Reginald Walter Macan

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Reginald Walter Macan D.Litt. (1848–1941) was a classical scholar.[1] He was a Fellow (1884–1906) and then, from March 1906, Master of University College, Oxford.[2] He was only the second layman Master of the College after Anthony Gate, Master from 1584–1597.

Reginald Macan was originally from Dublin, Ireland, and retained his Irish accent until the 1890s. He was an undergraduate at University College, Oxford, and then a "Student" (the equivalent of a Fellow) of Christ Church after obtaining his degree.[3] He came back to University College as a Fellow and Tutor in 1884 until becoming Master of the College. He retired in 1923.

Macan had a reputation as a heretic early in his career, but delivered addresses in the chapel at University College at least annually. Like his predecessor as Master, James Bright, he was nicknamed the "Mugger" by students.

Macan applied archaeological discoveries to the study of ancient history. He produced a major set of books on Herodotus.[4] He also wrote A History of Persia.[5]

In 1913, he visited New York and spoke at the Sphinx Club about Rhodes Scholars at Oxford University.[6]

In 1881 Macan married Mildred Healey;[7] they had three daughters, one of whom Agatha Perrin married Eric Forbes Adam.[8] He lived on Boars Hill south of Oxford.[3]


  1. ^ Bibliography of Macan, Reginald Walter, by subject.
  2. ^ Darwall-Smith, Robin, A History of University College, Oxford. Oxford University Press, 2008. ISBN 978-0-19-928429-0. Reginald Macan, pages 422–425
  3. ^ a b Bickerton, Fred, Fred of Oxford. London: Evans Brothers Limited, 1953, pages 131–133.
  4. ^ Herodotus: the fourth, fifth, and sixth books, Internet Archive. (Originally published by Macmillan & Co., 1895.)
  5. ^ A History of Persia, Internet Archive.
  6. ^ Rhodes Scholar's Sneer: American Called Oxford "a God-Forsaken Place," Dr. Macan Says, The New York Times, 16 December 1913.
  7. ^ 'MACAN, Reginald Walter’, Who Was Who, A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc, 1920–2008; online edn, Oxford University Press, Dec 2012  ; online edn, Oct 2012 accessed 28 Dec 2012
  8. ^ ADAM, Eric Graham Forbes’, Who Was Who, A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc, 1920–2008; online edn, Oxford University Press, Dec 2007 accessed 28 Dec 2012
Academic offices
Preceded by
James Franck Bright
Master of University College, Oxford
Succeeded by
Michael Ernest Sadler