Alexander Murdoch Mackay

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Alexander Murdoch Mackay
Etching portrait of Alexander Murdoch Mackay
Alexander Murdoch Mackay
Born(1849-10-13)13 October 1849
Died4 February 1890(1890-02-04) (aged 40)
Alma materUniversity of Edinburgh

Alexander Murdoch Mackay (13 October 1849 – 4 February 1890) was a Scottish Presbyterian missionary to Uganda known as Mackay of Uganda.


Mackay was born on 13 October 1849 in Rhynie, Aberdeenshire[1], the son of Rev Alexander Mackay LLD (1813-1895) and his first wife, Margaret Lillie (1825-1865).[2]

He studied at the Free Church Training School for Teachers at Edinburgh, then at the University of Edinburgh, and finally in Berlin. He displayed a great aptitude for mechanics, and spent several years as a draftsman in Germany.

Mackay decided to become a missionary after Henry Morton Stanley was told by Mutesa I of Buganda that Uganda wanted missionaries. He joined the Church Missionary Society in 1876.[3] Mackay reached Zanzibar on 30 March 1876, followed by Uganda in November 1878.[citation needed]

He taught various skills to the Ugandan people, including carpentry and farming. He was named Muzunguwa Kazi by the Ugandans. The name means "white man of work."[3] Mackay's work in Uganda came under threat after Kiwewa came into power. He worked in Uganda until 1890. He became sick with malarial fever and died four days later on 4 February 1890 aged only 40.


  • Alexander M. Mackay, Pioneer Missionary of the Church Missionary Society in Uganda; by his Sister. London, 1899.
  • A.E. Macdonald (pseud.Andrew Melrose). Alexander Mackay, Missionary Hero of Uganda. London, 1893.
  • Mackay of Uganda. The story of the life of Mackay of Uganda by his sister. Hodder & Stoughton, London, 1906. 323 pages.
  • Fahs, Sophia Lyon. Uganda's White Man of Work: A Story of Alexander M. Mackay. New York: Young People's Missionary Movement (1907).
  • "The Greatest Missionary since Livingston", an Address by Professor Anthony Low, at St John the Baptist's Parish Church, Canberra, ACT, 15 October 2000.


  1. ^ Mackay, A. M. A.M. MacKay: Pioneer Missionary of the Church Missionary Society in Uganda. New York: A.C. Armstrong and Son, 1890.
  2. ^ Ewings Annals of the Free Church
  3. ^ a b "Uganda's White Man of Work: A Story of Alexander M. Mackay". World Digital Library. 1907. Retrieved 2013-06-03.


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