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Sir Ralph Abercromby of Tullibody (1734–1801) by John Hoppner, c. 1797–8 Scottish National Portrait Gallery

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Abercromby, Sir Ralph, of Tullibody (1734–1801), army officer, was born in October 1734 at Menstrie, Clackmannanshire, and baptized on 26 October at Logie, Perthshire. He was the second but eldest surviving son of George Abercromby (1705–1800), a lawyer by training and a descendant of the ...

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Agnew, Sir Andrew, of Lochnaw, fifth baronet (1687–1771), army officer, was born on 21 December 1687 at Innermessan Castle, Wigtownshire, the eldest son of the twenty-one children of Sir James Agnew, fourth baronet (c.1660–1735), and his wife, Mary (c.1652–1742)...

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Aitchison, Sir John (1789–1875), army officer, was born on 25 April 1789 in Tranent, East Lothian, the third son of William Aitchison (1753–1839) of Drummore, East Lothian, distiller and landowner, and his wife, Jane (1764–1833), eldest daughter of James Mylne (1738/9–1788), poet and tenant farmer, of ...

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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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Baillie, William (d. 1653), army officer, was the son of Sir William Baillie of Lamington, an adherent of Mary, queen of Scots. His mother was a daughter of Sir Alexander Hume, lord provost of Edinburgh, and he was born illegitimate while his father's first wife, ...

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Sir David Baird, first baronet (1757–1829) by Thomas Hodgetts (after Sir Henry Raeburn, exh. RA 1814) © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Baird, Sir David, first baronet (1757–1829), army officer, was born on 26 December 1757 at Newbyth, Haddingtonshire, the fifth son of William Baird (c.1711–1766), merchant, and Alicia, née Johnstone, of Hiltown, Berwick (d. c.1787). Baird's siblings included five sisters, two older, two younger, and one close in age, and two younger brothers. Within years of his birth the family moved to ...

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H. M. Stephens

revised by Stephen Conway

Balfour, Nisbet (1743–1823), army officer, was born at Dunbog, Fife, the son of Henry Balfour, laird of Dunbog, and his wife, Katherine Porterfield. He and his four brothers all entered the army, as had their father before them. The family expended much of its money on buying commissions; in February 1778 ...

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See Barclay, Robert, of Ury

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Francis Espinasse

revised by Philip A. Hunt

Beatson, Robert (1741–1818), writer and army officer, was born at Vicarsgrange, Dysart, Fife, on 25 June 1741, the eldest son of David Beatson (d. 1785) of Vicarsgrange and his wife and cousin, Jean, daughter of Robert Beatson of Kilrie, the descendant of a local laird. His father enjoyed the patronage of the ...

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Bethune, Sir Henry, first baronet and de jure ninth earl of Lindsay (1787–1851), army officer, the eldest child of Major Martin Eccles Lindsay Bethune (d. 1813), commissary-general in Scotland, and his wife, Margaret Augusta (née Tovey), was born at Hilton, near ...

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T. F. Henderson

revised by Jonathan Spain

Blackadder [Blackader], John (1664–1729), army officer, was the fifth son of John Blackadder the elder (1615/1623?–1686) and his wife, Janet Haining (d. 1688), and was born in the parish of Glencairn, Dumfriesshire, on 14 September 1664. William Blackadder (1647–1696) and Adam Blackadder (b. 1659, d. in or after 1696)...

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Blood, Holcroft (c. 1657–1707), army officer and military engineer, the third son of Colonel Thomas Blood (1617/18–1680) and his wife, Mary (fl. 1650–1670), the daughter of Lieutenant-Colonel John Holcroft of Holcroft, Lancashire, was born in Sarney, co. Meath, Ireland. In 1672, unknown to his father, he enlisted in the navy and served during the Third Dutch War. Later, under the false name ...

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H. M. Vibart

revised by James Lunt

Boswell, John James (1835–1908), army officer, was born at Edinburgh on 27 September 1835, the son of Dr John James Boswell of the East India Company's Bengal medical service and his wife, Anna Mary, daughter of Andrew Moffat Wellwood. He was educated at the ...

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Sir George Brown (1790–1865) by Roger Fenton, 1855 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Brown, Sir George (1790–1865), army officer, third son of George Brown, provost of Elgin, and his wife, the daughter of Lord Provost Clark of Aberdeen, was born at Linkwood, near Elgin, on 3 July 1790, into a family with 'many military heroes since the days of ...

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Thomas Bruce, seventh earl of Elgin and eleventh earl of Kincardine (1766–1841) by Anton Graff, 1787 The Earl of Elgin and Kincardine, K.T.

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Bruce, Thomas, seventh earl of Elgin and eleventh earl of Kincardine (1766–1841), diplomatist and army officer, was born at the family home, Broomhall, Fife, Scotland, on 20 July 1766, the son of Charles Bruce, fifth earl of Elgin and ninth earl of Kincardine...