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David McLean

Professor David McLean

Emeritus Professor of History


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.