Vindication of General Sir Hector Macdonald.

We quote from the Celtic Monthly of October 1903 the following findings of a Commission which sat in Government Buildings, Colombo, Ceylon on the 29th June 1903. The article introduces the copy of the report with these words:

“The great majority of Hector Macdonald’s countrymen refused to believe that he was guilty, and felt convinced that he had been the victim of jealous and false tongues.”

The report follows:

Government Buildings, Colombo.
29th June 1903.

In reference to the grave charges made against the late Sir Hector Macdonald, we, the appointed and undersigned Commissioners, individually and collectively declare on oath that, after the most careful, minute, and exhaustive inquiry and investigation of the whole circumstances and facts connected with the sudden and unexpected death of the late Sir Hector Macdonald, unanimously and unmistakably find absolutely no reason or crime whatsoever which would create feelings such as would determine suicide, in preference to conviction of any crime affecting the moral and irreproachable character of so brave, so fearless, so glorious and unparalleled a hero: and we firmly believe the cause which gave rise to the inhuman and cruel suggestions of crime were prompted through vulgar feelings of spite and jealousy in his rising to such a high rank of distinction in the British Army: and, while we have taken the most reliable and trustworthy evidence from every accessible and conceivable source, have without hesitation come to the conclusion that there is not visible the slightest particle of truth in foundation of any crime, and we find the late Sir Hector Macdonald has been cruelly assassinated by vile and slandering tongues. While honourably acquitting the late Sir Hector Macdonald of any charge whatsoever, we cannot but deplore the sad circumstances of the case that have fallen so disastrously on One whom we have found innocent of any crime attributed to him.


We hope it will come as good news to many clansmen, who have always believed in the innocence of that great man, that he was so definitely exonerated by impartial commissioners on the spot at the time.

Footnote to the Online Edition: For further information see Richard Reincke’s excellent tribute site to Major General Sir Hector Archibald Macdonald– R.K.W.M.