(James) Ramsay MacDonald

1866 - 1937

Rt. Hon. Ramsay MacDonald MP
©2022 Gazetteer for Scotland

Rt. Hon. Ramsay MacDonald MP

Politician and British Prime Minister. Born in Lossiemouth. MacDonald became leader of the Opposition in 1922 and the first Labour Prime Minister of Britain, and Foreign Secretary, between January and November 1924. During this administration Britain recognised Soviet Russia, relieved the Irish Free State of debt, in return for it not pursuing its claim for the northern counties, and strengthened security and disarmament through the League of Nations. He returned to office in 1929 and formed a 'National Government' during the Depression. This recession, which he could not have been expected to resolve, led to his downfall in the early 1930s. The strain resulted in deteriorating health and eventually his death, at sea en route to South America.

MacDonald's ashes were buried in Old Spynie churchyard. His son, Malcolm MacDonald (1901-81), had a successful career as a diplomat.

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