McLAREN, David (1785-1850)

McLAREN, David (1785-1850)
was born at Perth, Scotland, in 1785. He had been intended for the ministry but adopted a business life. In 1836 he was appointed manager of the South Australian Company, and arrived at Adelaide in April 1837, at a time when the whole settlement was in a state of confusion. Hampered at first by the inefficiency of the former manager, S. Stephens, who was retained in a subordinate capacity, McLaren had many anxieties and difficulties. He knew nothing about whaling and the company made losses in that department, but he showed great ability in developing its banking and pastoral departments. He was responsible for the construction of the Port Adelaide Road, a valuable piece of work, and built a wharf which still bears his name. In 1841 he returned to England, having firmly and successfully established his company. He was made manager in London and died on 22 June 1850.
An austere, deeply religious man, McLaren was a good influence in the little community at Adelaide, and did very valuable work as a pioneer. His son, Alexander McLaren (1826-1910), became a famous Baptist divine in England.
A. Grenfell Price, Founders and Pioneers of South Australia; Rev. J. Blacket, History of South Australia.

Dictionary of Australian Biography by PERCIVAL SERLE. . 1949.

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