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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

Anderson, William Crawford (1877–1919), politician  

Joseph Melling

Anderson, William Crawford (1877–1919), politician, was born on 13 February 1877 at Findon, Banffshire, Scotland, the son of Francis Anderson, a blacksmith, and Barbara (née Cruikshank), who were married in 1868. His mother was an intelligent and widely read woman of strong, radical, Presbyterian views who encouraged ...

Article

Auld [née Jardine; other married name Marshall], Mary (1893–1984), local politician and women's organizer  

Catriona Burness

Auld [née Jardine; other married name Marshall], Mary (1893–1984), local politician and women's organizer, was born on 8 July 1893 in Main Street, Lockerbie, Dumfriesshire, the fourth child of seven born to Francis Jardine, clog maker, and his wife, Agnes Wallace. She attended ...

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

Blease, (Walter) Lyon (1884–1963), barrister and civic activist  

Joyce Senders Pedersen

Blease, (Walter) Lyon (1884–1963), barrister and civic activist, was born on 30 May 1884 at 5 Beech Street, Fairfield, Liverpool, the second son and second of three children of Walter Blease (c.1853–1940), chartered accountant, and his wife, Mary Cecilia (d...

Image

Cover Buchanan, George (1890–1955)

Buchanan, George (1890–1955)  

Maker: Walter Stoneman

In 

George Buchanan (1890–1955) by Walter Stoneman, 1946 © National Portrait Gallery, London

Article

Buchanan, George (1890–1955), politician  

James J. Smyth

Buchanan, George (1890–1955), politician, was born in Glasgow on 30 November 1890 in Naburn Street, Gorbals, the constituency he would later represent as MP. His father, George Buchanan, a joiner, came from Kilberry in Argyll and his mother, Ann Mackay, was born in ...

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...

Image

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

Duncan [née MacFarlane], (Victoria) Helen McCrae (1897–1956), medium  

Malcolm Gaskill

Duncan [née MacFarlane], (Victoria) Helen McCrae (1897–1956), medium, was born on 25 November 1897 at 96 Main Street, Callander, Perthshire, the fourth child of Archibald MacFarlane, slater, and his wife, Isabella Rattray. As a child she earned the nickname Hellish Nell for her tomboyish exploits, but alienated her peers with hysterical outbursts and sinister predictions. Fearing shame for their Presbyterian family, ...

Article

Edalji, Shapurji (1841/2–1918), Church of England clergyman and victim of racial harassment  

Richard Davenport-Hines

Edalji, Shapurji (1841/2–1918), Church of England clergyman and victim of racial harassment, was born in Bombay, in late 1841 or early 1842, son of Doralji Edalji, a Parsi merchant. Educated at Elphinstone College, he was converted to Christianity in 1856, aged fourteen, by the ...

Article

Falconer, Hugh (1808–1865), palaeontologist and naturalist  

D. T. Moore

Falconer, Hugh (1808–1865), palaeontologist and naturalist, was born at Forres, Moray, on 29 February 1808, one of five sons and two daughters of David Falconer and his wife, Isabel Mcrae. He was educated at the local grammar school and the University of Aberdeen...

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 ...

Image

Cover Hall, Peter Andrew (1936–1996)

Hall, Peter Andrew (1936–1996)  

Maker: unknown photographer

In 

Peter Andrew Hall (1936–1996) by unknown photographer © reserved; News International Syndication; photograph National Portrait Gallery, London

Article

Hall, Peter Andrew (1936–1996), folklorist and musicologist  

Ian A. Olson

Hall, Peter Andrew (1936–1996), folklorist and musicologist, was born on 28 June 1936 at 285 Harrow Road, Paddington, London, the son of Thomas Temple Hall, corporal in the Coldstream Guards, and Marion Coghill Smith. His parents married shortly after his birth. After an upbringing in ...