John Henry MacFarland

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Sir John Henry MacFarland (19 April 1851 – 22 July 1935) was an Irish–Australian university chancellor.

MacFarland was born in Omagh, County Tyrone, Ireland and educated at the Royal Academical Institution, Belfast.[1] He was senior scholar in Mathematics and Natural Philosophy at Queen's College, Belfast, where he was taught by John Purser. There he earned a BA in 1871 and MA in 1872. Moving to St. John's College, Cambridge, he was elected a foundation scholar, and earned a second BA, as 26th wrangler, in 1876. He also got an MA there in 1879.[1]

MacFarland taught at Repton School in Derbyshire from 1876 to 1880. (A decade later, his younger brother Robert (1860-1922), also a Queen's Belfast and Cambridge maths graduate, would teach at Repton.)[2] In 1881, he became the first master of Ormond College in the University of Melbourne. In 1919, he became chancellor of the university and was knighted the same year. In 1892, the Royal University of Ireland had bestowed upon him an honorary LLD degree.[3]

MacFarland became a director of the National Mutual Life Association c. 1905 and was chairman from 1928. He died in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia on 22 July 1935.


  1. ^ a b Mennell, Philip (1892). "MacFarland, John Henry" . The Dictionary of Australasian Biography. London: Hutchinson & Co – via Wikisource.
  2. ^ Full text of "Repton School register 1557-1910"
  3. ^ MacFarland, Sir John Henry (1851-1935) Heritage Guide to The Geelong College
Academic offices
Preceded by
Sir Henry Wrixon
Vice-Chancellor of the University of Melbourne
1910 – 1918
Succeeded by
Sir John Grice
Preceded by
Sir John Madden
Chancellor of the University of Melbourne
1918 – 1935
Succeeded by
Sir James Barrett