McDougall was born in Sydenham, son of William Adair McDougall, captain in the 88th regiment. He educated at King's College London, where he trained as a surgeon, and Magdalen Hall, Oxford. While at Oxford, he rowed in the winning Oxford eight in the 1842 Boat Race.
On leaving Oxford, he found employment in superintending some iron-works in South Wales, and married Harriette, daughter of Robert John Bunyon. McDougall and his wife Harriette (née Bunyon) sailed for Borneo via the Cape and Singapore on 30 December 1847, arrived in Sarawak on 29 June 1848 and was appointed the first Bishop of Labuan and Sarawak in 1849. He established a Medical mission there, and a 'Home School,' in which children were trained from infancy in the principles of Christianity. In 1853, he returned home in order to manage the transfer of the mission from the Borneo Mission Society, whose funds came to an end, to the Society for Propagating the Gospel. In 1854, he was back again in Sarawak. The work of the mission grew. McDougall was appointed bishop, of Labuan. He was consecrated at Calcutta on St. Luke's Day, 1855.
Returning to England in 1868 he was appointed Vicar of Godmanchester. Later he was Archdeacon of Huntingdon, then Vicar of Milford on Sea; and finally Archdeacon of the Isle of Wight from 1874 until his death.
- The Times, 17 November 1886; pg. 7; Issue 31919; col E Obituary: The Rt Rev F.T. MacDougall
- Bunyon, C.J. (1889) Memoirs of Francis Thomas McDougall...and of Harriette, his wife
- This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Overton, John Henry (1893). "McDougall, Francis Thomas". In Lee, Sidney. Dictionary of National Biography. 35. London: Smith, Elder & Co.
- Alumni oxonienses, Vol.III, Foster (1891)
- George Gilbert Treherne Treherne; John Haviland Dashwood Goldie. Record of the university boat race, 1829-1883. London: Bickers & Son, Leicester Square. pp. 29–30,180. Retrieved 2011-02-22.
- “The legacy of Francis Thomas McDougall” International Bulletin of Missionary Research, ISSN 0272-6122 1 October 2007 , Edwards, D.A
- Max Saint, "A Flourish for the Bishop and Brooke's Friend Grant" 1985
- “The Prospects of Christianity in the East” McDougall, F.T:Mission Life, Vo1. V (first series), 1 January 1868
- Cambridgeshire County Council
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|Bishop of Labuan and Sarawak
1849 – 1868
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