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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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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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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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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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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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Geddes, Sir Eric Campbell (1875–1937), politician and businessman, was born at Agra, India, on 26 September 1875, the second of five children of Auckland Campbell Geddes (1831–1908), civil engineer, of Edinburgh and his wife, Christina Helen Macleod (1850–1914), daughter of the Revd Alexander Anderson...

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Sir Eric Campbell Geddes (1875–1937) by Howard Coster, 1936 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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George Hay, first earl of Kinnoull (bap. 1570, d. 1634) by Daniel Mytens, 1633 Scottish National Portrait Gallery

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Hay, George, first earl of Kinnoull (bap. 1570, d. 1634), politician and entrepreneur, was baptized on 4 December 1570, probably at Megginch, Perthshire, the second son of Peter Hay (d. 1596), laird of Megginch and bailie to his distant kin the earls of Erroll...

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Sir (George) Donald Alastair MacDougall (1912–2004) by unknown photographer, 1983 © Photoshot

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MacDougall, Sir (George) Donald Alastair (1912–2004), economist and civil servant, was born at 5 First Avenue, Glasgow, on 26 October 1912, the younger son of Daniel Douglas MacDougall (d. 1929), china merchant, and his wife, Beatrice Amy, née Miller (d. 1954)...

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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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Sir Thomas McIlwraith (1835–1900) by Elliott & Fry, pubd 1900 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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McIlwraith, Sir Thomas (1835–1900), entrepreneur and politician in Australia, the son of John McIlwraith, a plumber, and his wife, Janet Hamilton, the daughter of John Howat, was born at Ayr, Scotland, on 17 May 1835, and educated at Watson's school and the Wallacetown Academy...

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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 ...