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Aikenhead, Thomas (bap. 1676, d. 1697), freethinker and blasphemer  

Michael Hunter

Aikenhead, Thomas (bap. 1676, d. 1697), freethinker and blasphemer, was baptized on 28 March 1676, the son of James Aikenhead (d. in or before 1683), apothecary and burgess of Edinburgh, and his wife, Helen (d. 1685), daughter of Thomas Ramsey, former minister of ...

Article

Aitken, (Adam) Jack (1921–1998), lexicographer and philologist  

Caroline Macafee

Aitken, (Adam) Jack (1921–1998), lexicographer and philologist, was born on 19 June 1921 in Edinburgh, the only son and eldest of the three children of Adam Aitken (1896–1958), miner, and his first wife, Alexandrina Sutherland (1896–1931). He was baptized into the Church of Scotland...

Article

Alexander, Sir Kenneth John Wilson [Ken] (1922–2001), economist, university administrator, and public servant  

Ian A. Olson

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 ...

Article

Barke, James William (1905–1958), novelist  

Moira Burgess

Barke, James William (1905–1958), novelist, was born on 22 May 1905 at Torwoodlee, near Galashiels, Selkirkshire, the fourth child of James Bark (1862–1937), dairyman, and his wife, Jane (b. 1866), a dairymaid, daughter of Thomas Gibb, ploughman. The family moved in 1907 to ...

Article

Cleghorn, Hugh (1752–1837), colonial administrator  

Aylwin Clark

Cleghorn, Hugh (1752–1837), colonial administrator, was born on 21 March 1752 at The Society, Edinburgh, the only son of John Cleghorn (d. 1774), merchant and brewer, and his wife, Jean (1712–1791), daughter of William Scott, professor of Greek at Edinburgh University, and ...

Article

Combe [Comb], George (1788–1858), phrenologist  

L. S. Jacyna

Combe [Comb], George (1788–1858), phrenologist, was born in Livingstone Yards, Edinburgh, on 21 October 1788, one of the seventeen children of George Comb (d. 1815), a brewer, and Marion Newton (d. 1819), who came from a family of tenant farmers. Combe...

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Cover Combe, George (1788–1858)

Combe, George (1788–1858)  

Maker: David Octavius Hill and Robert Adamson

In 

George Combe (1788–1858) by David Octavius Hill and Robert Adamson, 1843 © National Portrait Gallery, London

Article

Frazer, Sir James George (1854–1941), social anthropologist and classical scholar  

Robert Ackerman

Frazer, Sir James George (1854–1941), social anthropologist and classical scholar, was born in Blythswood Square, Glasgow, on 1 January 1854, the eldest of the four children of Daniel F. Frazer (1821–1900), leading partner in the long-established firm of chemists Frazer and Green, and his wife, ...

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Cover Frazer, Sir James George (1854–1941)

Frazer, Sir James George (1854–1941)  

Maker: Lafayette

In 

Sir James George Frazer (1854–1941) by Lafayette, 1926 © National Portrait Gallery, London

Article

Gibb, John (d. 1720?), founder of the Sweet Singers or Gibbite sect  

John Callow

Gibb, John (d. 1720?), founder of the Sweet Singers or Gibbite sect, was born and raised in Borrowstounness (modern day Bo'ness) in Linlithgowshire, Scotland. There he learned to sail, and was in time appointed to be the purser and master of the merchantman ...

Article

Kalley, Robert Reid (1809–1888), missionary  

M. C. Curthoys

Kalley, Robert Reid (1809–1888), missionary, was born at Mount Florida, Glasgow, on 8 September 1809, the only son (there was an elder daughter) of Robert Kalley (d. 1810), a wealthy merchant, and his wife, Jane Reid (d. 1815). His mother remarried on his father's early death. After attending ...

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Cover Leslie, Sir John (1766–1832)

Leslie, Sir John (1766–1832)  

Maker: John Henning

In 

Sir John Leslie (1766–1832) by John Henning, c. 1805 Scottish National Portrait Gallery

Article

Leslie, Sir John (1766–1832), mathematician and natural philosopher  

Jack Morrell

Leslie, Sir John (1766–1832), mathematician and natural philosopher, was born on 17 April 1766 at Largo, Fife, Scotland, the youngest child of Robert Leslie (d. 1804), a joiner and cabinet-maker, and his wife Anne Carstairs of Largo. Though he attended three local schools for only about a year he learned mathematics at home from his father and elder brother, ...

Article

MacCaig [McCaig], Norman Alexander (1910–1996), poet  

Hilda D. Spear

MacCaig [McCaig], Norman Alexander (1910–1996), poet, was born at 53 East London Street, Edinburgh, on 14 November 1910, the only son and the fourth child of Robert McCaig (1880–1950?), a chemist, and his wife, Joan, née MacLeod (1879–1959). His father was a lowland Scot from ...

Article

MacRae, Donald Gunn (1921–1997), sociologist  

J. D. Y. Peel

MacRae, Donald Gunn (1921–1997), sociologist, was born on 20 April 1921 at 22 Westfield Street, Cathcart, Glasgow, the only child of Donald MacRae (1884–1964), an engineer at a flour mill, and his wife, Elizabeth Maud, née Gunn (1888–1971), a teacher. He spent much of his childhood at the homes of his grandparents. His paternal grandfather farmed in ...

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Cover Maitland, James, eighth earl of Lauderdale (1759–1839)

Maitland, James, eighth earl of Lauderdale (1759–1839)  

Maker: Thomas Phillips

In 

James Maitland, eighth earl of Lauderdale (1759–1839) by Thomas Phillips, 1806 Scottish National Portrait Gallery

Article

Maitland, James, eighth earl of Lauderdale (1759–1839), politician and political economist  

Roland Thorne

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)...

Article

Mill, James (1773–1836), political philosopher  

Terence Ball

Mill, James (1773–1836), political philosopher, was born on 6 April 1773 at Northwater Bridge, in the parish of Logie Pert, Forfarshire, Scotland. He was the son of James Mill (d. 1808), formerly known as Milne, a country shoemaker and smallholder, and his wife, ...

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Cover Mill, James (1773–1836)

Mill, James (1773–1836)  

Maker: unknown artist

In 

James Mill (1773–1836) by unknown artist © National Portrait Gallery, London

Article

Ross, William Stewart [pseud. Saladin] (1844–1906), secularist  

W. B. Owen

revised by H. C. G. Matthew

Ross, William Stewart [pseud. Saladin] (1844–1906), secularist, born at Kirkbean, Kirkcudbright, on 20 March 1844, was the son of Joseph Ross, a farm servant and a Presbyterian. In early life Ross developed a love for poetry and romance. After being educated at the parish school of ...