Authorised form of nameMacFarlane; Alexander (1702 - 1755); merchant
Dates1702 - 1755
Place of birthScotland
Date of birth1702
Date of death23 August 1755
OccupationMerchant; plantation and slave owner; colonial official
Research fieldMathematics
University of Glasgow, MA (1728)
Emigrated to Jamaica where he became a merchant, planter and owner of enslaved people in Kingston (1735), estates included Biscany in St Elzabeth and Serge Island Jamaica; Assistant judge, Jamaica; member of the Assembly for St Elizabeth, Jamaica (1754-1755); built his house in Jamaica to function as an observatory (1743); bequeathed his scientific instruments to the University of Glasgow, leding to the establishemnt of the MacFarlane Observatory (1757) where the instruments later inspired James Watt FRS
Membership categoryFellow
Date of election19/02/1747
Age at election44
RelationshipsSon of John MacFarlane of Arrochar; youngest brother of Walter MacFarlane, Scottish antiquary
Bulloch's Roll; additional biographical information on Fellows, 17; Wikipedia; UCL LBS
D J Bryden, 'The Jamaican Observatories of Colin Campbell, FRS and Alexander Macfarlane, FRS' in NR 1969 vol 24 pp 261-272
'Alexander Macfarlane', Legacies of British Slave-ownership database, [accessed 15th July 2020]
The Unviersity of Glasgow people database [accessed 21 May 2021]
Royal Society codeNA7222
Archives associated with this Fellow
Reference numberTitleDate
EC/1746/22MacFarlane, Alexander: certificate of election to the Royal Society19 February 1747
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