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Alexander, Sir Kenneth John Wilson [Ken] (1922–2001), economist, university administrator, and public servant, was born on 14 March 1922 at 12 Kilmaurs Terrace, Edinburgh, the only son of William Wilson Alexander (1888–1930), lawyer, and his wife, Mary Logan Grahame, née Wilson (1888–1975), tailoress. He won a scholarship to ...

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Anderson, Adam (1692–1765), historian of commerce, was born in Aberdeen, and was baptized on 2 May 1692 at St Nicholas's Church, Aberdeen, the son of James Anderson and his wife, Jean, née Campbell, but nothing else is known about his origins or early life, although he did take university arts classes at ...

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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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Baillie, Lady Grisell (1665–1746), heroine and business woman, was born on 25 December 1665 at Redbraes Castle, Berwickshire, the eldest survivor of the eighteen children of Sir Patrick Hume (or Home) of Polwarth, later first earl of Marchmont (1641–1724), and Grisell Kerr (...

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Blair, Sir James Hunter, first baronet (1741–1787), banker, was born James Hunter on 26 February 1741 at Ayr, the second of three sons of John Hunter (d. c.1762), a wealthy merchant and probably banker of Mainholm, later of Brownhill, both in ...

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Sir James Hunter Blair, first baronet (1741–1787) by John Smart, 1772 private collection; © reserved in the photograph

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Bonar, James (1852–1941), civil servant and economist, was born in the manse at Collace, Perthshire, on 27 September 1852, the elder son and second of the six children of the Revd Andrew Alexander Bonar (1810–1892), a Free Church minister, after whom the politician ...

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Bowie, James Alexander (1888–1949), economist and educationist, was born at 42 Holburn Road, Aberdeen, on 30 November 1888, the fourth son of William Bowie, a foreman mason, and his wife, Jane Lumsden, who also had four daughters. He attended Central School, Aberdeen, as a pupil teacher and passed first in the king's scholarship for teachers in 1908. He subsequently read philosophy and economic science at ...

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Sir Alexander Kirkland Cairncross (1911–1998) by Walter Bird, 1963 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Cairncross, Sir Alexander Kirkland [Alec] (1911–1998), economist and public servant, was born on 11 February 1911 at Pine Cottage, Lesmahagow, Lanarkshire, Scotland, the third of four sons and the seventh of eight children of Alexander Kirkland Cairncross (1865–1947), draper and ironmonger, and his wife, ...

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Campbell, John (c. 1703–1777), banker and businessman, was held by contemporaries to be an illegitimate son of Colin Campbell of Ardmaddy, younger son of the first earl of Breadalbane (1634–1717). Later testimonies suggest that Colin Campbell married Grizel Douglas against the earl's wishes, and that all evidence of this legal marriage was later destroyed, and with it, the claim of ...

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Campbell, Lord Neil, of Ardmaddie (c. 1630–1692), colonial speculator, was the second of six children of Archibald Campbell, marquess of Argyll (1605x7–1661), and his wife, Lady Margaret (1610–1678), second daughter of William Douglas, seventh earl of Morton; his parents lived mainly at Inveraray, Argyll...

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Colville, Ronald John Bilsland, second Baron Clydesmuir (1917–1996), businessman and banker, was born on 21 May 1917 at 28 Park Circus, Hillhead, Glasgow, the only son and eldest of the three children of (David) John Colville, first Baron Clydesmuir (1894–1954), steel manufacturer, politician, and public servant, and his wife, ...

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Coutts, John (1699–1750), merchant and banker, was born on 28 July 1699, probably in Edinburgh, the son of Patrick Coutts of Edinburgh and his wife, Jean, née Dunlop. His father's family had long been settled in Montrose, where his grandfather John was provost in 1677. His mother came from the ...

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Dick, Sir William, of Braid (d. 1655), merchant and financier, was the only son of John Dick, proprietor in Orkney and an Edinburgh town councillor in 1592–3. Nothing is known of his early life. On 15 June 1603 he married Elizabeth, sister of the wealthy ...

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Drummond, George (1687–1766), accountant-general of excise in Scotland and local politician, was born on 27 June 1687, probably at Edinburgh, although in some accounts his place of birth is given as Newton Castle in Perthshire, where his father had business and family connections. He was one of at least three children of the factor and merchant ...

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George Drummond (1687–1766) by Sir George Chalmers, 1764 Scottish National Portrait Gallery

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Duncan, Henry (1774–1846), Church of Scotland minister and savings bank founder, was born at Lochrutton, Kirkcudbrightshire, on 8 October 1774, the third son of the minister George Duncan (1738–1807) and his first wife, Anne M'Murdo (d. 1824). He was educated at Dumfries Academy...

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Henry Duncan (1774–1846) by David Octavius Hill and Robert Adamson, c. 1843–6 © National Portrait Gallery, London