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Adair, Patrick (1624?–1693/4), Presbyterian minister and historian, was the son of John Adair of Genoch in Galloway. His family were prominently involved in the Scottish migration to Ulster in the seventeenth century, and he was the nephew of Sir Robert Adair, a major Scots colonizer in ...

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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 (1662–1728), historiographer and antiquary, was born in Edinburgh on 5 August 1662, the son of Patrick Anderson (c.1627–1690) and his wife, Margaret Threipland. His father was the Presbyterian minister of Walston in Lanarkshire, and was imprisoned on the Bass Rock...

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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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Sir James Balfour of Denmiln and Kinnaird, first baronet (1600–1657) by unknown artist Scottish National Portrait Gallery

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Balfour, Sir James, of Denmiln and Kinnaird, first baronet (1600–1657), antiquary and herald, was probably born at Denmiln, Fife, the son of Sir Michael Balfour of Denmiln (c.1580–1652), later MP for Fife and comptroller of the household to Charles I, and his wife, ...

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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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G. F. Nuttall

revised by Elaine Kaye

Bartlet, James Vernon (1863–1940), ecclesiastical historian, was born on 15 August 1863 in Scarborough, the only son of George Donald Bartlet (1823–1906), an English Presbyterian minister who was also a schoolmaster in Scarborough and in London, and his wife, Susan Robe McNellan, formerly of ...

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Belsham, William (1752–1827), political writer and historian, was born in Bedford, the fourth son of the Revd James Belsham (d. 1770), dissenting minister, and Ann(e) Woodward (d. 1780), daughter of Thomas Woodward, a Bedford brewer. His eldest brother, Thomas Belsham, later became a prominent Unitarian minister. Keenly interested in politics, ...

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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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Peter Hume Brown (1849–1918) by James Russell & Sons © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Brown, Peter Hume (1849–1918), historian, was born on 17 December 1849 at Tranent, East Lothian, Scotland. His father died in 1852, and his mother moved to Prestonpans, where he was sent in 1857 to the Free Church school. Although his mother died in 1866, he remained at the school as a pupil teacher until 1869. He then moved south, teaching as far afield as ...

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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 ...