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Blair, James (1655/6–1743), Church of England clergyman and founder of the College of William and Mary, was the son of Peter Blair (d. 1673), Church of Scotland minister of St Cuthbert's parish, Edinburgh, and his wife, Mary Hamilton (d. in or after 1696)...

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James Blair (1655/66–1743) by Charles Bridges Muscarelle Museum of Art, College of William and Mary

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Cranston, Andrew (d. 1708), creator of a public library, was born in the late 1650s in Scotland to unknown parents. He was perhaps connected to the lords Cranstoun, for the descendants of his only known brother, James, assumed the same coat of arms. There is a volume in his library inscribed to him from ...

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Crombie, James (1730–1790), non-subscribing Presbyterian minister and founder of the Belfast Academy, was born on 4 December 1730 at Perth, the eldest son of James Crambie, mason, and his wife, May Johnstoun. In 1748 he matriculated at St Andrews, and he graduated MA in 1752. He studied for a short time at ...

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Dick, James (bap. 1743, d. 1828), merchant and benefactor, was baptized on 6 February 1743 at Forres, Moray, the son of Alexander Dick (d. 1783), shoemaker and town councillor, and his wife, Elizabeth. The house they occupied in Forres High Street still bears their initials on the lintel. As a boy ...

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Elder [née Ure], Isabella (1828–1905), benefactor, was born on 15 March 1828 in Hutchesontown, Gorbals, Glasgow, the fourth and last child, and only surviving daughter, of Alexander Ure (1788–1830), writer (or solicitor), and his wife, Mary, daughter of Hector and Margaret Ross...

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Sir William Fettes, baronet (1750–1836) by Sir Henry Raeburn, c. 1800 by courtesy of Fettes College, Edinburgh

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Fettes, Sir William, baronet (1750–1836), benefactor of Fettes College, Edinburgh, born in Canongate, Edinburgh, on 25 June 1750, was the son of William Fettes (d. 1758), merchant there, and Margaret (d. 1782?), daughter of James Rae, surgeon. After attending classes at ...

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Keith, George, fourth Earl Marischal (1549/50–1623), magnate and founder of Marischal College, Aberdeen, was the eldest son of William, master of Marischal (c.1530–1580), and his wife, Elizabeth Hay (b. c.1530), daughter of George, seventh earl of Erroll. He was educated with his younger brother ...

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Kirkwood, James (b. c. 1650, d. in or after 1709), clergyman and advocate of parochial libraries, was born in or near Dunbar. His schooling took place there, and from 1666 he studied at Edinburgh University, where he graduated MA in 1670. Scott's Fasti ecclesiae Scoticanae...

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Little, Clement (c. 1527–1580), lawyer and benefactor, was the elder son of Clement Little (d. 1551), a prosperous Edinburgh merchant who also owned property in upper Liberton to the south of the town, and his wife, Elizabeth Fisher. The couple ran their shop, filled with cloth, articles of apparel, and similar merchandise, which lay close to the family home on the south side of ...

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Reid, Thomas (d. 1624), philosopher, translator, and founder of the first public reference library in Scotland, was one of the family of six sons and three daughters of James Reid (d. 1602?), minister of Banchory-Ternan, Kincardineshire, and burgess of Aberdeen. He was educated at ...

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Stow, David (1793–1864), school founder and educationist, was born in Paisley on 17 May 1793, the son of William Stow and his wife, Agnes Smith. William Stow was a prosperous Paisley merchant and magistrate but the family was partly of English descent; David Stow's...

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David Stow (1793–1864) by John Graham Gilbert Collection: University of Strathclyde

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Tullidelph, Thomas (d. 1777), Church of Scotland minister and a founder and first principal of United College, St Andrews University, was the son of John Tullidelph (d. 1714), minister of Dunbarney, Perthshire, and his second wife, Katherine Rankine. He probably attended St Andrews University...

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Watson, George (1654–1723), accountant and benefactor, was born in Edinburgh on 23 November 1654, the elder son of John Watson, merchant, and his wife, Marion Ewing (d. 1697), who were married on 26 September 1644. Following his father's early death and his mother's remarriage to a ...