Macmaster was born into a family of Scottish descent in Williamstown, Glengarry County, Canada West. He studied law at McGill University, was called to the Quebec bar in 1871, and set up practice in Montreal. Macmaster served as Crown Prosecutor for many cases. He was called to the Ontario bar and appointed Queen's Counsel in 1882.
In 1905, Macmaster emigrated to England and settled in London, intending to practise in Privy Council cases, in which he already had considerable experience. In 1910 he was elected to the House of Commons as Conservative member for the Chertsey division of Surrey, holding the seat until his death. He was created a baronet in the 1921 New Year Honours.
In 1880, he married Janet Macdonald, who died less than three years later. In 1890 he married the American Ella Virginia DeFord. Their only son, Donald, was killed in action at the Battle of Loos while commanding a company of the Cameron Highlanders on 25 September 1915.
- Obituary, The Times, 4 March 1922
- Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs [self-published source][better source needed]
- Leigh Rayment's list of baronets [self-published source][better source needed]
- Donald Macmaster – Parliament of Canada biography
- Ontario Legislative Assembly Parliamentarian History
- The Canadian parliamentary companion, 1883 JA Gemmill
- The Canadian men and women of the time : a handbook of Canadian biography HJ Morgan (1898)
- Hansard 1803–2005: contributions in Parliament by Donald Macmaster
|Parliament of the United Kingdom|
Francis John Marnham
|Member of Parliament for Chertsey
January 1910 – 1922
|Oldest Member of Parliament
(not Father of the House)
Henry Bruce Armstrong