John Macadam

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This article is about an Australian chemist, medical teacher and politician. For other uses, see John McAdam.
John Macadam
John Macadam (1827–1865).png
Born 29 May 1827
Died 2 September 1865(1865-09-02)
Nationality Scottish
Occupation Scientist, Analytical Chemist, Chemistry Lecturer, Health Officer, Member of the Victoria Legislature and Postmaster General
Known for

An organiser of Burke and Wills Expedition

Macadamia genus - macadamia nut - named after him

The Hon. Dr. John Macadam (29 May 1827 – 2 September 1865), was a Scottish-Australian chemist, medical teacher, Australian politician and cabinet minister. Honorary Secretary of the Burke and Wills expedition. The genus Macadamia (Macadamia nut) was named after him in 1857. He died in Australia aged 38.

Early life[edit]

John Macadam was born at Northbank, Glasgow, Scotland on 29 May 1827,[1] the son of William Macadam (1783-1853) and his wife Helen, née Stevenson (1803-1507).[2] His father was a Glasgow businessman, who owned a spinning and textile printing works in Kilmarnock, and was a Burgess and a Bailie (alderman) of Glasgow.[3] He and his fellow industrialists in the craft had developed, utilising chemistry, the processes for the large scale industrial printing of fabrics for which these plants in the area became known.[4]

John Macadam was privately educated in Glasgow; he studied chemistry at the Andersonian University (now the University of Strathclyde) and went for advanced study at the University of Edinburgh under Professor William Gregory (chemist). In 1846-47 he went on to serve as assistant to Professor George Wilson (chemist) at the University of Edinburgh in his laboratory in Brown Square.[5] He was elected a fellow of the Royal Scottish Society of Arts that year and in 1848 a member of the Glasgow Philosophical Society. He then studied medicine at Glasgow University (LFPS, MD,1854; FFPSG,1855).[6]

He was a member of what became a small dynasty of Scottish scientists and lecturers in analytical chemistry, which included, other than himself, his eldest half brother William Macadam, his immediate younger brother Stevenson Macadam (a younger brother Charles Thomas Macadam,[7] although not involved as a scientist, was also indirectly involved in chemistry becoming a senior partner in a chemical fertiliser company)[8] and nephews William Ivison Macadam and Stevenson J. C. G. Macadam,[9] as well as the former nephew's daughter, his great niece Elison A. Macadam.[10]

John Macadam was a tall and imposing figure, with long red hair, a flowing beard and powerful voice. All his life he commanded attention. He was a skilled, popular and eloquent lecturer who had obtained an outstanding knowledge of analytical chemistry and was always ready to pass on his knowledge. Before he left Glasgow he had published several papers on analytical chemistry.[11]

On 8 June 1855 Dr. John Macadam MD, then aged 28, sailed for Melbourne, in the Colony of Victoria, Australia on the sailing ship Admiral arriving on 8 September 1855.[12][13]

Australian academic career[edit]

In 1855 Lecturer on Chemistry and Natural Science at Scotch College, having been engaged for the position before leaving Scotland.[14]

In 1857 he was awarded an MD ad eundem from Melbourne University in acknowledgment of his MD from Glasgow University.[15]

In 1857-1858 he also taught at Geelong Church of England Grammar School (now Geelong Grammar School).[16]

In 1858 he was appointed the Victorian Government Analytical Chemist.[17]

In 1860 he became Health Officer to the City of Melbourne but apart from this work did not practise medicine. He wrote several reports on public health.[18]

In 1861 he was secretary to the Victorian Industrial Exhibition and begun a series of lectures on chemistry for medical students at the Analytical Laboratory, with Richard Eades lecturing on material media. These classes hastened the formation of the Medical School at the University of Melbourne which opened in 1862.[19]

In 1862 on 3 March he was appointed as the first Lecturer in Medicine (Chemistry, and Practical Chemistry) at the University of Melbourne School of Medicine. For the next few years he held classes for a small number of medical students in the Analytical Laboratory behind the Public Library.[20][21]

He was also a member of the Board of Agriculture.[22]

Political life[edit]

He became a Member of the Legislative Assembly of the self-governing Colony of Victoria[23] as a radical and supporter of the Land Convention,[24] representing Castlemaine.

He was Postmaster-General of Victoria in 1861.[25][26]

He resigned from the legislature in 1864.

He had sponsored bills on medical practitioners and adulteration of food which became law in 1862 and 1863.[27]

Royal Society of Victoria[edit]

Between 1857 and 1862, Macadam served as Honorary Secretary of The Philosophical Institute of Victoria which later became the Royal Society of Victoria in 1860,[28] and was appointed Vice-President of it in 1863. He was editor of first five volumes of the Society's Transactions.[29] He was active in erecting the Society's Meeting Hall (their present building)[30] and was involved in the Institute's initiative to obtain a royal charter. He saw both happen while he held office when, in January 1860, the Philosophical Institute became the Royal Society of Victoria and met in their new building.[31][32]

Burke and Wills expedition[edit]

Between 1857 and 1865, Macadam served as Honorary Secretary to the Exploration Committee of the Royal Society of Victoria which organised the Burke and Wills expedition.

The expedition was organised by the Society with the aim of crossing the continent of Australia from the south coast to the north coast, map it and collect scientific data and specimens. At that time most of the interior of Australia had not been explored by the European settlers and was unknown to them.

In 1860–61, Robert O'Hara Burke and William John Wills led the expedition of 19 men with that intention, crossing Australia from Melbourne in the south, to the Gulf of Carpentaria in the north, a distance of around 2,000 miles.

Three men ultimately travelled over 3,000 miles from Melbourne to the shores of the Gulf of Carpentaria and back to the Depot Camp at Cooper Creek. Seven men died in the attempt, including the leaders Robert O'Hara Burke and William John Wills. Of the four men who reached the north coast only one, John King (explorer), survived, with the help of the indigenous people, to return to Melbourne.[33]

This expedition became the first to cross the Australian continent. It was of great importance to the subsequent development of Australia and could be compared in importance to the Lewis and Clark Expedition overland to the North American Pacific Coast to the development of the United States.[34]

After the heavy death toll of the expedition, initial criticism fell on the Royal Society but it became clear that their foresight could not have prevented the deaths and this was then widely recognised[35] when it became known that as Secretary of the Exploration Committee of the Burke and Wills expedition, Dr. Macadam had insisted on adequate provisions for their safety.[36]

Macadamia Nut named after him[edit]

The Macadamia nut was discovered by the European settlers and subsequently the tree was named after him by his friend and colleague, Dr. Ferdinand Mueller (1825-1896),[37] Director of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Melbourne.[38] The tree gave his name to Macadamia nuts. The genus Macadamia was first described scientifically in 1857 by Dr. Mueller and he named the new genus in honour of his friend Dr John Macadam. Mueller had done a great deal of taxonomy of the flora, naming innumerable genera but chose this "...a beautiful genus dedicated to John Macadam, M.D. the talented and deserving secretary of our institute." [39]

Australian rules football[edit]

On 7 August 1858, John Macadam officiated as one of two umpires at a famous game of football played between Scotch College and Melbourne Grammar. It was co-umpired by Tom Wills and John Macadam. The two schools have competed annually ever since, latterly for the Cordner–Eggleston Cup.[40]

This game was a predecessor to the modern game of Australian rules football and is commemorated by a statue depicting the game outside the Melbourne Cricket Ground.[41]

Learned Societies[edit]

1847 fellow of the Royal Scottish Society of Arts[42]

1848 a member of the Glasgow Philosophical Society (now Royal Philosophical Society of Glasgow)[43]

1855 elected Fellow of the Faculty of Physicians and Surgeons, Glasgow University[44]

1855 elected member (1857–59 Hon. Sec), the Philosophical Institute of Victoria, later to become the Royal Society of Victoria [45]

1860 Vice-President of Royal Society of Victoria[46]

Death[edit]

Macadam died in 1865, aged 38, after a shipboard accident on the way to New Zealand.

In March 1865 he had gone to New Zealand to give evidence at the trial of Captain W. A. Jarvey, charged with the murder of his wife by poison.[47] The jury failed to agree and on the voyage home Macadam fractured his ribs in rough weather. On medical advice he was advised not to attend the adjourned trial. However he insisted on going, accompanied by John Drummond Kirkland, his medical student assistant. He sailed in the Alhambra but died on the voyage on 2 September 1865. Kirkland gave evidence at the trial and Jarvey was convicted.[48] Macadam's body, sealed in a lead coffin,[49] was brought back for burial in the Presbyterian section of the Melbourne General Cemetery.[50]

The Australian News commented that "At the time of his death, Dr Macadam was but 38 years of age; there can be little doubt that the various and onerous duties he discharged for the public must be attributed in great measure the shortening of his days."[51] The Australian Medical Journal stated "For some time it had been evident to his friends that his general health was giving way: that a frame naturally robust and vigorous was gradually becoming undermined by the incessant and harassing duties of the multifarious offices he filled." The Inquest verdict (he died at sea) stated "His death was caused by excessive debility and general exhaustion."[52]

Funeral[edit]

The funeral was large. The newspapers carried tributes and there were subsequent lengthier obituaries from learned societies published, such as that in the Australian Medical Journal[53] and elsewhere. The Melbourne Leader described the funeral: "The coffin was drawn by four horses. Four mourning coaches contained the chief mourners and the more intimate friends of the deceased gentleman. A large procession followed, in which were several members of Parliament, the members of the Royal Society, the Chief Justice; the Mayor and corporation of the city of Melbourne. A number of private carriages and the public wound up the procession....At the University, the chancellor, the vice-chancellor, and a number of the students, all in their academic robes, met the funeral cortege, and proceeded the remainder of the distance".[54] The chief mourner was his youngest brother, George Robert Macadam (1837-1918).[55]

John Macadam's grave, surmounted by a marble obelisk, is in Melbourne General Cemetery.[56]

Family[edit]

He had married Elizabeth Clark in Melbourne, Australia on 18 September 1856 (a year after he arrived from Scotland).[57] She had arrived three days before the wedding with her maid on the Admiral, the same ship he had travelled out on a year earlier, which reached Hobson's Bay (Melbourne's port) on September 15, 1856, having set sail from London on 7 June 1856.[58] Elizabeth Clark was probably born on 7 October 1832 in Barony parish Scotland, near Glasgow (her mother being Mary McGregor). She was the second daughter of John Clark,[59] of Levenfield House in Alexandria,[60] the Vale of Leven, a short distance north of Glasgow in West Dunbartonshire.[61] His Levenfield Works were involved in similar work to Dr. John Macadam’s father William Macadam in Kilmarnock in the then lucrative business of textile printing for domestic and European markets. The Clarks and Macadams must have become known to each other in Scotland because of their respective father's business connections. Elizabeth died in 1915, in Brighton, Victoria.[62]

John and Elizabeth had two sons:

John Melnotte Macadam, born 29 August 1858 at Fitzroy, Melbourne, Australia and who died on 30 January 1859,[63] aged 5 months (he was reburied with his father, whose monument bears the additional inscription: In memory of his only children John Melnotte Macadam Born August 29, 1858 Died January 30, 1859 followed by an inscription to his second son below it).[64]

William Castlemaine Macadam, born on 2 July 1860 and died 17 December 1865[65] at Williamstown, Victoria, Australia. He died aged only five and had survived his father by only a few months.[66] The inscription on his father's burial monument under His only children has him listed under his elder brother (above), who died in infancy, but does not for some reason give William's date of death on it.[67]

His second son's death left John Macadam with no descendants.

After John Macadam's and her children's deaths his widow later remarried. She married the Rev. John Dalziel Dickie, who was pastor at Colac for 32 years. They married on 26 February 1868[68] They had 4 daughters.[69] Elizabeth Dickie died aged 82 in 1915, in Brighton, Victoria, near Melbourne as the widow of the Rev. Dickie.[70] He had died 25 December 1909.[71]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ John Macadam: www.earthwords.co.uk/macadam.htm
  2. ^ Sir Ivison Macadam Archives, Runton Old Hall, East Runton, Norfolk, UK
  3. ^ Edwin Macadam : http://www.shelwin.com/e/ancestry/macadam/macadam_history.htm#John%20Macadam,%20MD
  4. ^ http://www.valeofleven.org.uk/famousfolk/industrials.html.
  5. ^ K. F. Russell, Macadam, John (1827–1865), Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/macadam-john-4054/text6453, published first in hardcopy 1974, accessed online 5 June 2016.
  6. ^ K. F. Russell, Macadam, John (1827–1865), Australian Dictionary of Biography.
  7. ^ Charles Thomas Macadam (1832-1906) later held the royal warrant as "Purveyor of Chemical Manures" to Queen Victoria.
  8. ^ It seems likely that the brothers' original interest in chemistry was derived from the advances and new inventions involved in the chemical printing processes of their father's commercial operations.
  9. ^ Edwin Macadam : http://www.shelwin.com/e/ancestry/macadam/macadam_history.htm#John%20Macadam,%20MD
  10. ^ His great-nephew Ivison Macadam was subsequently somewhat involved in Australia when he assisted in getting financial support for the Australian Institute of International Affairs and organised some international conferences there.
  11. ^ K. F. Russell, Macadam, John (1827–1865), Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/macadam-john-4054
  12. ^ The ship sailed from London on 6 June 1855 with him acting as ship's surgeon and arrived at Hobson's Bay (Melbourne's port) on 8 September 1855. The Argos, Melbourne, Victoria, Shipping Intelligence, Monday, 10 September 1855
  13. ^ Having acted as the ship's surgeon on the voyage: The Encyclopaedia of the Industrial Revolution in World History, Volume 3 edited by Kenneth E. Hendrickson III, Rowman and Littlefield, 2015
  14. ^ The Late Dr. Macadam, The Australian Medical Journal, October 1865. pp 327-332.: https://digitised-collections.unimelb.edu.au/bitstream/handle/11343/23129/267472_UDS2010779-118.pdf?sequence=10
  15. ^ Edwin Macadam : http://www.shelwin.com/e/ancestry/macadam/macadam_history.htm#John%20Macadam,%20MD.
  16. ^ The Encyclopaedia of the Industrial Revolution in World History, Volume 3 edited by Kenneth E. Hendrickson III, Rowman and Littlefield, 2015
  17. ^ K. F. Russell, Macadam, John (1827–1865), Australian Dictionary of Biography.
  18. ^ K. F. Russell, Macadam, John (1827–1865), Australian Dictionary of Biography.
  19. ^ K. F. Russell, Macadam, John (1827–1865), Australian Dictionary of Biography.
  20. ^ Edwin Macadam : http://www.shelwin.com/e/ancestry/macadam/macadam_history.htm#John%20Macadam,%20MD.
  21. ^ K. F. Russell, Macadam, John (1827–1865), Australian Dictionary of Biography.
  22. ^ K. F. Russell, Macadam, John (1827–1865), Australian Dictionary of Biography.
  23. ^ From 1851 until it 1901 - fifty years - it was the Colony of Victoria with its own government within the British Empire. In 1901 it became the State of Victoria in the Commonwealth of Australia
  24. ^ K. F. Russell, Macadam, John (1827–1865), Australian Dictionary of Biography.
  25. ^ Hartog 1893.
  26. ^ K. F. Russell, Macadam, John (1827–1865), Australian Dictionary of Biography.
  27. ^ K. F. Russell, Macadam, John (1827–1865) Australian Dictionary of Biography.
  28. ^ `"He was most enthusiastic in his endeavours to promote the success of any object he had in view. Through his exertions the number of members of the Institute was more than doubled in his first year he held office as Secretary." The Australian Medical Journal, October 1865
  29. ^ The Encyclopaedia of the Industrial Revolution in World History, Volume 3 edited by Kenneth E. Hendrickson III, Rowman and Littlefield, 2015
  30. ^ The present two storey brick structure was erected in several stages beginning with the original, red brick Meeting Hall which was completed in 1859. Designed by renowned Melbourne architect Joseph Reed (who also designed such buildings as the State Library, the Exhibition Buildings, Melbourne Town Hall, Trades Hall, Scots Church etc), the building was officially opened by the Victoria governor, Sir Henry Barkly, who was also president of the Society, on 10 December 1859. The building, still home of the Society, is now a heritage building: Royal Society of Victoria http://royalsocietyvictoria.org.au/about-us/history/our-heritage-building/
  31. ^ The Australian Medical Journal, October 1865
  32. ^ K. F. Russell, Macadam, John (1827–1865), Australian Dictionary of Biography.
  33. ^ Burke & Wills: The Scientific Legacy of the Victorian Exploring Expedition by E B Joyce & D A McCann, Royal Society of Victoria 2011 (celebrating the expedition's 150th anniversary).
  34. ^ The Lewis and Clark Expedition departed St. Louis in 1804 and arrived on the Pacific coast in November 1815 in what is now Oregon
  35. ^ The Australian Medical Journal, October 1865
  36. ^ K. F. Russell, Macadam, John (1827–1865), Australian Dictionary of Biography.
  37. ^ Mueller in 1871 was made a hereditary baron by the King of Württemberg [then a German state], having been granted his `von' in 1867. He was invested with CMG. in 1869 and KCMG. in 1879. He was awarded a royal medal of the Royal Society, London, in 1888 and won many European honours: Deirdre Morris, Mueller, Sir Ferdinand Jakob Heinrich von (1825–1896), Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/mueller-sir-ferdinand-jakob-heinrich-von-4266/text6893, published first in hardcopy 1974, accessed online 10 June 2016.
  38. ^ Edwin Macadam: http://www.shelwin.com/e/ancestry/macadam/macadam_history.htm#John%20Macadam,%20MD
  39. ^ The proceedings of Philosophical Institute of Victoria, now the Royal Society of Victoria Rev: Mueller F (1857) Account of some new Australian plants. Transactions of the Philosophical Institute of Victoria 2: 62-77; Burke & Wills: The Scientific Legacy of the Victorian Exploring Expedition by E B Joyce & D A McCann, Royal Society of Victoria 2011
  40. ^ Scotch College Website. "The Cordner-Eggaleston Cup". Retrieved 22 Nov 2009. 
  41. ^ AFL Website. "A Time Honoured Rivalry". Retrieved 22 Nov 2009. 
  42. ^ K. F. Russell, Macadam, John (1827–1865), Australian Dictionary of Biography.
  43. ^ K. F. Russell, Macadam, John (1827–1865), Australian Dictionary of Biography.
  44. ^ The Australian Medical Journal, October, 1865
  45. ^ He edited their Transactions from 1855-60.:K. F. Russell, Macadam, John (1827–1865), Australian Dictionary of Biography.
  46. ^ K. F. Russell, Macadam, John (1827–1865), Australian Dictionary of Biography.
  47. ^ The Trial of Captain Jarvey, The Australian Medical Journal, October 1865. pp321-326
  48. ^ Kirkland, was subsequently appointed lecturer in chemistry to succeed him and later became the first professor of chemistry at the University of Melbourne.
  49. ^ Melbourne Leader, Sat 30 September 1865
  50. ^ K. F. Russell, Macadam, John (1827–1865), Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/macadam-john-4054
  51. ^ The Australian News, September 1866
  52. ^ The Late Dr. Macadam,The Australian Medical Journal, October 1865. pp 327
  53. ^ The Late Dr. Macadam,The Australian Medical Journal, October 1865. pp 327-332.: https://digitised-collections.unimelb.edu.au/bitstream/handle/11343/23129/267472_UDS2010779-118.pdf?sequence=10
  54. ^ Melbourne Leader, Sat 30 September 1865
  55. ^ a teacher who was buried in Avoca in 1918, a hundred or so miles from Melbourne. John Macadam: www.earthwords.co.uk/macadam.htm
  56. ^ John Macadam: www.earthwords.co.uk/macadam.htm
  57. ^ K. F. Russell, Macadam, John (1827–1865), Australian Dictionary of Biography.
  58. ^ The Age,16 September 1856
  59. ^ The Argus, 19 Sept 1856,
  60. ^ Scottish Post Office Directories, Glasgow, 1828-1912 page 109 : http://digital.nls.uk/directories/browse/pageturner.cfm?id=84109683&mode=transcription
  61. ^ John Clark and a partner James Barnet had purchased a company, John Orr Ewing & Co from John Orr Ewing and Robert Alexander who having built the business up over some ten years retired on the proceeds, the former to a country estate outside Edinburgh. The name of the company was changed to Robert Alexander and Co. when they acquired it. These industrialists developed the chemical processes for the large scale industrial printing of fabrics. The general area became world famous for its methods of fabric printing, especially Turkey Red: http://www.valeofleven.org.uk/famousfolk/industrials.html.
  62. ^ Documents in possession of John Macadam: www.earthwords.co.uk/macadam.htm.
  63. ^ Edwin Macadam: http://www.shelwin.com/e/ancestry/macadam/macadam_history.htm#John%20Macadam,%20MD
  64. ^ "The coffin of a little child of the doctor's, which died some time since, was exhumed and buried with him" The Leader, Melbourne, Sat 30 September 1865.
  65. ^ " the only surviving child of the late Dr. John Macadam died 17 Dec 1865 at the residence of Captain Picken in Williamstown, Victoria." The Argus, 23.12.1865
  66. ^ "He left a widow and son to mourn his untimely death. The Late Dr. Macadam, The Australian Medical Journal, October 1865. pp 327-332.: https://digitised-collections.unimelb.edu.au/bitstream/handle/11343/23129/267472_UDS2010779-118.pdf?sequence=10
  67. ^ Inscribed "and William Castlemaine Macadam Born July 2, 1860" but no date of his death was recorded there. It was 17 December 1865.
  68. ^ at The Esplanade, Williamstown, Victoria :The Greenock Advertiser , 30 April 1868.
  69. ^ John Macadam, letter in possession of <www.earthwords.co.uk/macadam.htm>. Letter written from The Manse, Colac – in Victoria west of Melbourne – 24 July 1888, to Mary Macadam, daughter of William Macadam.
  70. ^ John Macadam <www.earthwords.co.uk/macadam.htm> (obit in Colac Reformer, 28.08.15 http://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/154242236?searchTerm=%22elizabeth+dickie%22# ). In The Argus there’s a notice of the will of Elizabeth Dickie, of Brighton, who died 19 August 1915 and one of whose executors was a clergyman: John Macadam (of www.earthwords.co.uk/macadam.htm).
  71. ^ The Chronicle, Adelaide,. 4 December 1909

References[edit]

 Hartog, Philip Joseph (1893). "Macadam, John". In Lee, Sidney. Dictionary of National Biography. 34. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 

External links[edit]