MacGillivray Places & People

Clan MacGillivray People

William MacGillivray
Head of North West Company and members of Legislative Council of Lower Canada combated the 5th Earl of Selkirk’s plan to settle the destitute Gaels of Ireland and the Scottish Highlands as farmers on Red River.

He defeated Selkirk by means of murder, arson, perjury, theft and blackmail.
William MacGillivray


William MacGillivray (1796 – 1852)
MacGillivray was born in Aberdeen and brought up on the island of Harris. He returned to Aberdeen where he studied medicine at King’s College. He was Curator of the museum of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh from 1831, and Professor of Natural History at Marischal College, Aberdeen from 1841.

MacGillivray was a friend of John James Audubon, and wrote large part of Audubon’s Ornithological Biographies from 1830-1839. Audubon named MacGillivray’s Warbler for him.

He died in Aberdeen and was buried in Edinburgh’s New Calton cemetery. His eldest son, John MacGillivray, published an account of the voyage round the world of HMS Rattlesnake, on board of which he was naturalist. Another son, Paul, published an Aberdeen Flora in 1853.