seventies and their mother already sequestered in a mental institution. Certainly an impetus for moving on. Thomas McCullagh BROWNE is said to have had property on Market Street, Portadown, Co. Armagh. but I have yet to verify this. There is no record of a BROWNE on Market Street by 1910 (SOURCE: Ulster Directory). NOTE: In the 1876 Landholders Records for Armagh, a Rev. William G. BROWNE had land in Killeen, Co. Armagh - this pricks my curiosity since the earlier Griffiths refers to (likely the same person) a Rev William J. BROWNE. Is it possible that he was a brother of Rev. Daniel Gunn BROWNE (father of Thomas McCullagh BROWNE) who had land holdings in Armagh City?

Death registered in the district of Carluke in the County of Lanark, Agnes Rawson Browne, Widow, date of birth 14/3/1887 Age 80 years,name and occupation of spouse Thomas McCullagh Browne Bank Manager, died 1967 March Thirty-First 2h 50m PM Law Hospital, Carluke, usual residence 15 Hartwood Road, Hartwood, father William Campbell Coal Miner (deceased) mother Mary Campbell maiden surname Rawson (deceased), cause of death Carcinoma of Stomach, medical practitioner Samuel G Heaney MB. ChB informant Agnes C Watson daughter, registered in 1967 April 3rd.

NOTE: The middle name of "McCallagh" appears in HSBC histories, but he signed his wedding certificate as McCULLAGH. This was the surname of his grandmother Elizabeth McCULLAGH. This photo of him is cropped from a group photo taken in Hong Kong in the garden at Thomas JACKSON's home, on 21 February 1886.

CHILDREN:
Agnes Campbell Browne Born October 11, 1908 at Chandlers Ford, Hampshire, England. Married Thomas WATSON Jan 7, 1926 in Edinburgh, Scotland. Died February 17,1975
Evelyn Campbell Browne Born February 12, 1910 at Ivanhoe Landguard, Manor Road, Shanklin, Isle of Wight. She lived with her father until his death in 1937. She had a daughter born in 1942 that she gave up to a foundling home some time some time before 1946. Died January 31, 1981. She died at Northern General Hospital, Edinburgh of bronchitus and heart disease after a lifetime of heavy smoking.
Stuart Campbell Browne. Born June 13, 1914 at Ivanhoe, Landguard Manor Road, Shanklin, Isle of Wight. He moved to Canada and was alive in 2001.
Douglas Campbell Browne. Born August 19, 1911 at Ivanhoe Landguard, Manor Road, Shanklin, Isle of Wight. He moved to Canada and died before 2001. He worked for the Canadian Bank of Commerce and served as a Sergeant in Word War II. SOURCE: War Records
Leslie Campbell Browne. Born December 10, 1916 at Ivanhoe Landguard, Manor Road, Shanklin, Isle of Wight. He moved to Canada and died before 2001.

NOTE: At this stage of my research, I am relying on sources related to the HSBC. The following is in the form of rough notes.

From The Group Archives of the HSBC we have the following record:

Browne, Thomas McCallagh (nickname "Mister")
1881 Joins London Office of HSBC
1882 East - destination not clear - probably the Hong Kong Office
April 1883 Shanghai
1884 Shanghai, salary $175.00
May 1886 Hankow (now Wuhan)
Sept 1886 Shanghai
May 1887 Tientsin (now Tianjin)
Oct 1888 Shanghai
Oct 1890 Hankow, acting Agent
Oct 1891 Bangkok, acting Agent. NOTE: A.H. Barlow says "He opened our Bangkok Office in about 1891 (the first European bank to open in Siam) and was in charge there until he retired from the Service about 1902" (Letter to Jones, 12 Sept 1955).
1893 Bangkok, Agent
Feb 1896 On leave
June 1898 Bankok, Agent*
June 1904 On leave
Between July 1904-July 1905 Service ends**

* From King, Frank H.H. The History of the Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation, VOL I, p. 534, we learn that Browne's "main contribution was his managership of the Bankok agency". On page 599 there is also a passing reference: "[at the new Bankok agency] the very successful T. McC. Browne" took over from J.R.M Smith who had set up the Branch. However that worked, in 1901, Smith did not think that the "popular and hospitable T.McC Browne (east in 1882)" was being sufficiently pressing in his attempts to have overdrafts paid off in a timely manner [p131]. In 1903, Smith sent Nicholson up to Bangkok to assist in the negotiations with the Siamese Government relating to issues relating to the valuation of silver. "Browne was in fact the spokeman for the exchange banks, and the unusual interference was both resented and ineffective." [p.132]
**"Jackson's 'near relative' T. McC. Browne (retired 1905)" [p. 609]

MISCELLANEOUS NOTES (jotted down for now with absolutely no attention to style):

Barlow's Sept 12, 1955 letter adds more detail: "He established and maintained excellent relations with the Siamese Government, the business community, European and Asiatic. He was very public spirited, a good mixer, keenly interested in all that went on. I think that these qualities combined with a long and successful service in Bangkok, has no doubt led to his name being so closely identified with the Bank in Siam."

It is said (by A.H. Barlow, letter 12 Sept. 1955) that BROWNE was born in Cailingford, Ireland. More recently, I have been wondering if that might be Carlingford instead. There was a landowner in Co.Louth near Carlingford called Ephriam BROWNE and there are records in PRONI under this that I will investigate when I am there in October.

On May 12, 1882, while still in the London Office, BROWNE began Mandarin lessons. This was not the norm for the time - in fact BROWNE was one of six men comprising the first set of such HSBC scholars. Before Sir Charles Addis set these classes up, it was thought that English men could get by in their own tongue simply using the "compradoric" system. As Addis said in a letter to a friend:

If a man shows any interest in the Chinese or attempts to do business with them except through the recognized campradoric channel, he is set down either as mad or bad. You and I were the latter, I believe.

One of the assets of Sir Charles Addis's background before he entered the employ of HSBC was that he had a graduate degree in Chinese. This made him somewhat unique. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem that BROWNE and his confreres stayed the course in these pioneering classes. It may have had something to do with their instructor, "a pale nervous looking man" who was a professor of Chinese in King's College, London. Regardless of the real reasons, by the end of the year, only one member of the original class was still pursuing learning the language - in spite of salary incentives offered the men if they gained proficiency - and our BROWNE was not that man. ( Frank H.H. King, History of the Hongkong and Shangkhai Banking Corporation, Cambridge University Press, 1987 pp527-530, Vol 1 ). That being said, it appears that he may have picked up some of the local languages later in her career.

According to W. Nunn, a later British advisor to the Thai Government, T. McC. BROWNE was a name to conjure with, being a man to whom the Thai often went for guidance in their financial affairs. He seemed to have known the leading Thai upon whom he impressed his personality, and he was prominent in sports and social activities. “I do not know whether he spoke Siamese, but certainly none of his successors knew more of the language than allowed them to direct a gharry driver or rickshaw coolie - a lack which was common to all British business men. .... His successors tended to be mere bank managers and nothing more, directed from headquarters and having much fewer friendly contacts with the Siamese." (Source: HSBC Archives. J.4)

It was probably these "mere bank managers" who gave BROWNE grief in his later life at the Bank. When J.R.M. Smith completed in his inspection on the Bangkok branch in 1901, he concluded that BROWNE is described as “not being sufficiently pressing in his attempts to have these accounts (overdrafts) paid off”. [King, Vol II, p. 131].

Certainly, over time, banking processes had become more formalized with a different, albeit not necessarily more successful, style of management. In 1903, J.R.M. Smith - who was now the Chief Manager of Hong Kong - sent the Singapore Manager up to Bangkok to oversee BROWNE in negotiations with the Siamese Government dealing with losses resulting from from monetary changes. This interference, unusual since BROWNE was in fact the spokesman for the exchange banks, was "both resented and ineffective". [King, Vol II, p. 132].

T. McC Browne was described by M.T. Cooke-Collis as “that Prince of hospitality, T. McBrowne, known affectionately as ‘The Laird,’ of immortal memory.” Apparently also, "the mess table in Hong Kong was a grand sight." This is quoted in a memo to G.O.W. Stewart, 3 Sept. 1959.

There is some correspondance between Sir Charles Stewart Addis and Thomas McCullagh BROWNE in the collection of CSA's papers at the London School of Oriental and African Studies. In January 1881 CSA wrote in his diary: "... new man to the Bank, Brown, ... will likely take my place." In 1889, Thomas McCullagh BROWNE wrote letters from Shanghai to CSA about bank news in 1889 and in 1890 from Hankow. [Thanks to this tip from a grandson of Sir CSA received June 10, 2004.]

 

 

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