William Dawson Lamont Canada Scotland Egypt Uganda

Biography of William Dawson Lamont

WD Lamont with his class at Cairo University
WD Lamont with his class at Cairo University

William Dawson Lamont was born on Prince Edward’s Island, Canada, in 1901. He was the fourth son of his parents Murdoch Lamont, a Church of Scotland Minister and Euphemia Ann Hume, his cousin.

Lamont attended the University of Glasgow from 1919 and attained an MA in 1925. He studied Logic and History in his first year, followed by English, Moral Philosophy and Geology in his second (1920-21). In his final years he studied Higher Moral Philosophy and Political Economy. He won the Edward Caird medal and was Euing Fellow and Ferguson scholar in 1924 and graduated from Glasgow University in 1925.

Lamont went on to study at Balliol College, Oxford and was awarded his DPhil in 1930. He returned to the University of Glasgow as an assistant in Moral Philosophy in 1926 and was made a full lecturer in 1929. He remained with the Moral Philosophy department until 1939. During this time he married Anne Fraser Christie, the second woman to gain a BSc from Oxford University.

During the Second World War he served with Clyde River Patrol and as a Naval Intelligence Liaison Officer from 1939-42, and Professor of Philosophy at the University of Cairo from 1942-1946.

Lamont then accepted a position through the British Council as the Principal of Makerere College, Uganda (1946-49). In 1949 he returned to the Moral Philosophy Department of the University of Glasgow as a senior lecturer, was promoted to reader, retiring in 1968.

Although Lamont remained in Glasgow for the rest of his life, he retained his links with East Africa. When Makerere College became part of the University of East Africa, and gained the power to confer their own degrees, he was the first to be awarded an honorary DPhil.

Lamont died on 9 November 1982 in Glasgow.


William Dawson Lamont
Born 3 February 1901.
Died 9 November 1982.
GU Degree: MA, 1925; Arts,
University Link: Alumnus, Graduate, Lecturer
Occupation categories: moral philosophers; professors
English snippet: Arts graduate of the University of Glasgow in 1925, Lecturer in Moral Philosophy (1929-39, 1949-68)
Record last updated: 18th Sep 2013

Country Associations

Canada Canada, Prince Edward Island
Place of Birth

Scotland Scotland, Glasgow
Place of Death

Egypt Egypt, Cairo

Uganda Uganda, Makerere

University Connections

University Roles

  • Alumnus
  • Graduate
  • Lecturer