John Hans Makeléer, who was also known as John MacLean, Hans Macklier or Johan Macklier lived from 1604 to 7 July 1666. He was a naval officer who became a leading merchant in the Swedish city of Gothenberg. The wider picture in Scotland at the time is set out in our Historical Timeline.
John MacLean was the son of Hector MacLean, 5th Lord of Duart, and was born at the family's ancestral home at Duart Castle on Mull. He became an officer in the Royal Navy, but by 1629 was working as a merchant in Gothenburg under the name of John Hans Makeléer which, (alongside several other variations) seems to represent a Swedish variant of his original name rather than suggest than any desire to change it. He had apparently gone to Gothenberg in the footsteps of an uncle, who had already established a business there.
In 1629 John married Anna Gubbertz. They had fifteen children together, of whom ten survived to adulthood. John played an important part in building Gothenberg into the commercial centre it became, and served as a member of the Gothenburg trade council alongside a number of other Scots. His oldest son went on to become President of the Gothenberg Court of Justice, while among the others were a Captain in the Swedish Army and the first Governor of Älvsborg County.
In 1649 John Hans Makeléer was made a Lord in the Swedish nobility by Queen Christiana, perhaps in recognition of his role as her personal banker. On 15 November 1649, John, a known Royalist sympathiser in the wars that were sweeping across Britain at the time, was visited in Copenhagen by James Graham, 1st Marquess of Montrose, apparently with a view to gaining financial support for the Royalist cause. Anna Gubbertz died some time before the end of 1655, when John married his second wife, Lilian Hamilton. John himself died in 1666 at the age of 62.