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Adair, Archibald (d. 1647), Church of Ireland bishop of Waterford and Lismore, was the fourth son of Ninian Adair (fl. 1588), laird of Kinhilt in Galloway, and Catherine Agnew of Lochnaw, also in Galloway. He matriculated at St Andrews University in 1593 and graduated MA in 1596. He appears to have been presented to the vicarage of ...

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Aitken [Atkine], James (1612/13–1687), bishop of Galloway, was born in Kirkwall, Orkney, the third son of Henry Aitken, commissary and sheriff of Orkney and Shetland, and Elizabeth Buchanan. He attended Kirkwall grammar school before moving on to the University of Edinburgh, where he graduated MA on 23 July 1636. During the next two turbulent years of the covenanting revolution he completed his formal education at ...

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Sir Archibald Alison, second baronet (1826–1907) by Maclure & Macdonald, pubd 1882 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Alison, Sir Archibald, second baronet (1826–1907), army officer, was born at Edinburgh on 21 January 1826, the eldest son of Sir Archibald Alison, first baronet (1792–1867), historian, and his wife, Elizabeth Glencairn (1799–1873), youngest daughter of Lieutenant-Colonel William Tytler. In 1835 Possil House...

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John Arbuthnot (bap. 1667, d. 1735) by Sir Godfrey Kneller, 1723 © Hunterian Art Gallery, University of Glasgow

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Arbuthnot [Arbuthnott], John (bap. 1667, d. 1735), physician and satirist, was baptized on 29 April 1667 at Arbuthnott, Kincardineshire, on the north-east Scottish coast, near Stonehaven, the eldest son of Alexander Arbuthnott (c.1636–1691), minister of Arbuthnott, and Margaret, daughter of John Lammie (or Lamy)...

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Balcanquhall, Walter (c. 1586–1645), dean of Rochester, was born in Edinburgh, one of three sons of Walter Balcanquhall (1548/9–1616), Church of Scotland minister, and his wife, Margaret Marjoribanks. He was educated at Edinburgh University, graduating MA on 27 July 1609. Admitted to Pembroke College, Cambridge...

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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, 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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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, Sir William (d. 1660), parliamentarian army officer, was the son of Colonel Henry Balfour (d. 1580), a member of the Balfour family of Pitcullo, Fife, and his wife, Christian Cant.

William Balfour followed his father's example by serving the Dutch in the ...

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Louisa Caroline Baring, Lady Ashburton (1827–1903) by Carlo, Baron Marochetti, 1861 property of the Marquess of Northampton; Beedle & Cooper

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Baring [née Stewart-Mackenzie], Louisa Caroline, Lady Ashburton (1827–1903), art collector and philanthropist, was born at Seaforth Lodge, Stornoway, Isle of Lewis, in the Outer Hebrides, on 5 March 1827, the third daughter and sixth child of James Alexander Stewart-Mackenzie (d. 1843)...

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See Baxter, William Alexander

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Beatson, Alexander (1759–1830), army officer in the East India Company and colonial governor, was born on 24 October 1759 at Dundee. He was the second son of the three sons and one daughter of Robert Beatson (b. 1730), of Kilrie, Fife, and his wife, ...

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A. B. Grosart

revised by Alan R. MacDonald

Bellenden, Adam (c. 1572–1648), bishop of Dunblane and of Aberdeen, was the son of Sir John Bellenden (d. 1576) of Auchnoul, lord justice clerk 1547–72, and his third wife, Janet Seton, and the half-brother of Sir Lewis Bellenden, also lord justice clerk. He studied at the ...

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Bennett, John Hughes (1812–1875), physician and physiologist, was born on 31 August 1812 at Exeter, Devon, the only son of John Stokes Bennett (1773–1829), Exeter freeman, actor, and musician, and his wife, Julia Hughes (1783–1854), an actress, daughter of Richard Hughes (d...

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James Blair (1655/66–1743) by Charles Bridges Muscarelle Museum of Art, College of William and Mary

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Blair, James (1655/6–1743), Church of England clergyman and founder of the College of William and Mary, was the son of Peter Blair (d. 1673), Church of Scotland minister of St Cuthbert's parish, Edinburgh, and his wife, Mary Hamilton (d. in or after 1696)...

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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 ...