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23 Jan 2024
updated 23 Jan 2024

Matthew Little
(26 Jan 1827 - 7 Nov 1902)

The narrative that follows is transcribed from Alexander (Sandy) Waddell's invaluable summary in his biographical documentation of the Little and Martin families.

Summary transcript

Born 26 Jan 1827. Joined his brother John Martin Little in Singapore about 1850, becoming a partner of John Little and Co in 1852. He married first Isabella McNair Black in 1859. Their two children were born in Singapore, Robert Little (b 1860) and Anne Maxwell Little (b 1862).

He gave evidence, representing John Little and Coat a meeting in the Town Hall (11 Dec 1863) called to discuss the implications of transfer of the administration of Singapore from the East India Company to the Colonial Office, London. His brother Dr Robert Little was appointed to the investigating Committee which reported (9 Jan 1864) with statistics proving there was an excess of receipts over expenses of the Settlement. Matthew Little does not appear otherwise in the various records of Singapore.

Isabella died in Glasgow (1 May 1868), possibly her home town, there being no record of cause. He married second Harriet Agnes Lawrence (23 Jun 1873), daughter of Capt Alexander Lawrence of the Merchant Marine. Of their 8 children, four survived infancy: Harriet Agnes Little and Miriam Anne Little, twins born in Singapore 23 Jul 1875, Hilda Maxwell Little (b 12 Dec 1878) and Harry Martin Little (b 12 May 1883), both born in Hampstead whither Matthew had retired in 1877, to "Applegarth", No 5, Lyndhurst Gardens, Hampstead. He died there 7 Nov 1902.

Harriet lived on until 16 Apr 1929.