The Madras College Archive


Former Pupil Biographies

Rev. Dr. John Gordon MacPherson, M.A., Ph.D., J.P., F.R.S.E  (1843 - 1909)

The Rev. John Gordon MacPherson was minister of Ruthven, Perthshire, from 1870 until his death at Ruthven Manse on Oct. 10th, 1909.

He was born at St. Andrews in 1843, and educated at Madras College and University of St. Andrews. In 1865 graduated with First Class Honours in mathematics and natural philosophy.

He was appointed headmaster of Hexham Academy in 1868; Rector and mathematics master, Forfar Academy, 1869; and mathematics examiner at St. Andrews University for various periods between 1870 and 1900.

 From 1876 to 1909 he was also examiner of entrant students of Divinity at the same University, and Extension Lecturer on meteorology for some years. In 1884 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh.

Among his numerous publications were:

  • Fairy Tales of Science, 1888;
  • Strathmore Past and Present, 1887;
  • Summer Sundays in a Strathmore Parish: sermons preached in Ruthven Parish Church, 1890;
  • Scotch Anecdotes, 1892 ;
  • Must I Tell, 1892 (under the psudonym Giriach Gordon - set in one of the Madras Houses)
  • Meteorology or Weather Explained, 1905 ;
  • Many contributions to the Press and various periodicals, including his work for some time on the staff of the 'Scotsman' as Scientific book review and leader writer.

In 'The Madras College' Dr Thompson wrote:

"Author Gordon MacPherson, sometime rector of Forfar Academy, under the pseudonym "Giriach Gordon" produced a charming little novel, "Must I Tell" set in one of the Madras houses."