John Macadam

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
This article is about an Australian chemist, medical teacher and politician. For other uses, see John McAdam.
John Macadam
John Macadam (1827–1865).png
Born May 1827
Died 2 September 1865(1865-09-02)
Nationality Scottish
Occupation Chemistry professor

Dr. John Macadam (May 1827 – 2 September 1865), was a Scottish-Australian chemist, medical teacher and politician. The genus Macadamia was named after him in 1857 by his colleague Ferdinand von Mueller.


Macadam was born in Northbank, near Glasgow, Scotland. He studied chemistry at the Andersonian University and the University of Edinburgh, later switching to medicine at Glasgow. In 1855, he went to Melbourne, where he had been appointed as a lecturer in chemistry and natural science at Scotch College. He later became the first lecturer to teach at the University of Melbourne School of Medicine and on 3 March 1862 he commenced lectures in chemistry. In 1858 he was appointed the Victorian Government Analytical Chemist.

Between 1857 and 1862 Macadam served as Honorary Secretary of The Philosophical Institute of Victoria which later became the Royal Society of Victoria, and was appointed Vice-President in 1863. He was also a Member of the Legislative Assembly in the Victorian Parliament, representing Castlemaine. He was Postmaster-General of Victoria in 1861.1

Macadam died in 1865 after a shipboard accident.1 His grave is in Melbourne General Cemetery and he is commemorated in an exhibition in the School of Chemistry, University of Melbourne.

Australian rules football

On 7 August 1858 he officiated as one of two umpires at a game of football played between Scotch College and Melbourne Grammar. This game was a predecessor to the modern game of Australian Rules Football and is commemorated by a statue depicting the game outside the Melbourne Cricket Ground.23

Burke and Wills expedition

Between 1857 and 1865, Macadam served as Honorary Secretary to the Exploration Committee of the Royal Society of Victoria which organised the ill-fated Burke and Wills expedition.


  1. ^ a b Hartog 1893.
  2. ^ Scotch College Website. "The Cordner-Eggleston Cup". Retrieved 22 Nov 2009. 
  3. ^ AFL Website. "A Time Honoured Rivalry". Retrieved 22 Nov 2009. 


 Hartog, Philip Joseph (1893). "Macadam, John". In Lee, Sidney. Dictionary of National Biography 34. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 

External links