John Macdonald Cameron

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John Macdonald Cameron (8 April 1847 – 3 September 1912) was a Scottish chemist and Liberal Party politician who sat in the House of Commons from 1885 to 1892.

Cameron was the only son of Lachlan Cameron of Saltburn Ross and his wife Christina Macdonald of Brackla, Nairnshire. He was educated at Sharp's Institution, Perth and entered the Inland Revenue in 1866. In 1870 he gained a Board of Inland Revenue scholarship in Science and studied at the Royal School of Mines winning 1st class prize in Organic and Inorganic Chemistry. He was a chemist in the Inland Revenue Laboratory at Somerset House from 1870 to 1874 and then became an instructor in the Chemical Research Laboratory at the Royal School of Mines. In 1879 he began in business as an assayer and mining expert.[1] He contributed to a geological paper on a possible new mineral from Scotland in 1880.[2]

At the 1885 general election, Cameron was elected as the Member of Parliament (MP) for Wick Burghs as an independent liberal, defeating the sitting Liberal MP John Pender.[3] A committed land reformer, he had been nominated by the Wick Radical Workingmen's Association and supported by the Highland Law Reform Association[3] and appears to have been sympathetic to the Crofters Party.[4] He served as a Liberal Party MP and held the seat until his defeat at the 1892 general election by Pender, who was by then a Liberal Unionist.[3]

In 1891 'the hon.Member [was] involved in an exploration scheme in Central Borneo, [and] penetrated further into that country than any white man has ever done before [to the] headwaters of the Great Mahakham River...[He] was very successful in his explorations. He started with three hundred men and came back with three...' [5]


  1. ^ Debretts Guide to the House of Commons 1886
  2. ^ Quarterly Journal of the Geological Society, 36, 109-111 (Jan. 1880)
  3. ^ a b c Craig, F. W. S. (1989) [1974]. British parliamentary election results 1885–1918 (2nd ed.). Chichester: Parliamentary Research Services. p. 521. ISBN 0-900178-27-2. 
  4. ^ Allan W. MacColl Land, Faith and the Crofting Community Edinburgh University Press 2006
  5. ^ Exploration of Darkest Borneo, Leeds Mercury Weekly Supplement, p.2, 19 March, 1892

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
John Pender
Member of Parliament for Wick Burghs
Succeeded by
John Pender