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FitzCharles Macdonald

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FitzCharles Macdonald (1856-1912)

1912 Obituary [1]

FITZCHARLES MACDONALD was born at Strachur, Argyllshire, on 9th June 1856.

He was educated at Glasgow High School and Glasgow University, and began in 1873 an apprenticeship of four years with Messrs. J. Norman and Co., engineers, of Glasgow.

On its completion he spent two years in the locomotive works of the Caledonian Railway Co., in Glasgow; and during the years 1873-79 he also attended classes at the Glasgow School of Arts.

Having decided to follow a career abroad, he sailed in 1880 for Rangoon, where he obtained a post with the Irrawaddy Flotilla Co.

In 1886 he became assistant superintendent to the same company, and from 1894 to 1901 he acted as superintendent engineer at the Dalla Dockyard, Rangoon.

He was an enthusiast in military affairs, and was associated with the Rangoon Submarine Mining Engineers, of which he had command for a period. He saw active service in the Burmese war of 1885, and was present at the surrender of King Thebaw in the palace of Mandalay.

On behalf of the Indian Government and the Irrawaddy Flotilla Co., he visited the United States in order to study the system of conservancy adopted in regard to the Mississippi, and much of what he learned in America was turned to useful purpose in improving the navigation of the Irrawaddy.

Returning home in 1901, he made his headquarters in Glasgow, where he founded the firm of F. C. Macdonald and Co., exporters of all classes of engineering material to Burma, China, and the East generally.

He purchased the estate of Glenbranter, Argyllshire, and took an active interest in the affairs of his native parish of Strachur, serving for some time on the School Board.

His death took place at Bombay, where he was staying on business, on 2nd February 1912, in his fifty-sixth year.

He became a Member of this Institution in 1901.

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