Alexander Macdonald - Surgeon

Alexander Macdonald

Biography: 

A surgeon on the East India Company vessel The Lord Mansfield in 1763. Originating from the Isle of Skye. A friend of William McQuhae, and a staunch Jacobite.

Life with Boswell: 

Macdonald visited Boswell on February 24, 1763. Boswell "really took a liking to the lad." (LJ240263)

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Alexander MacDonald

A Highland laird with an Eton education; his wife, Lady Elizabeth Diana MacDonald (neƩ Bosville), was daughter of Godfrey Bosville of Gunthwaite & Thorpe, the Yorkshire squire whom Boswell, on very tenuous evidence, accepted as his chief. Boswell had once considered her as a possible matrimonial candidate. Alexander MacDonald's mother, Lady Margaret MacDonald, was mother and sister to the tenth and eleventh earls of Eglinton and had harbored Bonnie Prince Charlie at her home on the Isle of Skye in her youth. [from "Boswell for the Defence"]

Highlands Visit

Boswell and Dr. Johnson visited Alexander MacDonald at his home in Sleat, Isle of Skye, during their tour of the Highlands in 1773. Their uncouth and parsimonious treatment by Sir Alexander and his "insipid" wife was the cause of much resentment on the part of Boswell and Johnson after years of friendship in London. Although Boswell pruned this episode for print, it nevertheless came close to provoking a duel between MacDonald and his late guest. [Boswell for the Defence; Boswell's Journal of a Tour of the Hebrides, Yale Editions]