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Famous Scots

This is in no way a definitive list of Famous Scots, and I hope to add to it as time goes on with a few extra features built in. It is amazing that a small country such as Scotland has had so much to offer in the way of talent in, Medical Researcher, Inventors, Authors, Actors, and Adventurers and I hope this gives you a flavour for some of them.

Adam, Robert: An architect noted for his elegant terraces in the New Town of Edinburgh, together with many fine public buildings and also much Georgian development in London. (1728 - 1792)
Arrol, Sir William Engineer. Responsible for the Forth Rail Bridge and the replacement Tay Rail Bridge which were the two most substantial bridges in the world of their time and are still in constant use today. Also worked on Tower Bridge in London. (1839 - 1913)

Baird, John Logie:

Inventor of the television, 3-D and large screen TV. Patented fibre optics. (1839 - 1913)

Barrie, Sir James:

Author of Peter Pan, the boy who never grew up. (1860 - 1937)

Bell, Alexander Graham:

Inventor of the telephone born in Edinburgh (1847 - 1922)

Bell, Sir Charles Scottish physiologist and surgeon, 1774-1842 he is responsible for indentifing Bells law, Bells nerve and Bells Palsy.

Bell, Rev Patrick:

Invented the original reaping machine which directly led to the modern combine harvester. (1800 - 1869)

Black, Joseph: Professor of Anatomy and Chemistry in Glasgow University (1756) and then Professor of Medicine and Chemistry in Edinburgh (1766). Developed the concept of "Latent Heat" and discovered Carbon Dioxide ("Fixed Air"). Regarded as the Father of Quantitative Chemistry. (1728 - 1799)

Braid, James:

Surgeon and pioneer in the field of hypnosis. (1795 - 1860)

Brewster, Sir David:

Invented the kaleidoscope and suggested it might be useful for designing carpet patterns. (1781 - 1868)

Brisbane, Sir Thomas: Soldier and Astronomer, born in Largs, Ayrshire. Governor-General of New South Wales, Australia. Set up an observatory and catalogued more than 7000 stars. The city of Brisbane (Australia) is named after him. (1773 - 1860)
Brown, George: Politician and a founding father of Canada, born and educated in Edinburgh. As an Ontario politician, he favoured a federation of the British Colonies in North America and spoke against the French Canadians, developing the deep divisions which persist today. (1818 - 1880)
Bruce, James: Explorer, born in Stirlingshire. Discovered the source of the Blue Nile in 1770. Was congratulated by the French, but the English did not believe him. (1730 - 1794)

Bruce, Robert The:

King of Scotland, defeated the English at Bannockburn near Stirling in 1314. Received (1274 - 1329)

Bruce, William Speirs: Oceanographer and Polar Explorer. Studied medicine at Edinburgh University, and immediately thereafter became one of the first of his era to explore the Antarctic (1892). Leader of the Scottish National Antarctic Expedition which discovered Coats Land (1902-04). Founded the Scottish Oceanographically Laboratory in Edinburgh (1907). Advised Scott (1912) that his supply dumps were to far apart to succeed. (1867 - 1921)
Buchan, John: (Baron Tweedsmuir) Author And Biographer. Best known for his book "The Thirty-Nine Steps". Was also a member of parliament and Governor-General of Canada. (1875 - 1940)

Burns, Robert:

Scotlands most famous poet.  His poems are translated in most languages and one of his most popular song must be  Auld Lang Syne which is sung world-wide. (1759 - 1796)

Carnegie, Andrew:

US iron and steel magnate and philanthropist. Born Dunfermline (1835 - 1918)

Chalmers, James:

Invented the adhesive postage stamp. (1782 - 1853)

Clark, James (Jim):

Twice world champion racing driver and won seven Grand prix races in a row, twenty-five in all, breaking the previous record of twenty-four. (1936 - 1968)

Cleghorn, George:

Discovered that quinine during military service from bark which acted as a cure for malaria. (1716 - 1794)

Clerk, Sir Dugald:

Invented the two stroke Clerk Cycle Gas Engine. (1854 - 1932)

Cochrane, Sir Ralph A:

Air Chief Marshall of the Royal Air Force. Born in Springfield, Fife. He was responsible for planning bombing raids against German industry during World War II, including the 'Dambusters Raid' in 1943. (1895 - 1977)

Columba, Saint

The Irish missionary who founded the monastery on the Island of Iona in 563 in an attempt to convert the Picts. (c. 521 - 597)

Connery, Sean:

Actor, best known as James Bond. (1930- )

Conti, Tom:

Stage and Film Actor. Film roles include "Reuben, Reuben" (1983), for which he received an academy award nomination. (1941 - )

Dalrymple, Sir Hugh:

Invented hollow-pipe drainage ( which would have been stone filled culverts before )allowing large areas of water-logged land to be brought into agriculture production. (1700 - 1753)

Dewer, Sir James:

Inventor of the vacuum flask. (1842 - 1923)

Douglas, David

Botanist. Born in Scone (Perthshire). Discovered more than 200 new plant species in North America, including the Douglas Fir. Died from injuries received from wild bull having fallen into bull pit in Hawaii. (1798 - 1834)

Douglas, Sir John:

(8th Marquis of Queensbury) Devised the "Queensbury Rules" for boxing. (1844 - 1900)

Doyle, Sir Arthur Conan:

Creator of the detective Sherlock Holmes. (1859 - 1930)

Dunlop, John Boyd:

Developed the pneumatic tyre. (1840 - 1921)

Fairbairn, Sir William:

Engineer who developed the use of tubular steel in construction which was much stronger than solid steel. (1789 - 1874)

Ferguson Adam:

Father of Sociology. (1723 - 1816)

Ferguson, Patrick:

Invented the breech-loading rifle. (1744 - 1780)

Fleming, Sir Alexander:

Discovered the world's first antibiotic drug Penicillin. (1881 - 1955)

Fleming, Sir Sanford

Inventor of Standard Time. Kirkcaldy, Fife, .Scotland. (1827-1915)

Forsyth, Rev Alexander:

Inventor of the percussion cap which was later developed into the modern bullet. (1769 - 1848)

Ged, William:

Inventor of the "Lost Wax" process of metal casting used for producing delicate designs, especially in jewellery and dentistry. (1690 - 1749)

Geddes, Sir Patrick:

Born in Ballater but came to fame in Edinburgh as the Father of town planning. (1854 - 1932)

Glover, Thomas Blake:

Born in Aberdeenshire he went to China and then Japan where he was awarded the "Order of the Rising Sun" for his contribution to its modernisation. (1838 - 1911)

Graham, Thomas:

Formulated Graham's Law on the diffusion of gases. Father of colloid chemistry. (1805 - 1869)

Gregory, James:

Inventor of the reflecting telescope which was later developed by Sir Isaac Newton. (1638 - 1675)

Haig, Earl:

Field Marshall in Command of the British troops in the first world war and was known as 'Butcher Haig' due to his enormous inconsideration to the life of his men. (1861 - 1928)

Hill, David Octavius:

Pioneer of photography. (1802 - 1870)

Hutton, James:

Father of modern Geology.  (1726 - 1797)

Jones, John Paul:

Born in Dunfermline he Established the US Navy. (1747 - 1792)

Kid, Captain William:

The famous 'Captain Kid' born in Greenock Renfrewshire. (1645 - 1701)

Liddel, Eric Hendry:

Gold and Bronze Medal winner in the 1924 Olympics. (1902 - 1945)

Lipton, Sir Thomas:

Started the soccer World Cup in 1910. (1850 - 1931)

Lister, Joseph:

Pioneered the use of antiseptics drastically reducing post-operative deaths. (1827 - 1912)

Livingstone, David:

Explorer and health pioneer. Discovered the Victoria Falls. (1813 - 1873)

McAdam John:

Developed the process of "Macadamisation",  known as its trade name 'tarmac' creating a hard road surface from small stones to form a hard. (1756 - 1836)

MacDonald, James Ramsay:

Politician and British Prime Minister. Led the first Labour government in 1924. (1866 - 1937)

MacDonald, Sir John Alexander:

First Prime Minister of Canada, central figure in the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway. (1815 - 1891)

Macmillan, Kirkpatrick:

Invented the bicycle but never patented it. (1813 - 1878)

McGonagall, William Topaz:

Considered by some peoples opinion as the worst poet in Scotland Born Edinburgh but lived most of his life in Dundee. (1830 - 1902)

Mackenzie, Sir Alexander:

The first person to journey down the Mackenzie river which bears his name. (1764 - 1820)

Mackintosh, Charles:

Inventor of the raincoat. (1766 - 1843)

Mackintosh, Charles Rennie:

Scottish designer/architect unique art nouveau style. (1868 - 1928)

Maxwell, James Clerk:

Prepared the way for quantum physics, one of the world's greatest physicists. (1831 - 1879)

Meikle, Andrew:

Inventor of the threshing machine. (1719 - 1811)

Muir, John:

Founder of the US national Park system and regarded as the father of the modern environmental movement. (1834 - 1914)

Murdock, William:

Inventor of coal-gas lighting. (1754 - 1839)

Napier, John:

Inventor of logarithms and the decimal point. (1550 - 1617)

Neilson, James Beaumont:

Invented the hot blast furnace for steel making. (1792 - 1865)

Niven, David:

Born in Kirriemuir was regarded by many as an English Actor. (1909 - 1983)

Park, Mungo:

Mapped large areas of the interior of Africa for the first time, determined the course of the river Niger. (1771 - 1806)

Paterson, William:

Born in Dumfriesshire was the founder of the Bank of England. (1658 - 1719)

Pillans, James:

Invented the blackboard and coloured chalks. (1778 - 1864)

Pinkerton, Allan:

Formed the first detective agency in Chicago. (1819 - 1884)

Ramsay, Sir William:

Responsible for the discovery of rare gases, Helium, Argon, Neon, Krypton, Xenon. Set up the Indian Institute. (1852 - 1916)

Rennie, John:

Engineer built Southwark, Waterloo and London (now in Arizona) bridges. (1761 - 1801)

Scott, Sir Walter:

Poet and Author of many famous works and his Biography of Napoleon. (1771 - 1832)

Selkirk, Alexander:

Seaman and Castaway. Born in the fishing village of Lower Largo in Fife. Selkirk was the model for Daniel Defoe's "Robinson Crusoe" (published 1719), having lived for more than four years on the uninhabited island of Juan Fernandez.  (1676 - 1721)

Simpson, Sir James Young:

Pioneer in the use of anaesthetics, particularly chloroform. (1800 - 1862)

Sim, Alistair:

Born in Edinburgh he is remembered primarily as a comedy Actor. (1900 - 1976)

Slessor, Mary:

Missionary in West Africa, known as Greta Mother by Nigerians. (1848 - 1915)

Small, James :

Inventor of the iron plough. (1730 - 1793)

Smith, Adam:

Economist, developed the concept of political economy. (1723 - 1790)

Stewart Jackie:

Three times Formula One World Champion. (1939 - ) 

Stevenson, Robert Louis

Author. His works included "Kidnapped" and "Treasure Island". Suffered from poor health and died in Samoa. (1850 - 1894)

Stirling Sir David A. DSO, OBE,

Scots Guards and founder of the SAS (1915 - 1990)

Thomson, Robert William:

Invented the vulcanised rubber pneumatic tyre. Also invented the fountain pen and steam traction engine. (1822 - 1873)

Watson-Watt, Sir Robert A. :

Invented Radar. (1892 - 1973)

Watt, James:

Developed the steam engine and the governor for speed control. (1736 - 1819)

Witherspoon, John :

Framed the American Declaration of Independence and was one of the signatories. (1723 - 1794)

Young, James:

Developed the process of refining oil and created the world's first oil industry. (1811 - 1883)

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