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Adams, William George Stewart (1874–1966), political scientist and college head, was born on 8 November 1874 at Hamilton, Lanarkshire, the second son and youngest of the four children of John Adams, headmaster of St John's Grammar School, Hamilton, with Aberdonian farming ancestors, and his wife, ...

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Adamson, John (1576–1651?), university principal and writer, was the son of James Adamson (d. after 1617), provost of Perth. His younger brother was Henry Adamson, poet and historian. He graduated MA from the University of Edinburgh on 30 July 1597. The following year he was made regent of philosophy at ...

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Alison, Francis (1705–1779), Presbyterian minister and college principal in America, was born in the parish of Leck in co. Donegal, the son of Robert Alison, a weaver descended from emigrants from Scotland. His mother's name and ancestry are unknown. He may have received his early education at ...

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Allan, Mary Miller (1869–1947), college head, was born at 12 Commerce Street, Glasgow, on 12 August 1869, the youngest of the six children of William Allan, a grain mill manager, and his wife, Margaret. Educated at Garnethill public school, Glasgow, and Dundas Vale Training College, Glasgow...

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Andrew, James (1774?–1833), college head, was born in Scotland, probably in Aberdeen in 1774, the son of James Andrew, a tailor, of Aberdeen. He was educated at Marischal College, Aberdeen, from 1788 to 1792 (MA 1792) and may have been ordained a minister (...

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Arbuthnot, Alexander (1538–1583), Church of Scotland minister and college head, was the second son of Andrew Arbuthnot of Pitcarles in Kincardineshire. He himself wrote a valuable history of the Arbuthnot family, which survives as MS 2764 in Aberdeen University Library. He was educated at ...

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Baird, George Husband (1761–1840), Church of Scotland minister and university principal, was a native of the parish of Bo'ness on the Forth, Linlithgowshire, where his father, a landed gentleman of Stirlingshire, rented a farm from the duke of Hamilton. Born on 13 July 1761 at ...

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Barclay, Robert (1611/12–1682), Roman Catholic priest and college head, was born probably in Kincardineshire, the youngest of the four sons of David Barclay (1580–1660) of Mathers and Elizabeth Livingston, daughter of Sir John Livingston of Dunnipace. He graduated MA from Aberdeen University in 1633. After conversion to Roman Catholicism, ...

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Thomas Barclay (1792–1873) by Thomas Annan, pubd 1871 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Barclay, Thomas (1792–1873), Church of Scotland minister and university principal, was born at Unst, in Shetland, in June 1792, the youngest of the five sons of James Barclay (1745–1793), the minister of the parish, and his wife, Ursula, daughter of William Archibald, James Barclay's...

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Blackwell, Thomas (1660?–1728), Church of Scotland minister and college head, was probably born in Glasgow, the son of a covenanting calenderer, Thomas Blackwell, and his wife, Janet Knox. He was educated at the University of Glasgow, where he apparently earned an MA in 1684. He was licensed to preach on 23 February 1693 and received a call to become a minister from the ...

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Brown, William Laurence (1755–1830), Church of Scotland minister and university principal, was born in Utrecht on 7 January 1755, the second son of William Brown (1719–1791), minister of the Scots Kirk in Utrecht, and Janet Ogilvie (bap. 1724, d. 1813). In 1757 his father was appointed professor of ecclesiastical history at ...

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Burr, Aaron (1716–1757), Presbyterian minister and college head, was born on 4 January 1716 in Upper Meadows, near Fairfield, Connecticut. He was the last son of Daniel Burr and Elizabeth, née Pinkney, his third wife. His grandfather, of Celtic ancestry, had come to ...

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Edward Caird (1835–1908) by Thomas Annan, pubd 1871 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Caird, Edward (1835–1908), philosopher and college head, was born on 23 March 1835 in Greenock. His father, John Caird (1787–1838), the partner and manager of a firm of engineers in Greenock and a deeply religious man, died while Edward was still an infant. His mother, ...

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John Caird (1820–1898) by Thomas Annan, pubd 1871 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Caird, John (1820–1898), Church of Scotland minister, theologian, and university principal, was born on 15 December 1820 in Greenock, the eldest of seven sons of John Caird (d. 1838), marine engineer, and Janet Young (d. 1889) of Port Glasgow. His younger brother ...

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George Campbell (1719–1796) by Caroline Watson, pubd 1798 (after John Bogle) © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Campbell, George (1719–1796), Church of Scotland minister and college head, was born on 25 December 1719 in Aberdeen, the fifth of six children of Colin Campbell (1678–1728), a Church of Scotland minister, and Margaret Walker (d. 1747), daughter of a prominent Aberdeen...

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Campbell, Neil (1678–1761), university principal and Church of Scotland minister, was the son of Major John Campbell of Glenaray and his wife, Jean Campbell of Pennymore. His mother later married the Revd Patrick Campbell (1633–1700) of Glenaray, after which Neil was educated at home, and then apparently completed his divinity studies at the ...