The Lord Reay
Governor of Bombay
In office
Preceded bySir James Fergusson, Bt
Succeeded byThe Lord Harris
Under-Secretary of State for India
In office
11 March 1894 – 21 June 1895
Prime MinisterThe Earl of Rosebery
Preceded byGeorge W. E. Russell
Succeeded byThe Earl of Onslow
Personal details
Born(1839-12-22)22 December 1839
The Hague, Netherlands
Died1 August 1921(1921-08-01) (aged 81)
Carolside, Berwickshire, Scotland
Political partyLiberal
Spouse(s)Fanny Hasler

Donald James Mackay, 11th Lord Reay KT GCSI GCIE PC FBA JP DL (22 December 1839 – 1 August 1921) (in the Netherlands: Donald Jacob, Baron Mackay, Lord of Ophemert and Zennewijnen) was a Dutch-born British administrator and Liberal politician.


Mackay was born Donald Jacob baron Mackay in The Hague, Netherlands,[1] the son of Aeneas Mackay, 10th Lord Reay,[2] a Dutch member of Parliament, and jonkvrouw Maria Catharina Anna Jacoba Fagel,[1] daughter of mr. Jacob baron Fagel and jkvr. Maria Boreel, relative of the Boreel baronets.[3]

Political career

Lord Reay succeeded his father in 1876 and was naturalised as a British subject in 1877.[3] He was created Baron Reay, of Durness in the County of Sutherland, in the Peerage of the United Kingdom, in 1881.[4] In 1885 he was appointed Governor of Bombay,[5] a post he held until 1890.[2] He was appointed a Knight Grand Commander of the Most Eminent Order of the Indian Empire in 1887 and a Knight Grand Commander of the Most Exalted Order of the Star of India in 1890.[3] After his return to Britain he served as Under-Secretary of State for India between 1894 and 1895 in Lord Rosebery Liberal administration.[2] He was also a British delegate at the Second Peace Conference which led to the signing of the Hague Convention 1907. Other British delegates included Ernest Satow and Eyre Crowe.[citation needed]

Perhaps his most memorable contribution to politics was during the crisis over the People's Budget of 1909–10, where the House of Lords, violating a convention going back more than 200 years, rejected the Budget. Reay strongly opposed this act, and gave the memorable warning : "Oligarchies are seldom destroyed and more frequently commit suicide".[6]

Other public appointments

Apart from his political and administrative career Lord Reay was Rector of St Andrews University from 1884 to 1886,[7] Chairman of the London School Board (1897–1904), President of the Royal Asiatic Society (1893–1921) and University College, London, and the first President of the British Academy from 1902 to 1907.[8][9] He was also Lord Lieutenant of Roxburghshire from 1892 to 1918 and served as President of the first day of the 1882 Co-operative Congress.[10] He was sworn of the Privy Council in 1906[11] and made a Knight of the Thistle in 1911.[12]

He received an honorary doctorate (LL.D) from the University of Glasgow during their 450th jubilee celebrations in June 1901.[13]

He remained in contact with the Dutch community and attended the reception and spoke with the famous Dutch writer Louis Couperus (1863–1923) on the occasion of his visit to London in June 1921, being invited by the Dutch ambassador in London, René de Marees van Swinderen (1860–1955), and which visit was mainly organised by his translator Alexander Teixeira de Mattos (1865–1921).[14]


Lord Reay married Fanny Georgiana Jane, daughter of Richard Hasler, of Aldingbourne, Sussex, in 1877. They had no children. He died in August 1921, aged 81. On his death the barony of 1881 became extinct while he was succeeded in the Scottish title by his cousin Eric baron Mackay (1870–1921) who was succeeded only three months later by his son Sir Aeneas Alexander baron Mackay (1905–1963), 13th Lord Reay, member of the House of Lords (1955–1959).[2]


  1. ^ a b Birth certificate, The Hague Municipal Archive
  2. ^ a b c d Sir Donald James Mackay, 11th Lord Reay
  3. ^ a b c Nederland's Adelsboek 88 (1999), p. 28.
  4. ^ "No. 25021". The London Gazette. 30 September 1881. p. 4891.
  5. ^ "No. 25448". The London Gazette. 3 March 1885. p. 920.
  6. ^ Roy Jenkins Churchill Macmillans 2001 p.165
  7. ^ Lord Rectors of St Andrews 1858-to date Archived 5 June 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ "The British Academy". The Times. No. 36937. London. 28 November 1902. p. 8.
  9. ^ Donald James Mackay, KT, FBA, 11th Baron Reay (1839–1921)
  10. ^ Congress Presidents 1869-2002 (PDF), February 2002, archived from the original (PDF) on 28 May 2008, retrieved 10 May 2008
  11. ^ "No. 27886". The London Gazette. 16 February 1906. p. 1133.
  12. ^ Knights of the Thistle
  13. ^ "Glasgow University jubilee". The Times. No. 36481. London. 14 June 1901. p. 10.
  14. ^ Ronald Breugelmans, Louis Couperus. Lion of the season. Raamsdonk, De Roofpers, 1982
Political offices Preceded byGeorge W. E. Russell Under-Secretary of State for India 1894–1895 Succeeded byThe Earl of Onslow Government offices Preceded bySir James Fergusson Governor of Bombay 1885–1890 Succeeded byThe Lord Harris Preceded byThe Marquess of Londonderry Chairman of the London School Board 1897–1904 Succeeded byBoard abolished Honorary titles Preceded byThe Duke of Roxburghe Lord Lieutenant of Roxburghshire 1892–1918 Succeeded byThe Duke of Roxburghe Academic offices Preceded bySir Theodore Martin Rector of the University of St Andrews 1884–1886 Succeeded byArthur Balfour Peerage of Scotland Preceded byAeneas Mackay Lord Reay 1876–1921 Succeeded byEric Mackay Peerage of the United Kingdom New creation Baron Reay 1881–1921 Extinct Dutch nobility Preceded byAeneas Mackay Baron Mackay 1839–1921 Succeeded byEric Mackay