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Abercromby, James, first Baron Dunfermline (1776–1858), speaker of the House of Commons, the third son of General Sir Ralph Abercromby (1734–1801), and his wife, Mary Anne, née Menzies, was born on 7 November 1776. Sir John Abercromby and Alexander Abercromby, both army officers, were his brothers. ...

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Adam, William Patrick (1823–1881), politician and administrator in India, was the elder son of Admiral Sir Charles Adam (1780–1853) of Blairadam, Kinross. His mother was Elizabeth (d. 1871), daughter of Patrick Brydone, FRS. Born at Ancrum, Roxburghshire, on 14 September 1823, Adam...

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William Patrick Adam (1823–1881) by John Moffat © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Anderson, John, first Viscount Waverley (1882–1958), civil service administrator and politician, was born at 1 Livingstone Place, Edinburgh, on 8 July 1882, the only surviving son of David Alexander Pearson Anderson (1855–1948), a fancy stationer who later became a director of a well-known firm of printers and publishers, ...

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John Anderson, first Viscount Waverley (1882–1958) by Howard Coster, 1953 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Anstruther, Sir Robert (1578–1644/5?), diplomat and politician, was the second son of Sir James Anstruther (d. 1606), fiar of Anstruther, and Jean Scott of Abbotshall. His birth in Anstruther Wester, Fife, was recorded by his father on 23 April 1578. A graduate of ...

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Arbuthnott, Robert, first viscount of Arbuthnott (c. 1618–1655), politician, was the eldest of seven children of Sir Robert Arbuthnott (d. 1633) of Arbuthnott in Kincardineshire and his second wife, Margaret, daughter of Simon Fraser, Lord Lovat. He succeeded his father following his death on 15 March 1633, but as he was still under age, his affairs were initially administered by his uncle ...

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Arnott, Samuel (1852–1930), gardener and politician, was born above his father's baker's shop at the corner of Friar's Vennel, Dumfries, on 30 September 1852, the son of John Arnott (d. 1858) and his wife, Nicholas Richardson. His father, who was descended from a line of farmers and lead miners in the parish of ...

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Baillie, Charles, Lord Jerviswoode (1804–1879), lawyer and politician, was born at Mellerstain, Berwickshire, on 3 November 1804, the second son of George Baillie of Mellerstain, Berwickshire, and of Jerviswoode, Lanarkshire, and his wife, Mary, the youngest daughter of Sir James Pringle, baronet, of ...

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George Baillie of Jerviswood (1664–1738) by William Aikman, 1717 in a private Scottish collection

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Baillie, George, of Jerviswood (1664–1738), landowner and politician, born on 16 March 1664 at Jerviswood Tower, Lanarkshire, was the eldest child of Robert Baillie (d. 1684) and of his wife and cousin Rachel Johnston (d. 1697), daughter of the Presbyterian martyr Sir Archibald Johnston, ...

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Balfour, Arthur James, first earl of Balfour (1848–1930), prime minister and philosopher, was born on 25 July 1848 at Whittingehame House, East Lothian, the third of eight children and eldest son of James Maitland Balfour (1820–1856), landowner (and MP, 1841–7), and his wife, ...

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Arthur James Balfour, first earl of Balfour (1848–1930) by John Singer Sargent, 1908 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Balfour, Gerald William, second earl of Balfour (1853–1945), politician and psychical researcher, was born on 9 April 1853, in Edinburgh, the seventh of eight children of James Maitland Balfour (1820–1856), MP, sportsman, and country gentleman, and his wife, Lady Blanche Mary Harriet Gascoyne-Cecil (1825–1872)...

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Balfour, John Blair, first Baron Kinross (1837–1905), advocate and politician, born at Clackmannan on 11 July 1837, was the second son (in a family of two sons and a daughter) of Peter Balfour (1794–1862), parish minister of that place, and his wife, Jane Ramsay (...

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See Barclay, Robert, of Ury

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E. I. Carlyle

revised by H. C. G. Matthew

Baxter, William Edward (1825–1890), politician and author, born on 24 June 1825 at Dundee, was the eldest son of Edward Baxter, a Dundee merchant, of Kincaldrum in Forfarshire, and his first wife, Euphemia, daughter of William Wilson, a wool merchant of Dundee. Sir David Baxter...

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Boswell, Sir Alexander, first baronet (1775–1822), poet and politician, was born on 9 October 1775 at James's Court, Edinburgh, the first son of James Boswell (1740–1795), the biographer of Samuel Johnson, and his wife, Margaret (1738?–1789) [see Boswell, Margaret Montgomerie], daughter of ...

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Sir Alexander Boswell, first baronet (1775–1822) by Sir Martin Archer Shee private collection; © reserved in the photograph

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Brodie [Brody], Alexander, of Brodie, Lord Brodie (1617–1680), politician and judge, was born on 25 July 1617, the eldest of the four children of David Brodie of Brodie (1586–1632) and his wife, Katherine (d. c.1664), daughter of Thomas Dunbar of Grange...