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Professor David McLean

Professor David McLean

Professor of History

Tel +44 (0)20 7848 1022
Address Department of History
King’s College London
Room C11b, East Wing
London WC2R 2LS


David McLean became Professor of History in 1999. He came to King’s in 1978 having previously been a Draper’s Research Fellow at Pembroke College, Cambridge since 1973. He was visiting Professor at Hiroshima Shudo University in 2002 and at Nihon University, Tokyo in 1985.
Research interests and PhD supervision
  • Economic History and Diplomatic History of Modern Britain
  • Educational development in nineteenth century British schools
  • History of Medicine

Professor McLean’s research interests span four broad areas of historical enquiry. Most recently his research has focussed on public health and local government, with particular reference to cholera epidemics, in nineteenth century Britain and the development of military medicine. The second area of his work has been in educational development in nineteenth century British schools, particularly the introduction of new educational ideas in the mid-nineteenth century and the tensions which change caused in established institutions. The third area was diplomatic history, publishing the results of research on the Anglo-French entente of the 1840s and the long political career of Lord Palmerston. Prof McLean has also written widely on economic history where he focussed on the role of British banks and overseas commerce in the developing relationship between Britain and other parts of the global economy, specifically Latin America, China, Persia and Turkey.

Professor McLean would particularly welcome applications from research students interested in working on:

  • Britain's international relations 1815-1914
  • Aspects of military and naval history in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries
  • Victorian public health and healthcare
  • History of education in Britain before 1914
  • British banking history before 1914
For more details, please see his full research profile.
Selected Publications
  • David McLean (2010)  'Protecting wood and killing germs: 'Burnett's Liquid' and the origins of the preservative and disinfectant industries in early Victorian Britain' BUSINESS HISTORY, 52 (2), pp. 285-305. [Article in print Journal]
  • David McLean (2010) Surgeons of the Fleet: The Royal Navy and Its Medics from Trafalgar to Jutland  I.B.Tauris [Authored Book in print]
  • David McLean (2008)  'Maritime Quarantine: The British Experience, c.1650-1900' SOCIAL HISTORY OF MEDICINE, 21 (3), pp. 602-603v [Book Review (Print)]
  • David McLean (2006) Public Health and Politics in the Age of Reform: Cholera, the State and the Royal Navy in Victorian Britain London: Palgrave McMillan [Authored Book in print]
  • David McLean (2006)  'Surgeons of the Opium War: The Navy on the China Coast, 1840-42' English Historical Review, CXXI (491), pp. 487-504.[Article in print Journal]
For a complete list of publications, please see David's full research profile.


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