Normand MacLaurin

Normand MacLaurin
Sir Henry Normand MacLaurin, Chancellor of the University of Sydney.

Sir Henry Normand MacLaurin, (known as Normand MacLaurin, 10 December 1835, Kilconquhar, Scotland – 24 August 1914, Sydney, Australia), was a Scottish-born physician, company director, Australian politician and university administrator.


MacLaurin was born in Kilconquhar, Fife, Scotland, the son of James MacLaurin, M.A. schoolmaster and Catherine, née Brearcliffe. He was educated at home. At 15 years of age he won a bursary at the University of St Andrews and took the degree of M.A., graduating in 1854 at 19 years of age.

Both parents died before he was 19. With help from his only brother, Rev. James MacLaurin, and some fees he earned for tutoring, he enrolled in medicine at the University of Edinburgh. He qualified as M.D. in 1857 (aged 22) and subsequently served on eight different ships in the Royal Navy.

In the course of his naval service, on 4 February 1868 he reached Port Phillip, and then Sydney in conjunction with the Royal Visit to Australia of Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh. On 1 October 1868 he decided to register with the Medical Board of New South Wales, where he met Dr Charles Nathan[1] and his family. He was obliged to return with his ship to England, but in May 1871 he obtained 12 months leave and returned to Sydney where he married Eliza Ann née Nathan at St James' Church on 6 October 1871. (Eliza Nathan was the daughter of Charles, and the grand-daughter of Isaac Nathan.) He was dropped from the navy list in January 1873.[2]

MacLaurin went to Parramatta, and then after his father-in-law's death in September 1872, to Macquarie Street, Sydney.[3] and became good friends with Charles Mackellar.[citation needed]

MacLaurin became a member of the Legislative Council of New South Wales in 1889. In April 1893 he became vice-president of the executive council in the George Dibbs ministry. Soon after, there was a financial crisis. MacLaurin suggested to the premier that all bank notes should be made legal tender; this suggestion was adopted and helped very much to allay the panic.[citation needed]

In 1887 MacLaurin was appointed vice-chancellor of the University of Sydney, becoming chancellor in 1896.

See also

MacLaurin had 4 sons:

  • Charles (1872–1925), M.B., B.S., F.R.C.S. was "a medical practitioner" who wrote a number of notable publications.[4][5]
  • Henry (1878–1915), was a barrister and Brigadier General who was killed at the Battle of Gallipoli in 1915.
  • J.B. MacLaurin
  • H.C.H. MacLaurin


  1. ^ Catherine Mackerras, 'Nathan, Charles (1816 - 1872)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 5, Melbourne University Press, 1974, p. 327.
  2. ^ Ann M. Mitchell, 'MacLaurin, Sir Henry Normand (1835 - 1914)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 10, MUP, 1986, pp 327-329.
  3. ^ Macquarie Street, Sydney in Australia is somewhat analogous to Harley Street, London in the U.K.
  4. ^ Charles MACLAURIN, The AIF Project,
  5. ^ B2455, MACLAURIN C, Service record, Mapping our Anzacs, National Archives of Australia.

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