Roderick Macdonald (politician)

Roderick Macdonald, MD, FRCS (1840–1894) was a Scottish doctor and a Crofters Party politician. As a coroner he presided over the inquest of one of the victims in the Whitechapel murders.

Macdonald was the son of Angus Macdonald, a house carpenter, of Fairy Bridge, Skye. He was educated at the Free Church Normal School, Glasgow, and at Glasgow University. Later he was a teacher at the Free Church School, Lonmore. He then studied medicine and was L.R.C.P. and L.R.C.S., Edinburgh in 1867.[1] He was also a member of the Inner Temple.[2]

He practiced medicine in the East End of London, and was divisional surgeon for the police in the Isle of Dogs.[3]

In 1885 Macdonald was elected as the Member of Parliament (MP) for Ross and Cromarty in the crofter's interest.[4] He held the seat until he stood down at the 1892 election.[4] Around 1887, he was elected as coroner for the north-east part of East Middlesex. He presided over the inquest into the death of Mary Jane Kelly, one of the victims in the Whitechapel murders, at Shoreditch Town Hall on 12 November 1888.[5]

On 28 January 1890 Macdonald married Frances Emma Maryon Perceval (20 July 1868 – 15 March 1893), a great grand-daughter of Spencer Perceval. He lived at 65 West Ferry Road, Millwall, and later at 252 Camden Road, Middlesex, where he died from cancer, aged 54.[1]


  1. Norman Macdonald and Cailean Maclean, The Great Book of Skye, volume 1 (Great Book Publishing, Portree, 2014), at pages 194-196
  2. Debretts Guide to the House of Commons 1886
  3. Obituary in the British Medical Journal, 24 March 1894, page 664
  4. Craig, F. W. S. (1989) [1974]. British parliamentary election results 1885–1918 (2nd ed.). Chichester: Parliamentary Research Services. p. 559. ISBN 978-0-900178-27-6.
  5. Stewart P. Evans and Donald Rumbelow Jack the Ripper: Scotland Yard Investigates, p. 175 Sutton: Stroud (2006); ISBN 0-7509-4228-2