A gravestone within the burial grounds at Dundrennan Abbey, Rerrick Parish, contains, among other family members, the memorial to Sir Halliday Macartney, a member of a very old Kirkcudbrightshire family. The biographical sketch about him on this page is taken from an entry in the book “Men and Women of the Time,” published in 1899. There is, however, a full biography of Macartney, “The Life of Sir Halliday Macartney” written by Demetrius C Boulger, published in 1908, available on the Internet (See link below)

Sir Halliday Macartney of Dundrennan and China

MACARTNEY, Sir Halliday, K.C.M.G., son of Robert Macartney, of Dundrennan, Kirkcudbrightshire, was born in 1833, and was educated for the medical profession at the Edinburgh University. In 1856, during his student days, he joined a contingent of volunteers being raised for the Turkish army, and served through the Crimea, studying Turkish at the same time. Returning to Edinburgh he graduated M.D., and entered the Army Medical Service as Surgeon in the 99th Regiment, at that time under orders for India, where the Mutiny had broken out. The regiment arrived too late at Calcutta for its services to be required, and was sent on to China, where Macartney was present at the taking of the Taku Forts, the attack on Pekin, and the sacking of the Summer Palace.

Remaining in China after the peace, he took service under the Imperial Government, 1862, being granted military rank and command together with General Gordon, of whom he was the friend. As an officer in the Celestial army, he drilled a force of 3000 men, which operated with success against the Taepings. He also established a military arsenal at Nankin, of which he was Governor for twelve years till 1876. He was then sent to England on a special mission in connection with the Margary incident. A permanent mission being resolved upon by China, he became its European Secretary, and as such paid frequent visits to the principal European capitals. He attended the coronation of the present Czar's father, and has been present at many of the principal State functions at home and abroad. He is officially described as Councillor and English Secretary to the Chinese Legation in London, and his unrivalled knowledge of the Chinese language, customs, and policy, has led to his being described by Anglo-Chinese officials as "a thorough Chinaman."

He received the honour of the C.M.G. in 1881, and the K.C.M.G. in 1885, and has been decorated with the Orders of the Precious Star and the Double Dragon. In 1884 he married Jeanne, daughter of J. L. de Sautoy. Address: 49 Portland Place, &c.

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