Joseph Emile Patrick McMaster, English cricketer and barrister, was known mostly by his second given name, Emile. He was educated at Harrow and was selected as a member of the England cricket team that toured South Africa in 1888-1889. He played in most of the provincial matches and in the second test match played in Cape Town in March 1889. Around this time he decided to settle in South Africa, for in 1888 he applied for an appointment in the civil service of Natal. In 1889 he married Ethyl Hancock, with whom he had three sons and two daughters. In 1891 he umpired three first-class cricket matches in South Africa. After 1901 he joined the staff of Sir Henry Bale, Chief Justice of Natal.
Some years after arriving in Natal, residing at Hilton, he published a sketch of Natal and its people under the title "The highlands of Natal" in Contemporary Review (1896, Vol. 69, pp. 846-). The article was also included in the book British Africa (London, 1899, pp. 93-110). In February 1902 he delivered a lecture at the Royal Colonial Institute, London, which was an extension of his earlier publication. The lecture was published as "The high plateaux of Natal, their climate and resources" in the Institute's Proceedings for that year (Vol. 33, pp. 85-108) and many years later also as a pamphlet (Newport, 1928). The paper has been described as "a sound and systematic article on the climate of Natal" (Venter, 1949). It dealt mainly with the plateaus between Durban and Pietermaritzburg and from there to Ladysmith, described the colonists (mostly from Scotland) who farmed there, and discussed the suitability of the region for settlers.