Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Macleod, Norman (1783-1862)

MACLEOD, NORMAN, the elder (1783–1862), clergyman of the church of Scotland, son of Norman Macleod, ordained in 1774, minister of Morven, Argyllshire, by Jean, granddaughter of William Morrison, minister of Tiree in the Hebrides, was born in December 1783. He was licensed by the presbytery of Mull 23 June 1806, after which he was for a short time minister at Kilbrandon, Argyllshire. In December 1807 he was presented by the Duke of Argyll to the parish of Campbeltown, Argyllshire, where be was admitted 12 June 1808. In September 1821 he was presented to Kilmorie in Bute, but withdrew his acceptance; and having been presented by George IV to Campsie, Stirlingshire, in January 1825, he was admitted there in the following August. On 30 July 1827 he obtained the degree of D.D. from the university of Glasgow. On 31 Oct. 1836 he was elected by the managers minister of the Gaelic chapel of ease (St. Columba's), Glasgow, and was admitted in December. He was moderator of the general assembly of the church of Scotland which met on 18 May 1836, and in 1841 he was appointed chaplain in ordinary to the queen, and one of the deans of the Chapel Royal. He died 25 Nov. 1862.

Macleod is described in the 'Life' of his son Norman as a 'remarkably handsome man, with a broad forehead, an open countenance full of benevolence, and hair which from an early age was snowy white,' Besides attaining some eminence as a popular preacher, especially to Gaelic audiences, he interested himself in schemes for the welfare of the highlands. It was through his action, in directing attention to the insufficient provision for elementary education in the highlands and islands, that the church was induced to form its education scheme; and during a period of exceptional distress in the highlands he made a very successful visit to England to collect subscriptions. He also frequently undertook evangelising tours in Ireland, preaching to the Irish in their native language, which he had thoroughly mastered. Besides several sermons in Gaelic, he was the author of 'Gaelic Collection for the use of Schools,' 1828; 'The Gaelic Messenger,' 2 vols. 1880–1; 'Dictionary of the Gaelic Language' (in conjunction with Dr. Dewar), 1831; 'The Mercy and Justice of God manifested in the Expulsion of our First Parents from the Garden of Eden,' 1849; and the 'Psalms of David in Irish.'

By his wife Agnes Maxwell of Aros he had five sons and six daughters. The two elder sons, Norman (1812–1872) [q. v.] and Donald became ministers of the church of Scotland.

The third son, Sir George Husband Baird Macleod (1828–1892), surgeon, studied medicine at Glasgow (M.D. 1853), Paris, and Vienna, and in February 1854 was appointed senior surgeon of the civil hospital at Smyrna, retaining the office throughout the Crimean war. Some valuable 'Notes on the Surgery of the Crimean War, with Remarks on Gunshot Wounds,' appeared in the 'Edinburgh Medical Journal' for 1855. Next year he commenced practice at Glasgow, becoming surgeon in the Glasgow Royal Infirmary and lecturer on surgery at Anderson's College. In 1869 he succeeded Sir Joseph Lister as regius professor of surgery in Glasgow University. He was made senior surgeon in ordinary to the queen in Scotland, LL.D. of St. Andrews, and a knight (1887). Dying 31 Aug. 1892, he was buried in Campaie churchyard. In 1859 he married Sophia, daughter of William Houldsworth, esq., by whom he had a family. He contributed important articles to Cooper's 'Surgical Dictionary,' 'American International Cyclopædia,' the 'Lancet,' and the 'British Medical Journal' (Times and Lancet, September 1892; information kindly given by the Rev. Dr. Hamilton of Belfast).

[Donald Macleod's life of Norman Macleod (his son); Hew Scott's Fasti Eccles. Scot, ii. 32–3, 65, iii. 37; Men of the Reign.]