National Records of Scotland

Preserving the past, Recording the present, Informing the future

Zachary MacAulay (1768-1838)

Zachary MacAulay (1768-1838)

Slavery abolitionist

Zachary MacAulay worked as a book-keeper on a sugar plantation in Jamaica. In the 1790s he was based in Sierra Leone, a colony established for emancipated slaves, and became its governor. He settled in Surrey following his marriage to Selina Mills on 26 August 1799. Having seen the misery of slavery at first hand, he went on to play a leading role in the campaign to abolish the slave trade and collated data to back up the case made in Parliament. He continued to work for the abolition of slavery and was involved in various philanthropic projects. He died in London on 13 May 1838. He is commemorated with a memorial bust in Westminster Abbey. His eldest son, Thomas Babington Macaulay, is the famous historian and critic, Lord MacAulay.

Birth in 1768

Zachary MacAulay was born on 2 June 1768, the son of Reverend John MacAulay, minister of the gospel in Inveraray and Margaret Campbell. The entry in the Old Parish Register (OPR) for Inveraray and Glenaray in the county of Argyll gives the date of baptism as 12 May.

Birth and baptism entry for Zachary MacAulay

Birth and baptism entry of Zachary MacAulay (24 KB jpeg)
National Records of Scotland, OPR 513/3, page 67