John A. Gilruth

John Anderson Gilruth FRSE[1] (17 February 1871, Auchmithie, Scotland – 4 March 1937, South Yarra, Melbourne) was a veterinary scientist and administrator. He is particularly noted for being Administrator of the Northern Territory from 1912 to 1918, when he was recalled after an angry mob demanded that he resign. This incident is known as the Darwin Rebellion.

From left: Minister Josiah Thomas, Sir Walter B. Barttelot and Administrator John Gilruth in 1912.


He was born in Auchmithie near Arbroath on 17 February 1871, the son of Andrew Gilruth.[2]

He was educated at Arbroath High School and the High School of Dundee, then served two years as clerk to an Arbroath solicitor before going to Glasgow Veterinary College, now the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Glasgow in 1887. He was admitted to membership of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, London, in 1892. He then accepted appointment as a government veterinary surgeon in New Zealand.

In New Zealand from 1893, he spent three years investigating stock diseases, then a year at the Pasteur Institute in Paris. In 1896, on returning to New Zealand, he was appointed chief veterinarian and government bacteriologist. He was appointed a fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 1907. In 1908, he accepted the foundation chair of veterinary pathology at the University of Melbourne.

In 1907 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. His proposers were Frederick Hobday, Sir John McFadyean, John Berry Haycraft, and Sir Edward Albert Sharpey-Schafer.[2]


He was married to Jennie McKay.


  1. ^ Waterston, Charles D; Macmillan Shearer, A (July 2006). Former Fellows of the Royal Society of Edinburgh 1783-2002: Biographical Index (PDF). I. Edinburgh: The Royal Society of Edinburgh. ISBN 978-0-902198-84-5. Retrieved 8 December 2011.
  2. ^ a b Biographical Index of Former Fellows of the Royal Society of Edinburgh 1783–2002 (PDF). The Royal Society of Edinburgh. July 2006. ISBN 0 902 198 84 X.

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