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Balfour, Francis Maitland (1851–1882), comparative embryologist and morphologist, was born on 10 November 1851 at Queen Street, Edinburgh, the fifth of the eight children (and third son) of James Maitland Balfour (1820–1856), landowner and MP, and Lady Blanche Gascoyne-Cecil (1825–1872), second daughter of ...

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Brown, John Alexander Harvie-, of Dunipace (1844–1916), naturalist, was born on 27 August 1844 in Edinburgh, the only son of John Harvie (d. 1880), landowner, and Elizabeth Spottiswoode, the daughter and heir of Thomas Spottiswoode of Dunipace, near Stirling. His father assumed the additional surname of ...

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Brownlee, John (1868–1927), public health officer, geneticist, and medical statistician, was born at Rutherglen, Lanarkshire, on 21 June 1868, the elder of the two sons of John Brownlee (1826–1899), Church of Scotland minister, and his wife, Mary, née Stevenson (1833–1894). He studied mathematics and natural philosophy at ...

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Sir John Graham Dalyell, sixth baronet (1775–1851) by Sir John Watson-Gordon photograph by kind permission of The National Trust for Scotland

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Dalyell, Sir John Graham, sixth baronet (1775–1851), antiquary and naturalist, the second son of Sir Robert Dalyell, fourth baronet (1724–1791), an army officer, and his wife, Elizabeth (d. 1825), the only daughter of Nicol Graham of Gartmore, Perthshire, was born at The Binns, Linlithgowshire...

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Davidson, (James) Norman (1911–1972), biochemist, was born on 5 March 1911 in Edinburgh, the only child of James Davidson (1873–1956), then treasurer of the Carnegie Trust of Scotland, and his wife, Wilhelmina Ibberson (1874–1970), the sixth of seven children of the Revd James Foote...

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Thomas Edward (1814–1886) by Sir George Reid Scottish National Portrait Gallery

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Edward, Thomas (1814–1886), naturalist and shoemaker, was born on 25 December 1814 at Gosport, Hampshire, one of several children of John Edward, Fife militiaman and weaver, and Margaret Mitchell of Aberdeen. His early years were spent at Kettle, Fife, and at Aberdeen. From childhood he was passionately fond of animals, bringing home so many ‘beasties’ that he was frequently flogged and confined to the house. Utterly unmanageable, by the age of six he had been expelled from three schools because of his zoological pursuits and truancy. Abandoning school, he found employment at ...

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Fleming, John (1785–1857), naturalist and Free Church of Scotland minister, was born on 10 January 1785 at Kirkroods, a farm near Bathgate, Linlithgowshire, the son of Alexander Fleming and his wife, Catherine Nimmo. He appears to have enjoyed natural history from an early age. He studied for the ministry of the ...

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G. S. Boulger

revised by Marcus B. Simpson jun.

Garden, Alexander (1730–1791), naturalist and physician, was born at Birse, Aberdeenshire, in January 1730, the son of the Revd Alexander Garden (d. 1778), a clergyman of the Church of Scotland. From about 1743 to 1746 he studied medicine at Marischal College, Aberdeen...

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Gordon, George (1801–1893), Church of Scotland minister and naturalist, was born on 23 July 1801 at the manse of Urquhart, Moray, the first son of William Gordon (bap. 1744, d. 1810), minister in the Church of Scotland, and his wife, Margaret (1779–1864)...

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Jardine, Sir William, of Applegirth, seventh baronet (1800–1874), naturalist, was born on 23 February 1800 in Edinburgh, the eldest son of Sir Alexander Jardine of Applegirth, sixth baronet (1771/2–1821), and Jane Dorcas Maule. He was brought up at Jardine Hall, an estate with ...

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Landsborough [formerly McLandsborough], David (1779–1854), Free Church of Scotland minister and naturalist, was born on 11 August 1779 in Dalry, Glenkens, Kirkcudbrightshire, the only son and eldest of four children of John McLandsborough and Isabel Hugan. He was educated at the parish school and ...

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Thomas Seccombe

revised by Andrew Grout

Low, George (1747–1795), naturalist, born at the farm of Meikle Tullo, near Edzell, Forfarshire, and baptized at Edzell on 29 March 1747, was the third of five children of John Low (d. 1760), tenant farmer and church officer, and his wife, Isobel Coupar (or possibly Cooper; ...

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MacGillivray, William (1796–1852), ornithologist and natural historian, was born in Old Aberdeen on 25 January 1796. His father, also William (d. 1812), came from the Outer Hebrides and was a student at the local university; his mother, Anne Wishart, was a local ...

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Mounsey, James (1709/10–1773), physician and naturalist, was born at Skipmire, 3 miles west of Lochmaben, Dumfriesshire, the son of the merchant Thomas Mounsey (1658/9–1714) and his second wife, Mary Steel (1683/4–1747), sister of the Lochmaben minister. He studied medicine at Edinburgh University under ...

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Rennie, James (1787–1867), naturalist, was born on 26 February 1787. He was most likely the natural son of Thomas Rennie (or Rainey) of Aldenholme, Sorn, Ayrshire, and Margaret Edwards. He matriculated at Glasgow University in 1810, and won prizes there in logic, ethics, mathematics, and natural philosophy. There were also prizes for his essays on bleaching, on steam and navigation, and on the Huttonian and Wernerian systems of geology—a copy of this last later went to the ...

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Scouler, John (1804–1871), naturalist, was born on 31 December 1804 in Glasgow, the son of a calico printer. Educated privately in Kilbrachan, he went on to study medicine at the University of Glasgow. At that time William Hooker (1785–1865) was professor of botany and the city's botanical garden was an important centre for floristic botany. ...

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Skene, David (bap. 1731, d. 1770), physician and naturalist, was baptized on 13 August 1731 at the kirk of St Nicholas, Aberdeen. His father was Andrew Skene the younger (1702/3–1767), a physician and surgeon in Aberdeen; his mother was Margaret (1708/9–1755), daughter of ...

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(Robert) Angus Smith (1817–1884) by unknown photographer reproduced courtesy of the Library and Information Centre, Royal Society of Chemistry