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John Macmillan R.N.


First Name

Surname / Subject



John Macmillan R.N.

Convict Ship Surgeon-Superintendent

Date of Seniority Royal Navy 5 December 1807

John Macmillan was born c. 1778.

He was appointed Surgeon to the Navy on 5th December 1807.

He was appointed to the position of surgeon on the Buffalo at Portsmouth in 1807[1]

Surgeon Superintendent Speke 1808

John Macmillan was employed as Surgeon on the convict ship Speke to New South Wales in 1808.

In Australia he joined H.M.S. Porpoise. .....

Wikipedia - H.M.S Porpoise was the former mercantile quarter-decked sloop Lord Melville, which the Royal Navy purchased in 1804 to use as a store-ship. She sailed to the colony of New South Wales in January 1806. She was the flagship of William Bligh when he was governor of New South Wales and played a prominent role in the Rum Rebellion. In May 1810 Porpoise sailed from Sydney; after arriving in Britain she underwent a major refit. After voyages to the West Indies, the Cape of Good Hope and North America she served as a harbour ship at Woolwich and Sheerness. She was laid up in 1814 and sold in January 1816. She then returned to mercantile service under her original name (Lord Melville) and made one voyage transporting convicts to New South Wales, and a second to Van Diemen's Land (in 1818).

Surgeon Superintendent Lord Melville 1818

John Macmillan was Surgeon on the Lord Melville to Van Diemen's Land in 1818.

He was on the navy list of surgeons unfit for duty in 1847[2]


John Macmillan, Esq., M.D., entered the Royal Navy and became full Surgeon in 1807. He was for some time on the South Sea station, and after his return to England became, in 1820, a Fellow of the Linnean Society. He subsequently retired to Culross in the county of Perth, where he died on the 1st of the present month, after a long illness, at the age of 81.[3]

Notes and Links

1). Copy of a letter received by William Bligh from Thomas Jamison, Colonial Surgeon; John Harris, Surgeon, NSW Army Corps; J. MacMillan, Surgeon, HMS Buffalo. 14 December 1806 - State Library NSW


[1] Naval Chronicle

[2] Navy List

[3] The Journal of the Linnean Society of London: Zoology, Volumes 3-4



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