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Alexander MacEwen

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Preceded by  New office
Children  5
Party  Scottish National Party
Name  Alexander MacEwen
Succeeded by  Andrew Dewar Gibb
Role  Solicitor

Alexander MacEwen Alexander MacEwen WikiVisually
Born  10 January 1875 Kolkata, India (1875-01-10)
Political party  Scottish National Party (1934–1941)
Other political affiliations  Liberal Party Scottish Party
Spouse(s)  Mary Henderson (m. 1906-1941)
Alma mater  University of Edinburgh
Died  June 29, 1941, North Kessock, United Kingdom

Education  University of Edinburgh

Reverend Alexander MacEwen Gravestone Necropolis Glasgow Scotland

Sir Alexander Malcolm MacEwen (10 January 1875 – 29 June 1941) was a Scottish solicitor, provost and the first leader of the Scottish National Party (SNP).


Early life

MacEwen was born in Calcutta, India, the son of Robert Sutherland MacEwen (1839-1900), a barrister from Dornoch who served in India as the Recorder of Rangoon. Alexander MacEwen was educated at Clifton College, Bristol and the University of Edinburgh. After qualifying as a solicitor in 1901, he began his legal career in Stornoway, before joining the Inverness legal firm of Stewart Rule & Co., where he later became senior partner.

Political career

A member of the Liberal Party, MacEwen was elected to Inverness Town Council in 1908, and served as Provost of Inverness 1925–1931. During his period in office, Provost MacEwen promoted schemes for the improvement of public health and housing in Inverness, and served as a member of the Inverness-shire Education Committee, and as Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Royal Northern Infirmary. He also served as a councillor on Inverness County Council, representing Benbecula.

In 1930 MacEwen was one of the founders of the Scottish Party, and in the 1933 Kilmarnock by-election he stood as the joint candidate of the Scottish Party and the National Party of Scotland, coming fourth with 6,098 votes.

With merger of the National Party of Scotland and the Scottish Party on 7 April 1934 to form the Scottish National Party, Sir Alexander MacEwen became the new party's first leader. The party’s performance in the 1935 general election was disappointing with only Inverness and MacEwan in the Western Isles achieving respectable results.

Sir Alexander MacEwen stood down as leader of the SNP in 1936, when he was succeeded by Andrew Dewar Gibb. He died at his home on the Black Isle in 1941, aged 66. MacEwen had three sons and two daughters. His son Malcolm joined the Communist Party of Great Britain and became a prominent conservationist.


He was knighted by King George V in the 1932 Birthday Honours for services to local government and public health in Scotland. MacEwen Drive in Inverness is named after him.


  • The Thistle and the Rose - Scotlands Problem To-Day, 1932
  • Scotland at School - Education for Citizenship, 1938
  • Towards Freedom, 1938
  • References

    Alexander MacEwen Wikipedia

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