Macdonald, Reginald John Somerled
b. 1840-10-01
d. 1876-08-26
Reginald John Somerled Macdonald was born on 1 October 1840 in Jhansi, Northern India to Captain Allan Macdonald of the 4th Bengal Native Infantry and Anne Smith.1 Rather than follow in his father’s footsteps and pursue a career in the military, Macdonald became a civil servant and worked for the Colonial Office as a Clerk and later as a Privy Secretary.2 In 1859, Macdonald was appointed as Clerk, and during his time as Privy Secretary, he would work under various Colonial Secretaries.3 Throughout his career, Macdonald would serve in the North American Department, and in his later career, sit as an Assistant Clerk in 1870.4
In his position, he was responsible for not only the relay of information, but specifically the investigation of facts on certain people within the Colonial Correspondence.5 In addition to his work investigating information, Macdonald was also charged with setting up and scheduling appointments.6 Although he did much work in the civil service, it came to an end with his young death on 26 August 1876 in London from alcoholism -- he was only 35.
Macdonald, although met with an early death, lived an interesting life beyond his work in the Civil Service. He was known to be an avid mountaineer, beginning climbing in 1862 and joining as a member of the Alpine Club soon thereafter.7 His mountaineering achievements included some first ascents and passages; however, Macdonald preserved his mountain climbing expeditions for his weekends when he was on break from his work with the Colonial Office.8
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The Colonial Despatches Team. Macdonald, Reginald John Somerled. The Colonial Despatches of Vancouver Island and British Columbia 1846-1871, Edition 2.2, ed. The Colonial Despatches Team. Victoria, B.C.: University of Victoria. https://bcgenesis.uvic.ca/macdonald_rs.html.

Last modified: 2020-12-02 13:40:34 -0800 (Wed, 02 Dec 2020) (SVN revision: 5008)