John Macdonald (British Army officer)

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Sir John Macdonald
Died 1850
Allegiance United Kingdom United Kingdom
Service/branch Flag of the British Army.svg British Army
Rank Lieutenant General
Awards Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath
Monument, Kensal Green Cemetery
Monument detail, Kensal Green Cemetery

Lieutenant General Sir John Macdonald GCB (before 1795 – 28 March 1850) was Adjutant-General to the Forces.

Military career[edit]

John Macdonald was commissioned into the 89th Regiment of Foot on 15 April 1795. He became lieutenant the regiment 2 February 1796, and captain 22 October 1803. He was made a major-unattached 28 February 1805, lieutenant-colonel on half-pay of the 1st garrison battalion 17 March 1808, brevet colonel 4 June 1814, major-general 1825, and lieutenant-general 1838. He served with the 89th in the Irish Rebellion of 1798, and afterwards in Minorca, Heasina, and at the blockade of Malta and capture of Valletta in 1799-1800, and throughout the campaign in Egypt in 1801. [1]

He was brigade-major to Sir William Cathcart, 1st Earl Cathcart in the home district in 1805, and military secretary when Cathcart was in command of the king's German legion as a separate army, in Swedish Pomerania (isle of Rugen), in 1806-7 ; and subsequently during the expedition to Copenhagenin in 1807. He was deputy adjutant-general to Sir John Hope, 4th Earl of Hopetoun at Walcheren ; and held the same post with Lieutenant-general Thomas Graham, 1st Baron Lynedoch at Codii and at the battle of Barossa (gold medal). He was military secretary to Sir John Hope when commander-in-chief at Ireland in 1812.[1]

He was a trusted aide to the Duke of Wellington. He rose to be Deputy Adjutant-General[2] and then in July 1830 he was appointed Adjutant-General to the Forces.[3] In this role he was conservative in his outlook and supported the Duke of Wellington in his efforts to retain flogging as a method of discipline.[4]

Mcdonald was made C.B. on 4 June 1815, and K.C.B. in 1827. He was awarded the GCB in 1847.[5] and died in office on 28 March 1850.[6]

He was also Colonel of the 67th Regiment of Foot[7] in 1828, and then the 42nd Regiment of Foot[8] on 16 March 1844.

He lived at 25 Pall Mall in London.[9] He died at his residence, Bruton Street, London, 28 March 1850, and was buried at Kensal Green Cemetery.[1]


He was a connection of Flora Macdonald the Jacobite heroine. He has a brother, Lieutenant-general Alexander Mcdonald, royal artillery. Mcdonald married a daughter of Charles Graham of Williamsfield, Jamaica, by whom he left issue.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d Chichester 1893.
  2. ^ "No. 18328". The London Gazette. 24 January 1827. p. 179. 
  3. ^ "No. 18711". The London Gazette. 27 July 1830. p. 1582. 
  4. ^ Radicalism and reform in Britain, 1780-1850 By John Rowland Dinwiddy Page 134 Hambledon Continuum, 1992, ISBN 978-1-85285-062-3
  5. ^ "No. 20775". The London Gazette. 17 September 1847. p. 3369. 
  6. ^ "The Scottish Nation: Macdonald". Archived from the original on 25 October 2007. Retrieved 2013-09-30. 
  7. ^ "No. 18501". The London Gazette. 1 September 1828. p. 1653. 
  8. ^ "No. 20306". The London Gazette. 19 January 1844. p. 181. 
  9. ^ Survey of London Volumes 29 and 30 By F. H. W. Sheppard

 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChichester, Henry Manners (1893). "Macdonald, John (d.1850)". In Lee, Sidney. Dictionary of National Biography. 35. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 


Military offices
Preceded by
Sir William Keppel
Colonel of the 67th (the South Hampshire) Regiment of Foot
Succeeded by
John Clitheroe
Preceded by
Sir Herbert Taylor
Adjutant General
Succeeded by
Sir George Brown
Preceded by
Sir George Murray
Colonel of the 42nd (Royal Highland) Regiment of Foot
Succeeded by
Sir James Dawes Douglas