National Records of Scotland

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John James Rickard Macleod (1876-1935)

John James Rickard Macleod (1876-1935)

Physiologist and biochemist, Nobel laureate

John Macleod graduated from Marischal College in Aberdeen. He worked in Leipzig, Berlin, London, Ohio and Montreal. From 1918 he was Professor of Physiology at Toronto. He published papers on many subjects and was highly regarded for his teaching and as a director of research. His particular interest in diabetes led to collaborations with others on the causes of the disease and the means of controlling it. The result was the discovery of insulin for which he shared the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 1923. His contribution was widely recognised and included fellowships of the Royal Societies of Canada, London and Edinburgh. He returned to Scotland and was Regius Professor at Aberdeen from 1928 until his early death.  

Birth in 1876

John James Rickard Macleod was born at 10 am on 6 September 1876, the son of the Reverend Robert Macleod, Free Church Minister, New Clunie, and Jane Guthrie McWalter. The entry in the statutory register of births for the parish of Caputh in the county of Perth gives the place of birth as the Free Church Manse, parish of Caputh.

Birth entry for John Macleod

Birth entry for John Macleod (57 KB jpeg)
National Records of Scotland, 1876/337/22

1881 census

In 1881 John James Rickard Mcleod, aged 4, was enumerated at the Free Church Manse at Keith with his family. This is the only record which doesn't use the standard spelling of his surname - the enumerator may have mis-transcribed the information from the household schedule. The census return for the district of Keith in Banffshire shows that his father was born at Clyth in Caithness and his mother in Dundee. There are also two younger sisters and two servants in the household. The manse had nine rooms with one or more windows - data recorded in the final column was used to assess housing conditions and is not related to the window tax.

1881 census return for John Macleod

1881 census return for John Macleod (42 KB jpeg)
National Records of Scotland, 1881/159/2, page 25

John James Rickard Macleod hasn't been traced in the 1891-1911 censuses - a period when he travelled widely.

Marriage in 1903

John James Rickard Macleod, Physician and Surgeon, 26, married Mary Watson McWalter, his second cousin, on 22 July 1903. The entry in the statutory register of marriages for the district of Paisley gives the place of marriage as Rosehill Falside, after banns according to the forms of the Church of Scotland. His address is recorded as Loughton in Essex.

Marriage entry for John Macleod

Marriage entry for John Macleod (83 KB jpeg)
National Records of Scotland, 1903/573-1/396

Death in 1935

John James Rickard Macleod, 59, Professor of Physiology, died at 9 pm on 16 March 1935. The entry in the statutory register of deaths for the district of Peterculter, East in the county of Aberdeen gives the place of death as Craigievar, Bieldside. The cause of death column records that he had suffered from chronic infective arthritis for eight years, pleuritis for one month and 16 days, and myocarditis. The informant of the death was a law agent of 21 Golden Square in Aberdeen.

Death entry for John Macleod

Death entry for John Macleod (57 KB jpeg)
National Records of Scotland, 1935/231-1/8