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James Anderson (1739–1808) by Samuel Freeman, pubd 1809 (after J. Anderson) © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Anderson, James (1739–1808), agriculturist and political economist, born at Hermiston, near Edinburgh, inherited the tenancy of a large farm there at the age of fifteen when his parents (whose names are unknown) died. He had already prepared himself for the position by attending ...

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Leone Levi (1821–1888) by Elliott & Fry, 1873 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Levi, Leone (1821–1888), jurist, political economist, and statistician, was born on 6 June 1821 in Ancona, later part of the kingdom of Italy. He came from a middle-class Jewish family. His father, Isaac, and his elder brother were both merchants. Leone received a practical, commercial education and began working for his brother at the age of fifteen. He travelled to ...

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James Maitland, eighth earl of Lauderdale (1759–1839) by Thomas Phillips, 1806 Scottish National Portrait Gallery

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Maitland, James, eighth earl of Lauderdale (1759–1839), politician and political economist, was born on 26 January 1759 at Hatton House, Ratho, Edinburghshire. He was the eldest surviving son of the six sons and six daughters of James Maitland, seventh earl of Lauderdale (1718–1789)...

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Mavor, James (1854–1925), political economist, was born on 8 December 1854 in Stranraer, Wigtownshire, the eldest of nine children of the Revd James Mavor (1828–1879), a teacher from New Aberdour, Aberdeenshire, and his wife, Mary Ann Taylor, née Bridie (1828–1896), of Dundee. The family moved to ...

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Nichol, John Pringle (1804–1859), astronomer and political economist, was the eldest of seven children of John Nichol, a farmer from Northumberland, and Jane Forbes of Ellon, Aberdeenshire. Born on 13 January 1804 at Huntlyhill, Forfarshire, 4 miles north-east of Brechin, he was educated at ...

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Playfair, William (1759–1823), inventor of statistical graphs and writer on political economy, was born on 22 September 1759 at the manse, Liff, near Dundee, the fifth of eight children of the Revd James Playfair (1712–1772), of the parish of Liff and Benvie, and ...

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Adam Smith (bap. 1723, d. 1790) by James Tassie, 1787 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Smith, Adam (bap. 1723, d. 1790), moral philosopher and political economist, was baptized on 5 June 1723 at Kirkcaldy, a small port on the Forth. His father, also Adam Smith (1679–1723), was private secretary to the third earl of Loudoun, later becoming writer to the signet and a local ...

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Wallace, Robert (1697–1771), Church of Scotland minister and writer on population, was born on 7 January 1697 in Kincardine, Perthshire, the only son of Matthew Wallace (d. 1727), Church of Scotland minister for the parish, and his wife, Margaret Stewart. Robert was educated at ...