Robert Thomas McCowan Trinidad and Tobago Scotland Canada

Biography of Robert Thomas McCowan

Robert Thomas McCowan graduated MDCM from the University in 1829. He was born about 1809 in Trinidad, son of David McCowan and Sarah Packwood. His father was a stone mason from Cumnock, Ayrshire, and later an architect and importer.

McCowan enrolled at the University of Glasgow to study Medicine. A fellow student with whom he roomed was Alexander Kennedy also from New Cumnock, later became a Secession Missionary and established Greyfriars Church in Trinidad, possibly partly through his connection with Robert McCowan.

Upon graduation, McCowan spent ten years as a military surgeon with the military force in Trinidad. Robert returned to Old Cumnock, where he helped in stemming the cholera outbreak of the late 1840s.

According to a McCowan family story, "this dark complexioned ship's doctor once visited his McCowan cousins in Scarborough, Canada." Robert's second wife, Jessie Thomas Miller, was born in Montreal and they married in Old Cumnock Parish on 26 June 1849.

Robert McCowan died on 7 May 1878 in Paisley, Scotland.


Other Online Resources

Archival Materials

  • Addison, W. Innes, A Roll of the Graduates of the University of Glasgow from 31st December, 1727 to 31st Decmeber, 1897, with short biographical notes, Glasgow : J. MacLehose & Sons


Robert Thomas McCowan
Born 1809.
Died 7 May 1878.
GU Degree: MD CM, 1829;
University Link: Alumnus, Graduate
Occupation categories: military; surgeons
English snippet: Medical graduate of the University of Glasgow in 1829
Record last updated: 20th Aug 2013

Country Associations

Trinidad and Tobago Trinidad and Tobago, Trinidad
Place of Birth

Scotland Scotland, Paisley
Place of Death

Canada Canada, No Region

University Connections

University Roles