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Adamson, Henry (bap. 1581, d. 1637), poet and historian, was baptized in Perth on 11 November 1581, the son of the merchant James Adamson (d. after 1617), who served as dean of guild in 1600 and provost between 1609 and 1612, and ...

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Anderson, James (bap. 1679, d. 1739), Church of Scotland minister and historical writer, was born in Aberdeen and baptized on 19 January 1679 at St Nicholas's Church, Aberdeen, one of at least two sons of James Anderson and Jean Campbell. His brother was ...

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Anderson, Walter (d. 1800), historian and Church of Scotland minister, was educated at the University of Edinburgh where he graduated MA on 18 March 1742. Licensed by the presbytery of Duns on 5 December 1744, he was ordained on 13 May 1756 at ...

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Barron, William (d. 1803), historian, was the only son of John Barron of Glasgow. He was educated at the University of Glasgow, where he matriculated in 1757, but he appears not to have graduated. He was ordained as a Church of Scotland minister in 1762 and served in the parish of ...

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Blackwell, Thomas (1701–1757), classical scholar and historian, was born on 4 August 1701 in the city of Aberdeen, second son of Thomas Blackwell (1660?–1728), one of the ministers of Aberdeen, later professor of divinity, and his wife, Christian Johnstoun (d. 1749). His younger brother was ...

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Blair, John (d. 1782), Church of England clergyman and chronologist, was descended from the Blairs of Balthayock, Perthshire, although precise information about his parents, date of birth, and early years is lacking. He was born and educated in Edinburgh, where he trained for a career in the ...

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Brown, William (1764–1835), Church of Scotland minister and historical writer, was the son of William Brown, a stonemason in Peeblesshire, whose second wife was an aunt of Thomas Carlyle. Brown was licensed by the presbytery of Stirling in August 1791 and was presented to the parish of ...

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Bruce, John (1744–1826), historian, was the elder son of Andrew Bruce (1710–1761) of Grangemyre or Grangehill, shipmaster at Kinghorn, Fife, and Jean (b. after 1719), daughter of the Revd John Squyre of Forres, Elgin. He was baptized at Forres on 8 November 1744. In 1776 he was admitted heir male of the family of ...

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James Bryce, Viscount Bryce (1838–1922) by George Charles Beresford, 1902 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Bryce, James, Viscount Bryce (1838–1922), jurist, historian, and politician, was born in Arthur Street, Belfast, on 10 May 1838, the eldest son of James Bryce (1806–1877), schoolteacher and geologist.

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George Buchanan (1506–1582) after Arnold Bronckorst, 1581 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Buchanan, George (1506–1582), poet, historian, and administrator, was born about 1 February 1506 at a farm called The Moss in Killearn parish, Stirlingshire, the fifth of eight children of Thomas Buchanan (d. c.1512) and Agnes Heriot, traditionally said to be of the ...

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Gilbert Burnet (1643–1715) by Sir Godfrey Kneller, 1693 Wimpole Hall, The Bambridge Collection (The National Trust). Photograph: Photographic Survey, Courtauld Institute of Art, London

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Burnet, Gilbert (1643–1715), bishop of Salisbury and historian, was born in Edinburgh on 18 September 1643, the youngest child of Robert Burnet (d. 1661), a judge of the court of session as Lord Crimond, and Rachel Johnston, sister of Archibald Johnston, Lord Wariston...

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Calder, James Traill (1794–1864), local historian, was born on 18 October 1794 at Olrig, near Castletown, Caithness, the son of George Calder, gardener to James Traill of Ratter, and his wife, Janet Reid. Calder lost the use of one of his limbs at the age of four. He was educated in the parish schools of ...

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Calderwood, David (c. 1575–1650), Church of Scotland minister and historian, was the second son of William Calderwood (d. c.1605) of Dalkeith, near Edinburgh. He was educated first at the grammar school and then at the University of Edinburgh (under the regency of ...

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Carlyle, Alexander James (1861–1943), historian and social reformer, was born in Bombay on 24 July 1861, the second of three children and younger son of the Revd James Edward Carlyle (1821–1893), minister of the Free Church of Scotland in Bombay, and his wife, ...

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Clouston, Joseph Storer (1870–1944), novelist and historian, was born in Carlisle, Cumberland, on 23 May 1870, the eldest child in the family of two sons and one daughter of Sir Thomas Smith Clouston (1840–1915), originally from Orkney, medical superintendent of the Cumberland and Westmorland asylum...

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Colden, Cadwallader (1689–1776), historian and colonial official, was born on 7 February 1689 in Enniscorthy, co. Wexford, Ireland, the eldest child of the Revd Alexander Colden (1654–1738), Presbyterian minister, and Janet Hughes (1662?–1731). His parents were Scottish and the family returned to Scotland...

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George Cook (1772–1845) by David Octavius Hill and Robert Adamson, 1843–5 © National Portrait Gallery, London