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Uganda Railway Survey diaries, 1964

Reference Code: GBR/0115/RCS/RCMS 113/45

Scope and Contents

Typescript copies by A.T. Matson of the diaries of Sir James Macdonald and Sir John Pringle, 1891-1892.


  • Creation: 1964


Conditions Governing Access

From the Fonds:

Unless restrictions apply, the collection is open for consultation by researchers using the Manuscripts Reading Room at Cambridge University Library. For further details on conditions governing access please contact Information about opening hours and obtaining a Cambridge University Library reader's ticket is available from the Library's website (

Biographical / Historical

Sir James Ronald Leslie Macdonald (1862-1927) was born on 8 February 1862 in Aberdeen. He attended the grammar school and university in Aberdeen before joining the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich. He was gazetted to the Royal Engineers in 1882, and was attached to the Military Works Department in India, 1885-1891. In 1891 he was appointed Chief Engineer on the preliminary survey for the projected Uganda Railway between Mombasa and Lake Victoria Nyanza. Macdonald became Acting Commissioner of the Uganda in 1893, and commanded a British exploring expedition in East Africa, 1897-1899, which successfully engaged mutineers and rebels. He was appointed Director of Balloons, and subsequently of Railways, for the China expeditionary force in 1900, and was the general officer commanding in Mauritius, 1900-1912. He died on 27 June 1927 in Bournemouth. Sir John Wallace Pringle (1863-1938) was part of the Burmese Expedition, 1885-1886, and the Uganda Railway Survey, 1891-1892. He was Chief Inspecting Officer at the Ministry of Transport from 1916 until his retirement in 1929. He was a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, and was knighted in 1925. He died on 16 July 1938.


1 folder(s) (1 folder (62 pages)) : paper

Language of Materials


Former / Other Reference

MSS 46 V

Other Finding Aids

Donald H. Simpson, ed., 'The manuscript catalogue of the library of the Royal Commonwealth Society' (London, 1975), pp. 107-108.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Bequeathed by H.B. Thomas, 1971.

Existence and Location of Originals

The original diaries are kept at Rhodes House Library, Oxford, where they were deposited under the Oxford University Colonial Records Project.


This collection level description was created by RAS using information from Donald Simpson's R.C.S. catalogue. The biographical history was compiled with reference to the entry on Sir James Macdonald in J.R.H. Weaver, ed., 'Dictionary of national biography', 1922-1930 (Oxford University Press, 1937), pp. 528-530, and the entry on Sir John Pringle in 'Who was who', vol. III, 1929-1940 (London, 1967), p. 1106.


Macdonald, Sir, James Ronald Leslie, 1862-1927, Knight, Major General; Pringle, Sir, John Wallace, 1863-1938, Knight, Chief Inspecting Officer of Railways

Finding aid date

2004-01-21 16:17:58+00:00

Includes index.

Repository Details

Part of the Cambridge University Library Repository

Cambridge University Library
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