Click for Bookshop

(William) Ivison Macadam


1856 - 1902

Scientist. Born in Edinburgh, the son of another scientist, Macadam was at the Royal High School, Edinburgh Collegiate School and Heidelberg University in Germany. Like his father, he became a Lecturer in Chemistry, teaching medical students in the University of Edinburgh and at the Royal College of Surgeons, and veterinary students at the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies. He was also an officer in the volunteer army, rising to the ran of Colonel and commander of the Second Scottish Volunteer Coronation Battalion in 1902. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh (1888) and was also a leading freemason.

However, it is for the manner of his death he is perhaps best remembered. He was shot dead by a deranged employee in his laboratory in Surgeons' Hall, along with one of his students. His funeral was a lavish affair; his coffin was carried on a horse-drawn gun-carriage from his home in Lady Road (Craigmillar Park) to Portobello Cemetery, with a thousand soldiers and tens of thousands of people lining the route.

His son was Sir Ivison Macadam (1894 - 1974), who was the first Director-General of the Royal Institute of International Affairs (Chatham House) and the founding President of the National Union of Students.


Use the tabs on the right of this page to see other parts of this entry arrow

If you have found this information useful please consider making
a donation to help maintain and improve this resource. More info...

By using our site you agree to accept cookies, which help us serve you better