Biography of Sir Robert Hamilton Lang
Robert Hamilton Lang took classes in Greek at the University of Glasgow in the academic year 1849-50. Lang was born in Glassford, Scotland, in 1832 and was educated at Hamilton Academy before entering the University at the age of 13. He only studied for one year, however, and left to work as a clerk in a Glasgow marine insurance firm. Lang later acquired a more senior role in the Glasgow Custom House and after a series of postings as clerk to places including Beirut and Cyprus he became the manager of the Imperial Ottoman Bank in Larnaca. After nine years in this position he moved to the Cairo branch and was later posted to Romania and Constantinople where he became a Director General of the ‘Caisse de la Dette’, the body managing the Ottoman Empire’s foreign loans. In 1897 Lang became the Governor of the Imperial Ottoman Bank in Constantinople.
During his time in Cyprus Lang served as Acting Vice-Consul on three occasions and Consul from 1871-72, and as such was considered one of the most important members of the foreign community on the island. He also helped to organise the Cypriot court at the Colonial and Indian Exhibition in London in 1886. Lang took a keen interest in the antiquities of Cyprus and acquired many artefacts from archaeological digs. Much of his collection has been purchased by the British Museum, however many objects were also donated to Glasgow’s Kelvingrove Museum.
A series of honours were bestowed on Lang by the many countries in which he worked including a KCMG by the British government, the Medjedie (Third Class) by the Khedive of Egypt, and several major honours by the Ottoman Sultan.
Sir Robert Lang retired to Essex and died in 1913.