George Arbuthnot (civil servant)

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George Arbuthnot
Born 20 November 1802
Norbiton, Surrey
Died 28 July 1865
Occupation Auditor of the civil list
Spouse(s) (1) Augusta Papendick
(2) Louisa Anne Jones
Children General Henry Thomas Arbuthnot
Relatives Son of General Sir Robert Arbuthnot, KCB

George Arbuthnot (20 November 1802, Norbiton, Surrey - 28 July 1865) was a distinguished[1] member of the permanent British civil service. He worked in the Treasury at the Colonial Office in Hong Kong when the HSBC charter was first drawn up; Arbuthnot Road, Hong Kong was named after him.[2]

Arbuthnot served in the Treasury, and later was private secretary to Sir Robert Peel and subsequently to Sir Charles Wood, later Viscount Halifax. He was son of Lt-General Sir Robert Arbuthnot, KCB. He was appointed by Lord Liverpool a junior clerk in the Treasury 18 July 1820 and served with that department until his death. He was then holding the appointment of auditor of the civil list and was also secretary to the ecclesiastical commissioners. He was twice offered the appointment of financial member of the council of the governor-general of India, first on the death of Mr James Wilson, PC in 1860 and then on the retirement of Sir Charles Trevelyan in 1865, but was obliged to turn down the offer on health grounds on both occasions. He was married (1829) to Augusta Papendick (died 1853) and then (1857) to Louisa Anne Jones (daughter of Lt-General Sir Richard Jones, KCB). George Arbuthnot was father of General Henry Thomas Arbuthnot.

He wrote a retrospective economic analysis of Sir John Peel's 1844 act regulating the issue of banknotes:

  • Sir Robert Peel's Act of 1844, Regulating the Issue of Bank Notes, Vindicated, Longman, 1857


  1. Dictionary of National Biography
  2. Frank H. H. King (January 1988). The History of the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation: Volume 1, The Hongkong Bank in Late Imperial China 1864-1902: On an Even Keel. Cambridge University Press. p. 107. ISBN 0-521-32706-7.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>


  • Arbuthnot, Mrs P S-M (1920). Memories of the Arbuthnots. Aberdeen: George Allen & Unwin.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford: Oxford University Press.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

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