Sutherland Macdonald

Sutherland Macdonald was a prominent English tattoo artist in the late 19th century and early 20th century, and the first tattooist in Britain with an identifiable premises open to the public. Operating in a salon in London’s Jermyn Street, he is listed in the 1894 London Post office Directory and considered the first person to offer a professional tattoo service in London, although the practice was already popular in Japan and the Middle East prior to that time.[1] Macdonald served in the British Army in the 1870s as a telegraph operator in the Royal Engineers and was in the Anglo-Zulu War.[2] He trained George Burchett.[3] He died at his home on 3 Guilford Avenue, Surbiton and is buried at Surbiton Cemetery.

Sutherland Macdonald
Born25 June 1860
Died18 June 1942
Surbiton, London, England
Burial placeSurbiton Cemetery
OccupationTattoo artist
Spouse(s)Sophia Weedon Annie Caroline Mayne (M:1887)
Amy Mary Keen (M:1934)
  • Robert Macdonald (1821/2-1898) (father)
  • Elizabeth Mitchell Macdonald (1821-1893) (mother)


  1. ^ "The man who started the tattoo craze in Britain is coming to a museum near you". The Independent. Retrieved 2018-07-20.
  2. ^ Lodder, Matt. "Oxford Dictionary of National Biography Macdonald, Sutherland (1860–1942)". Oxford University Press. Retrieved August 10, 2016.
  3. ^ Gibson, Kelly. "A Short History of Military Tattoos", VFW Magazine, vol 103, no. 10 (August 2016), p. 44.