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Alexander, Sir Kenneth John Wilson [Ken] (1922–2001), economist, university administrator, and public servant, was born on 14 March 1922 at 12 Kilmaurs Terrace, Edinburgh, the only son of William Wilson Alexander (1888–1930), lawyer, and his wife, Mary Logan Grahame, née Wilson (1888–1975), tailoress. He won a scholarship to ...

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Boyd, Zachary (1585–1653), Church of Scotland minister and university administrator, was born in Kilmarnock, Ayrshire, of unknown parentage. He matriculated at Glasgow University in 1601, and graduated MA from St Andrews in 1607. Perhaps encouraged by his cousin Robert Boyd of Trochrig he completed his education at the protestant ...

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Brewster, Sir David (1781–1868), natural philosopher and academic administrator, was born on 11 December 1781 in a house in the Canongate, Jedburgh, second son and third of the six children of James Brewster (c.1735–1815), rector of Jedburgh grammar school, and his wife, ...

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Sir David Brewster (1781–1868) by David Octavius Hill and Robert Adamson, 1843 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Sir Samuel Crowe Curran (1912–1998) by unknown photographer, 1969 © News International Newspapers Ltd

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Curran, Sir Samuel Crowe [Sam] (1912–1998), physicist and university administrator, was born in Ballymena, co. Antrim, on 23 May 1912, the second of four sons of John Curran (1885–1959), a steelworks foreman, and his wife, Sarah Owens, née Crowe (1886–1968). His mother had gone to her ancestral home a few weeks before his birth so that he could be born in ...

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Hetherington, Sir Hector James Wright (1888–1965), university administrator, was born at Cowdenbeath, Dunfermline, on 21 July 1888, the elder son of Thomas Hetherington who in 1889 moved to Tillicoultry where he ran a business as a pharmaceutical chemist and became a JP, and his wife, ...

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Sir Hector James Wright Hetherington (1888–1965) by Lafayette, 1928 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Keir, Sir David Lindsay (1895–1973), historian and university administrator, was born on 22 May 1895 at Bellingham, Northumberland, the eldest in the family of two sons and three daughters of the Revd William Keir, Presbyterian minister, of Aberuthven, Perthshire, and his wife, Elizabeth Craig...

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Knox, Sir (Thomas) Malcolm (1900–1980), academic administrator and philosopher, was born on 28 November 1900 at Birkenhead, Cheshire, the elder son of James Knox (1871–1956), Congregational minister of Tillicoultry, Clackmannanshire, and his wife, Isabella Russell Marshall. His parents were both of Scottish descent, and although he was educated in ...