John Denis Macdonald
He was born in Cork, County Cork, Ireland, the son of James Macdonald, an artist and art critic. He was educated at Cork school of medicine and King's College, London, where he was awarded M.R.C.S.Eng in 1849.
Macdonald joined the Royal Navy as an assistant surgeon and initially served at the Royal Hospital, Plymouth. In 1852 he was appointed to the survey ship HMS Herald. As a result of his studies, principally with the microscope, on the seabed deposits brought up by the dredger he was awarded in 1862 the Makdougall-Brisbane prize by the Royal Society of Edinburgh and elected a member of the Royal Society in 1859 (his membership was proposed by Joseph Toynbee, Edwin Lankester, Francis Sibson, Richard Owen and Richard Partridge among others). 
In 1864, by now promoted to surgeon, he was appointed to the Royal Hospital Haslar in Gosport, Hampshire and in June 1870 was made staff surgeon to HMS Lord Warden, flagship in the Mediterranean. In March 1872 he was appointed to the flagship at Portsmouth for service as professor of naval hygiene at the Army Medical School at Netley, a post he continued to hold after his promotion to Deputy Inspector-General of Hospitals and Fleets in February 1875. In July 1880 he was promoted Inspector-General, and put in charge of the Royal Naval Hospital at Plymouth from 1883 to 1886. He retired in 1886 and was made a Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath in 1902.
He died in Southall, Middlesex in 1908. He was married twice; firstly in 1863 to Sarah Phoebe (d. 1875), daughter of Ely Walker of Stainland, Yorkshire, by whom he had two sons and two daughters and secondly to Erina, daughter of William Archer, prebendary of Limerick.
- "OBITUARY - SIR JOHN DENIS MACDONALD, K.C.B., F.R.S., M.D.St.And., M.R.C.S.Eng., R.N." (PDF). British Medical Journal. Retrieved 3 April 2017.
- "Fellows details". Royal Society. Retrieved 3 April 2017.
This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Lee, Sidney, ed. (1912). "Macdonald, John Denis". Dictionary of National Biography, 1912 supplement. London: Smith, Elder & Co.
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