James Cruickshank Henderson Macbeth

Died: 21 March 1935 (age about 58), New York City

  • Graduated M.D. from Aberdeen University
  • Vice-president of the Scottish Chess Association 1903
  • Internationally known wireless code expert
  • Author of several books - chess and bridge

Macbeth was associated with chess in Aberdeen. The Scotsman of Friday, 10 May 1901 (p9) reported that he was one of a number listed as being part of team to play for Scotland for the English match in the forthcoming match against England, though what was meant was the Northern Counties team from England.

Macbeth became internationally known as a wireless code expert and associate of Guglielmo Marconi. He authored The Marconi International Code (1919) and Marconi Dictionary (Marconi International Code Co., 1920). He also provided an English translation of Cryptography (London, 1922) by André Langie.

He moved to the USA, retained an interest in chess, and co-authoured with F.J. Marshall Chess Step by Step (New York, 1924). He also wrote Common Sense in Auction Bridge (1924) and Auction Bridge Simplified (1925).

The New York Times , 23 March 1935 stated that Macbeth died on 21 March at the Hospital for Joint Diseases in New York, aged about 58.

Obituary notice from The Scotsman, Thursday, 4 April 1935.
It attributes the book Cryptography to Macbeth in error; he was the translator.


Alan McGowan
Historian, Chess Scotland