The Madras College Archive


Former Pupil Biographies

Sir James Carnegie McPetrie (1911 - 1991)

Born in Keith, Banff.  His father was J D McPetrie, Rector of Madras College from 1923 to 1940 and his brother David died in WW2 as a result of an airplane crash in Portugal. They were both in the school rugby photograph of 1930.

He was involved in the drafting of the constitutions of a number of Commonwealth countries.  His name is to be found regarding East Africa and the West Indies and Malaysia, particularly Tanganyika, Jamaica, Nigeria, St Vincent, Bermuda and also for advice on the possible invasion of Cyprus by Turkey. He also played a part in drafting agreements for the construction of the Channel Tunnel in 1972.

  • In 1953 he was assistant legal advisor to the Colonial Office
  • He was awarded the O.B.E. in 1953
  • Appointed Legal Advisor to the Colonial Office in 1960
  • He was appointed C.M.G in 1960
  • He was knighted K.C.M.G. in 1966 for his work in the Colonial Office.
  • In 1967 he was sole Legal Advisor to the Commonwealth Office
  • In 1968 he was Legal Advisor to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office
  • In 1969 he was appointed by the Queen to be an officer of her Majesty's Diplomatic Service

Freedom of Information requests regarding his work are locked until 2051.