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Significant and Famous Scots


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  • Baillie, Matthew
    A distinguished modern physician and anatomist, was the son of the Rev. James Baillie, D.D. Professor of Divinity in the University of Glasgow.
  • Baillie, Robert
    One of the most eminent, and perhaps the most moderate, of all the Scottish presbyterian clergy during the time of the civil war.
  • Baillie, Robert of Jerviswood
    An eminent patriot of the reign of Charles II.
  • Bain, Alexander
    Invented the Facsimile.
  • Bain, James Leith
    Composer of "Brother James' Air" for the 23rd Psalm, 'The Lord's My Shepherd'
  • Baird, David
    A distinguished commander during the wars of the French Revolution.
  • Baird, John Logie
    The Scottish inventor who obtained the world's first real television picture in his laboratory in October, 1925, and demonstrated it to the British public on January 26, 1926. The image obtained was a small 30-line vertically-scanned red and black image, but it was television. Mechanical television based on Baird's systems dominated international television for the next few years into the early 30's.
  • Balcanquel, Walter D.D.
    An eminent divine of the seventeenth century.
  • Balfour, Alexander
    An esteemed miscellaneous writer, was born March 1st, 1767, in the parish of Monikie, Forfarshire.
  • Balfour, Andrew
    Who first introduced the dissection of the human body into Scotland, and that at a very superstitious period; who projected the first hospital in the country, for the relief of disease and poverty at the public expense; who was the founder of the botanic garden at Edinburgh, and almost the father of the science in Scotland; who planned the royal college of physicians at Edinburgh; and bequeathed to the public a museum, which at that time would have been an ornament to any university, or any metropolis.
  • Balfour, James
    An eminent lawyer and public character of the sixteenth century.
  • Balfour, James
    An eminent antiquary, herald, and annalist, was born about the close of the sixteenth century.
  • Balfour, Robert
    A distinguished philosopher of the seventeenth century, was principal of Guyenne college, Bourdeaux, and is mentioned by Morhof as a celebrated commentator of Aristotle.
  • Balfour, Dr Robert
    Distinguished minister of the Church of Scotland.
  • Baliol, Edward
    Son of King John Baliol.
  • Baliol, John
    King of Scotland.
  • Ballantine, James
    Glass Stainer, Poet and Author
  • Ballantyne, John
    Acted as the confidant of Sir Walter Scott, and managed all the business of the communication of his works to the public.
  • Ballentyne, John
    An eminent poet of the reign of James V., and the translator of Boece’s Latin History.
  • Balmer, Robert
    A profound theologian and valued ornament of the Secession church.
  • Balnaves, Henry
    An eminent lay reformer, and also a prose-writer of some eminence.
  • Bannatyne, George
    It is to this person that we are indebted for the preservation of nearly all the productions of the Scottish poets of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries.
  • Barbour, John
    A name of which Scotland has just occasion to be proud, was Archdeacon of Aberdeen in the later part of the fourteenth century.
  • Barclay, John
    Extraordinary genius, who seems to have combined the perfervidum inqueium of his father’s country, with the mercurial vivacity of his mother’s.
  • Barclay, John
    The founder of a religious sect in Scotland, generally named Bereans, but sometimes called from the name of this individual, Barclayans.
  • Barclay, John M.D.
    An eminent lecturer on anatomy, was the nephew of John Barclay, the Berean, after whom he was named.
  • Barclay, Robert
    The celebrated Apologist for the Quakers.
  • Barclay, William
    An eminent civilian, and father of the still more celebrated author of the Argenis, was descended from one of the best families in Scotland under the rank of nobility.
  • Barrie, Sir James
    A famous author and creator of Peter Pan.
  • Barton, Andrew
    High Admiral of Scotland.
  • Bassantin, James
    Astronomer and mathematician.
  • Bassol, John
    A distinguished disciple of the famous Duns Scotus.
  • Baxter, Andrew
    An ingenious moral and natural philosopher.
  • Bayne, James
    A divine of some note.
  • Beaton, David
    Who held the rectory of Campsie, the abbacy of Aberbrothick, the bishopric of Mirepoix in France, the cardinalship of St Stephen in Monte Caelio, and the chancellorship of Scotland, and who was the chief of the Roman Catholic party in Scotland in the earlier age of the reformation.
  • Beaton, James
    Uncle to the preceding, and himself an eminent prelate and statesman.
  • Beaton, James
    Archbishop of Glasgow.
  • Beatson, Robert
    An ingenious and useful author.
  • Beattie, James
    Poet and moral philosopher.
  • Bell, Alexander Graham
    Bell is best known for his invention of the telephone. Many inventors had been working on the idea of sending human speech by wire, but Bell was the first to succeed.
  • Bell, Andrew
    Author of the "Madras System of Education."
  • Bell, Andrew & Macfarquhar, Colin
    The Encyclopędia Britannica was conceived and founded in 1768 in Edinburgh, Scotland, by Colin Macfarquhar, a printer, and Andrew Bell, an engraver. The two formed a "Society of Gentlemen" to publish the work and engaged William Smellie to edit it.
  • Bell, Benjamin
    A distinguished surgical author.
  • Bell, Sir Charles
    His subsequent publications on the "Nervous Circle," and "On the Eye," completely established the existence of a sixth sense.
  • Bell, Henry
    The first successful applier of steam to the purposes of navigation in Europe.
  • Bell, James
    An indefatigable geographer.
  • Bell, John
    A traveller of the eighteenth century.
  • Bell, John
    An eminent surgeon in Edinburgh, and of distinguished literary qualifications.
  • Bell, Joseph
    The man who inspired Conan Doyle to create the famous detective Sherlock Holmes.
  • Bell, Joseph William
    Chief Engineer of the Titanic.
  • Bell, Rev Patrick
    Invented the reaping machine which was a direct precursor of the modern combine harvester.
  • Bellenden, William
    One of those learned and ingenious Scotsmen of a former age, who are esteemed in the general literary world as an honour to their country, but with whom that country itself is scarcely at all acquainted.
  • Bernard
    First chancellor of king Robert Bruce after his assumption of the crown in 1306.
  • Berry, William
    An ingenious artist, was born about the year 1730, and bred to the business of a seal-engraver.
  • Binning, Hugh
    This excellent young preacher left behind him a reputation for piety, virtue, and learning and his treatise on Christian love.
  • Birnie, Sir Richard
    A distinguished metropolitan police magistrate.
  • Bissat, Peter
    Professor of the Canon Law in the University of Bononis.
  • Bisset, Charles
    An ingenious physician and writer on Fortification.
  • Black, Charles
    Publisher
  • Black, Joseph
    "the illustrious Nestor (as he has been termed by Lavoisier) of the chemical revolution."
  • Blackadder, John
    A distinguished preacher of the Line of the perrecution, was the representative of an ancient but decayed fainily—Blackadder of Tulliallan.
  • Blackie, John Stuart
    Professor of Greek and a great Scotsman
  • Blacklock, Thomas
    An ingenious blind poet, was born, November 10th, 1721, at Annan.
  • Blackwell, Alexander and Elizabeth
    He was significant in the study of physic, and also formed schemes for the improvement of waste lands and she was noted for her engravings.
  • Blackwell, Thomas
    The restorer of Greek literature in the North of Scotland, and a learned writer of the eighteenth century.
  • Blackwood, Adam
    A learned writer of the sixteenth century.
  • Blackwood, Henry
    Dean of the medical faculty at Paris.
  • Blackwood, William
    An eminent publisher, and originator of the magazine which bears his name.
  • Blair, Hugh
    One of the most eminent divines and cultivators of polite literature, of the eighteenth century.
  • Blair, James
    An eminent divine.
  • Blair, John
    A churchman of noble family and chaplain to Sir William Wallace.
  • Blair, John LL.D
    An eminent chronologist.
  • Blair, Patrick
    An eminent botanist in the earlier period of the existence of that science in Britain.
  • Blair, Robert
    An eminent divine of the seventeenth century.
  • Blair, Robert
    Author of "The Grave, a Poem."
  • Blane, Sir Gilbert
    An eminent physician.
  • Boece, Hector
    Whose name was otherwise spelled Boyis, Boyes, Boiss, and Boice, an eminent, though credulous, historian, was born about the year 1465-6, at Dundee, and hence he assumed the surname of Deidonanus.
  • Bogue, David
    The Father, as he has been called, of the London Missionary Society.
  • Boston, Thomas
    An eminent doctrinal writer, was born in the town of Dunse, March 7th, 1676.
  • Boswell, Alexander & James
    Sons of James Boswell.
  • Boswell, James
    The friend and biographer of Dr Samuel Johnson.
  • Bower, Archibald
    A man of considerable merit in a literary point of view.
  • Bower, Walter
    An historical writer of the fifteenth century.
  • Boyd, Mark
    An extraordinary genius, who assumed the additional name of ALEXANDER, from a desire of assimilating himself to the illustrious hero of Macedon.
  • Boyd, Robert
    An eminent divine of the seventeenth century.
  • Boyd, Zachary
    An eminent divine and religious writer of the seventeenth century.
  • Boyle, Hugh
    Founder and Chairman of Zoom Airlines
  • Brebner, William
    Brebner fully understood the difficulties a prisoner faces on liberation. He was particularly concerned with the aftercare of juveniles and established a House of Refuge for those leaving prison. This was a stepping stone which was to prove highly successful. Such was his reputation that young men and women who had undergone a period of corrective treatment were in high demand with the city’s tradespeople and merchants.
  • Brown, Eric
    Has flown 487 different types of aircraft.
  • Brown, George
    Politician and founding father of Canada, born and educated in Edinburgh.
  • Brown, George Douglas
    Journalist, Teacher, Novelist, Short Story Writer, Critic
  • Brown, George Mackay
    He rarely left Orkney, his birthplace, but his journeyings into history, myth and legend produced a vast body of lyrical novels, short stories, poems and essays. 
  • Brown, James
    A traveler and scholar of some eminence.
  • Brown, John
    An ingenious artist, was the son of Samuel Brown, goldsmith and watch-maker at Edinburgh, where be was born in 1752.
  • Brown, John
    Author of the "Self-Interpreting Bible," and many popular religious works.
  • Brown, John M.D.
    Founder of what is termed the Brunonian system in medicine, and one of the most eccentric and extraordinary men of his time.
  • Brown, Peter Hume
    Historian and biographer
  • Brown, Thomas
    A distinguished modern philosophical writer.
  • Brown, William Lawrence
    An eminent theological and miscellaneous writer.
  • Bruce, James
    Discoverer of the source of the Blue Nile.
  • Bruce, Michael
    Whose name as a poet is associated with every regret that can be inspired by the early extinction of genius of a high order.
  • Bruce, Robert the
    An account of this famous Scottish king.
  • Bruce, William Spiers
    Headed the remarkably successful Scottish National Antarctic Expedition of 1902-1904.
  • Brunton, Mary
    An eminent moral novelist of the 19th century.
  • Bryce, (the Rev) Alexander
    An eminent geometrician born in the year 1713.
  • Brydone, Patrick
    The well known author of A Tour in Sicily and Malta, one of the most entertaining works in the language, was the son of a clergyman in the neighbourhood of Dumbarton, and born in 1741.
  • Buchan, Elspith
    Born in 1738 and the leader of a small sect of fanatics.
  • Buchan, John
    Author of the Thirty-Nine Steps and other novels and one of the fathers of the modern detective thriller.
  • Buchan, William M.D.
    A popular medical writer of great celebrity, born in 1729.
  • Buchanan, Claudius
    Few persons have engaged with greater zeal, or met with greater success, in the business of the civilization of India, in spreading the knowledge of the Christian Religion through the eastern world, and in making Europeans better acquainted with that interesting country.
  • Buchanan, Dugald
    A Highland poet of eminent merit, born in the early part of the eighteenth century.
  • Buchanan, Francis
    Author of Travels in the Mysore and a History of Nepal.
  • Buchanan, George
    One of the most distinguished reformers, political and religious, of the sixteenth century, and the best Latin poet which modern Europe has produced.
  • Buchanan, Dr. Watson
    An authority on rheumatic diseases
  • Burnet, Gilbert
    Bishop of Salisbury, and an historian of great eminence, was born at Edinburgh on the 18th of September, 1643.
  • Burnet, James
    Better known by his judicial designation of Lord Monboddo.
  • Burnet, James
    Landscape Painter.
  • Burnes, Sir Alexander
    A distinguished officer, whose varied talents were so available to the administration of the British government in India.
  • Burns, Allan
    Talented anatomist and surgical writer.
  • Burns, John
    A distinguished medical writer.
  • Burns, Robert
    Scotland's famous poet

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