The Madras College Archive


Former Pupil Biographies

Sir Charles Alexander Cameron (1841 - 1924)


Sir Charles Cameron was a Scottish Doctor, Newspaper Editor and Liberal Politician.

Cameron was born in Dublin, the son of John Cameron, newspaper proprietor of Glasgow and Dublin. He was educated at Madras College, St Andrew's and at Trinity College, Dublin. He also studied at medical schools in Paris, Berlin, and Vienna, but never practised medicine. He became editor of the North British Daily Mail in 1864, and was managing proprietor of the paper from 1873.

  • He became an MP in 1874 as one of the three Members of Parliament (MPs) for Glasgow.
  • The constituency was broken up under the Redistribution of Seats Act 1885, and he was elected at the 1885 general election as the MP for the new Glasgow College constituency.
  • He held the seat until his defeat at the 1895 general election.
  • He was subsequently elected as MP for Glasgow Bridgeton at a by-election in February 1897 and held the seat until he stood down at the 1900 general election.
In 1893 Cameron was created baronet Cameron of Balclutha, Renfrew for his journalistic and parliamentary services.
  • In Westminster he was responsible for the Inebriates Acts, secured various reforms in the Scottish Liquor Laws and was a member of the Royal Commission on the Liquor Licensing Laws in 1895.
  • He was also behind laws conferring the municipal franchise on women, and acts abolishing imprisonment for debt in Scotland and was a member of the Departmental Committee on Habitual Offenders (Scotland) in 1894.
  • His resolution led to the adoption of sixpenny telegrams
  • He was on the Committee on Transit of Cattle Coastwise in 1893.
  • He also wrote a number of pamphlets on medical, social, and political subjects.
  • He served as president of the Cremation Society of Great Britain.

Cameron lived at Glenridge, Virginia Water, where he enjoyed motoring, riding, and travel. He died at the age of 82.

Cameron married firstly Frances Caroline Macaulay in 1869. Their son John succeeded to the baronetcy. Frances died in 1899, and he subsequently married Blanche Perman.