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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, John (1779–1825), administrator in India, was the eldest son of William Adam (1751–1839) and Eleanora Elphinstone (1749–1808), second daughter of Charles, tenth Baron Elphinstone. His brothers included Charles Adam, naval officer, and Frederick William Adam, who served in the army. He was born in ...

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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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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, David (1751–1825), East India Company servant, was born in Edinburgh on 10 February 1751, the second of the eight children of David Anderson (1707–1786), writer to the signet, and his wife, Mary (d. 1781), daughter of John Mitchelson of Middleton, Edinburghshire...

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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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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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Peter Berresford Ellis

Baird, John (1788–1820), radical, was, with Andrew Hardie (1792–1820) and James Wilson (1757–1820), one of the three ‘Radical Martyrs’ executed for their part in the Scottish insurrection of April 1820. Baird, born in Condorrat, Stirling, was the third son of a ...

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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 [née Campbell], Lady Frances (1858–1931), suffragist leader and churchwoman, was born at Argyll Lodge, Kensington, London, on 22 February 1858, the fifth daughter and tenth of twelve children of George Douglas Campbell, eighth duke of Argyll (1823–1900), and his first wife, ...