Historical Figures http://www.scotland.org.uk/table/history-of-scotland/scottish-historical-figures/ Thu, 16 Apr 2015 13:02:16 +0000 Joomla! - Open Source Content Management en-gb sysadmin@helpmego.to (J25 Template) Alexander Grant - founder of National Library of Scotland http://www.scotland.org.uk/scottish-historical-figures/alexander-grant http://www.scotland.org.uk/scottish-historical-figures/alexander-grant Sir Alexander Grant / Library founder & Industrialist 
  • Name  : Grant
  • Born  : 1864
  • Died  : 1937
  • Category  : Other
  • Finest Moment : Helping the formation of the National Library of Scotland, 1925

Born the son of a railway guard in Forres, 1864. Grant began working in an office, but the crucial event was being apprenticed to a local baker. Immersed in the heady aromas of yeast and rising dough, he moved to Edinburgh, gaining employment with Robert McVitie. Here he had found his niche, and his rapid rise saw him managing the new factory built in Gorgie Road then establishing another plant in London.

McVitie's partner, Price retired, then McVitie himself died in 1910, Grant then acquiring control of the company. It grew to feed the urban population, hungry for variety and convenient snacks to take in the tea parlours springing up everywhere. With Grant as Chairman and Managing Director, McVitie & Price became a world leader.

Probably aware of his modest beginnings, Grant initiated charitable funding for many projects. A sum of £100,000 helped in no way found the National Library for Scotland for example. He was awarded a baronetcy in 1924. There were some awkward questions asked about this, as the newly-elected Prime Minister, Ramsay MacDonald, had been given a present from Grant of £30,000 worth of shares in the company and a new Daimler. Let it be known that the baronetcy had already been put in motion by the previous government. He also provided a further grant of £100,000 towards the new Library.

In the 1980s the company established the McVitie Prize for the Scottish Writer of the Year, Scotland's foremost literary award. Alexander Grant died in 1937, the same year as his close friend Ramsay MacDonald.

customer-service@helpmego.to (Site Editor) Scottish Historical Figures Tue, 09 Feb 2010 10:57:36 +0000
Alexander Selkirk http://www.scotland.org.uk/scottish-historical-figures/alexander-selkirk http://www.scotland.org.uk/scottish-historical-figures/alexander-selkirk


Alexander Selkirk / Other

  • Name  : Selkirk
  • Born  : 1676
  • Died  : 1721
  • Category  : Other
  • Finest Moment : Sighting the ship which rescued him

The inspiration for Daniel Defoe's Robinson Crusoe, Selkirk was born the son of a cobbler in the Fife coastal village of Largo, in 1676. After several brushes with the law, he ran away to sea in 1695. He joined up with William Dampier, the explorer turned buccaneer, and by 1703 he was sailing master of the privateer Cinque Ports.

The next year, having quarrelled with the captain, he requested to be put ashore on a South Pacific island belonging to the Juan Fernandez group, the uninhabited Mas a Tierra island. This is some 400 miles (640km) off the coast of Chile. Here, he lived alone for four years and four months, before being rescued in 1709 by another privateer, under the command of Woodes Rogers.

He returned to Largo in 1712, and the same year Rogers published Cruising Voyage Round the World, which included a description of Selkirk's life on the island. Another account was published in 1713 by the essayist Richard Steele. These accounts prompted Daniel Defoe to write the now classic Robinson Crusoe, first published in 1719.

Alexander Selkirk returned to sea, where he died on 12 December 1721, a lieutenant in the Royal Navy.

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customer-service@helpmego.to (Site Editor) Scottish Historical Figures Tue, 09 Feb 2010 10:57:37 +0000
Charles Edward Stewart Young Pretender http://www.scotland.org.uk/scottish-historical-figures/charles-edward http://www.scotland.org.uk/scottish-historical-figures/charles-edward Charles Edward Stewart / Famous Historical Figures
  • Name  : Stewart
  • Born  : 1720
  • Died  : 1788
  • Category  : Famous Historical Figures
  • Finest Moment : Battle of Prestonpans, 21 September 1745
  • Resources - The Story of Bonnie Prince Charlie

Called 'The Young Pretender', he mounted the second, and last Jacobite Rebellion in 1745.

Born 31 December 1720 in Rome, his father was James Edward Stewart, 'The Old Pretender'. He was brought up a Roman Catholic and was trained in the arts of war. He served with courage at the siege of Gaeta, though still an adolescent, and his education seems to have been well rounded, with Charles being respected for his conversational skills as well as his tastes in music and the arts.

But he had ambitions to succeed where his father had not, and in 1745 set out for Scotland. A supporting French fleet was wrecked by storm, and Charles landed at Glenfinnan on the west coast with seven men, raising his standard there on 19 August. Four of the seven were Irish; they had the ear of Charles and their own agenda, and were soon in constant disagreement with Lord George Murray, easily the best of the Jacobite generals.

He entered Edinburgh on 17 September, with 2,400 men. Four days later, the skill of Murray defeated the English, under Sir John Cope, at Prestonpans. Against Murray's advice, and egged on by the Irishmen, he invaded England, reaching as far south as Derby before the decision to retreat was made on 5 December. More Irishmen arriving as officers in a French force under Lord John Drummond increased the friction within the Jacobite followers, though again Murray saved the day with a last crushing victory against the English at Falkirk.

Charles had by now lost the plot, and squandered time and resources trying to take Stirling Castle, before moving north to Inverness. The canvas was slowly being prepared for the last, dismal battle fought on British soil, as the English, under the command of William, Duke of Cumberland, closed in. His captain, Lord Elcho, had been forced to retreat from the River Spey under pressure from Cumberland's men, and reached Culloden Moor to find his commander in a 'boastful and unworthy state for a Prince'.

The next night, 15 April, Charles ordered a march to Nairn, a disastrous, exhausting mistake. Murray turned back against his commander's orders, but the following morning, 16 April, the Battle of Culloden was a massacre. The Prince's actions thereafter were solely self-seeking, and Elcho last words as he left were 'There goes a damned Italian coward.' The fading romanticism attached to 'Bonnie Prince Charlie' arose from the period of some five months following Culloden, when he spent it as a fugitive, skulking through the highlands hiding from the English troops searching for him.

He seemed to be oblivious and uncaring about the hardships and very real dangers which his followers were still undergoing, in trying to protect him. He even complained when helped by Flora MacDonald to escape by ship, as he had not been met in person by Lady Margaret MacDonald, to whose house he had been brought. He felt that the Gaels had failed him, though the Gaels could have stated the obvious, that he had failed them.

He finally escaped in September 1746, sailing in a French ship. It was all downhill from then on, with alcohol an increasing problem. He beat his women, including his wife, Princess Louise of Stolberg, whom he married in 1772. She stuck it for eight years before bailing out. He eventually settled in Rome, where he died on 31 January 1788, the last rites being performed by his brother Henry, Cardinal Duke of York.

customer-service@helpmego.to (Site Editor) Scottish Historical Figures Tue, 09 Feb 2010 10:59:00 +0000
Devorguilla Balliol http://www.scotland.org.uk/scottish-historical-figures/devorguilla-balliol http://www.scotland.org.uk/scottish-historical-figures/devorguilla-balliol Devorguilla Balliol / Famous Historical Figures
  • Name  : Balliol
  • Born  : c.1209
  • Died  : 1290
  • Category  : Famous Historical Figures
  • Finest Moment : Foundation of Balliol College, Oxford

'She was buried with her husband's heart at Sweetheart Abbey'

Born the youngest daughter of Alan of Galloway, in 1233 she married John Balliol of Barnard Castle, Co Durham, with whom she had four sons and three daughters. Her name in Gaelic is dearbh-fhorghoill, or 'true judgment'.

She inherited much of Galloway in addition to lands in Aberdeenshire and Angus, and in the Honour of Huntingdon, she transmitted a claim to the throne to her only surviving son, John Balliol. She was obviously an outstanding woman in many ways, and with her husband was active in Anglo-Scots politics.

Her husband died in 1268, and Devorguilla had his embalmed heart encased in an ivory shrine. This was placed before her at meals, when she would give its share of every dish to the poor. Other good deeds included the building of friaries at Wigton, Dundee and Dumfries (and these were Dominican, Franciscan and Franciscan respectively, indicating a respect for the different schools), the endowment of a hostel for poor scholars at Oxford (later to be known, as it is today, as Balliol College), and the foundation of Sweetheart Abbey. She is also credited with the first stone bridge at Dumfries.

She died at Buittle Castle in 1290, and was buried in her abbey with the casket containing her husband's heart in her arms.

customer-service@helpmego.to (Site Editor) Scottish Historical Figures Tue, 09 Feb 2010 10:59:31 +0000
Flora MacDonald http://www.scotland.org.uk/scottish-historical-figures/flora-macdonald http://www.scotland.org.uk/scottish-historical-figures/flora-macdonald


Flora MacDonald / Famous Historical Figures

  • Name  : MacDonald
  • Born  : 1722
  • Died  : 1790
  • Category  : Famous Historical Figures
  • Finest Moment : Passing the Young Pretender off as an Irish maid

Born the daughter of a tacksman at Milton, South Uist in the Outer Hebrides, in 1722, her father died soon after she was born. Her mother remarried, to a MacDonald of Armadale. She was brought up by the Clanranald family, then by Lady Margaret MacDonald of Skye. She completed her schooling in Edinburgh.

Flora is now immortalised in Jacobite songs and stories, for her part in the escape of the defeated Charles Edward Stewart, the Young Pretender. She was visiting her brother in South Uist in 1746, when she was approached about helping in a 'fantastical' plan to aid the Prince to reach the Isle of Skye. At that time he was hiding in the Outer Hebrides. She was persuaded and the Prince joined her boat to Skye in Benbecula. He was dressed as an Irish spinning maid called 'Betty Burke' (in a blue and white frock, if you really must know).

They were almost captured by English troops the next morning, but managed to reach the safety of Kilbride, near the home of Lady MacDonald. She helped Flora and the 'Irish maid' to cross the island to Portree. The Prince then left for Raasay, but not before presenting Flora with a gold locket containing his portrait.

The English learned of her role in the escape and she was resident for a spell in the Tower of London, to be released in 1747 by the Act of Indemnity. She returned to Skye where three years later she married Allan MacDonald of Kingsburgh. Johnson and Boswell looked her up on their tour of the Highlands and Islands. Dr Johnson described her as 'A woman of middle stature, soft features, gentle manners and elegant presence.' Her adventures were not quite over however.

In 1774 Flora and Allan MacDonald emigrated to North Caroline. Allan served in the British Army, fighting in the American Revolutionary War until he was captured. Flora returned alone to Scotland in 1779, and lived with her brother in South Uist until her husband was able to rejoin her when they moved back to Kingsburgh.

There she lived to a ripe old age, dying in the very bed that has been occupied by the Prince en route to Portree, and also by Dr Johnson en route to Dunvegan, on 5 March 1790.

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customer-service@helpmego.to (Site Editor) Scottish Historical Figures Tue, 09 Feb 2010 11:01:01 +0000
George Heriot http://www.scotland.org.uk/scottish-historical-figures/george-heriot http://www.scotland.org.uk/scottish-historical-figures/george-heriot


George Heriot / Goldsmith

  • Name  : Heriot
  • Born  : 1563
  • Died  : 1624
  • Category  : Other
  • Finest Moment : Counting the silver of James VI

He was an Edinburgh goldsmith whose name lives on in Heriot-Watt University and George Heriot's Hospital/School. He has been written up in one of Sir Walter Scott's books The Fortunes of Nigel (1822), where his nickname of 'Jingling Geordie' is used.

He succeeded his father, also a goldsmith in Edinburgh, and was soon one of its richest citizens. Holding the post of goldsmith to Anne of Denmark in 1597, and then her husband James VI in 1601, he was in effect their banker, as plate and jewellery were the bankable items of the times.

He moved down to London in 1603 with James, continuing to increase his wealth. His income was further sweetened by a cut of the lucrative sugar imports. He never forgot his native city however, and in his will he bequeathed a large sum allowing for the foundation of George Heriot's Hospital/School, for the education of impoverished burgesses.

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customer-service@helpmego.to (Site Editor) Scottish Historical Figures Tue, 09 Feb 2010 11:01:25 +0000
Henry Stewart Darnley http://www.scotland.org.uk/scottish-historical-figures/henry-stewart http://www.scotland.org.uk/scottish-historical-figures/henry-stewart Lord Henry Stewart Darnley / Famous Historical Figures
  • Name  : Darnley
  • Born  : 1545
  • Died  : 1567
  • Category  : Famous Historical Figures
  • Finest Moment : Marriage to Mary, Queen of Scots (1565)

Tall, charming, powdered, violent & ambitious, he married a queen & was strangled in his garden.

Born 7 December 1545 at Temple Newsom, Yorkshire, Darnley has been described as a 'petulant popinjay' of the Scottish nobility. He was the elder son of the 4th Earl of Lennox, and was brought up in Protestant England. His father's pretension to the Scottish throne was contested by James Hamilton, while his mother, Margaret Douglas, was a granddaughter of Henry VII. Darnley and Queen Mary had met in France, shortly after the death of Mary's first husband, King Francis II

In February 1565, Queen Elizabeth gave Darnley permission to visit Scotland. Mary took a liking to him, even though they were cousins. Part of this liking was Darnley's good height, Mary herself being tall of stature. By the spring of that year it was clear she had her sights on him as husband. She made him firstly Earl of Ross (a rank usually held for the son of the Scottish King), then Duke of Albany. He must have been a charmer.

They married on 29 July, with a Catholic ceremony. This, understandably enough, did not wear well with the Protestant Scottish ministry, for whom John Knox was the spokesman; neither did it go down well with other political claimants, including James Stewart, Mary's illegitimate half-brother.

During the next 18 months, Darnley succeeded in alienating much of the Scottish nobility, became estranged from his wife, and began to show the symptoms of what was probably syphilis. He became jealous of Mary's Italian secretary David Rizzio - Protestant lords suspected Rizzio of being a papal agent; Darnley thought the two were intimate. Rizzio was murdered by Darnley and some of the lords on 9 March 1566, at Holyrood. Mary, who was then six months pregnant, was certainly close by, and may even have witnessed the scene.

Mary fathered his child, who became James VI, and for a while Darnley tempered the worst of his excesses - or at least concealed them. He was brought to Edinburgh to convalesce at Kirk o'Fields, one of their houses. While she was away, on the night of 10 February 1567, the house was blown up, and the wretched Darnley was found strangled in the rose bushes. James Hepburn, 4th Earl of Bothwell, and soon to be Mary's second Scottish husband, was a dead ringer for at least lighting the fuse to the gunpowder; he may even have squeezed Darnley's throat.

customer-service@helpmego.to (Site Editor) Scottish Historical Figures Tue, 09 Feb 2010 11:02:19 +0000
Historical figures http://www.scotland.org.uk/scottish-historical-figures/historical-figures http://www.scotland.org.uk/scottish-historical-figures/historical-figures


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Charles Edward Stewart / Famous Historical Figures

Leader of the unsuccessful Jacobite rebellion of 1745-46

Devorguilla Balliol / Famous Historical Figures

The daughter of Alan, the last Celtic lord of Galloway; founded Balliol College.

Flora MacDonald / Famous Historical Figures

Jacobite sympathiser who helped Prince Charles flee Scotland.

James Edward Stewart / Famous Historical Figures

Leader of the first Jacobite rebellion in 1715, and father of Prince Charles.

James Graham, Earl of Montrose / Famous Historical Figures

One of four noblemen who drew up the National Covenant.

James Hepburn, 4th Earl of Bothwell / Famous Historical Figures

The second Scottish husband of Queen Mary.

John Brown / Famous Historical Figures

The Highland ghillie who rose to become Queen Victoria's esquire and personal retainer.

John Comyn / Famous Historical Figures

A Guardian of Scotland who fought for Wallace and competed for the throne.

John Leslie, 6th Earl of Rothes / Famous Historical Figures

One of the writers of the Scottish Covenant.

Rob Roy MacGregor / Famous Historical Figures

Part outlaw, part folk-hero, but always true to himself.

Sir James Douglas / Famous Historical Figures

The 'Black Douglas', champion of Robert The Bruce, and scourge of the English.

William Wallace, Patriot / Famous Historical Figures

His patriotic resistance to the English opened the way to independence.

John Maitland, 2nd Earl of Lauderdale / Famous Historical Figures

The right-hand man of Charles II in Scotland.

William Cadell / Famous Historical Figures

The first to produce commercial quantities of iron in Scotland.

Sir John Sinclair / Famous Historical Figures

Agricultural economist and statistician well ahead of his time.

Mary of Guise / Famous Historical Figures

French-born wife of James V and mother of Mary, Queen of Scots.

Lord Henry Stewart Darnley / Famous Historical Figures

The first Scottish husband of Queen Mary.

Hugh Montgomerie, 12th Earl of Eglinton / Famous Historical Figures

He fought in the American War of Independence, composed popular airs, and built a harbour. 18 matches in the Famous Historical Figures sector

customer-service@helpmego.to (Site Editor) Scottish Historical Figures Tue, 09 Feb 2010 11:02:50 +0000
Hugh Montgomerie http://www.scotland.org.uk/scottish-historical-figures/hugh-montgomerie http://www.scotland.org.uk/scottish-historical-figures/hugh-montgomerie


Hugh Montgomerie, 12th Earl of Eglinton / Famous Historical Figures

  • Name  : Montgomerie, 12th Earl of Eglinton
  • Born  : 1739
  • Died  : 1818
  • Category  : Famous Historical Figures
  • Finest Moment : Building Eglinton Castle.

The Earldon of Eglinton was created in 1508 for Lord Hugh Montgomerie. Later he was to be a guardian to James V. The 3rd Earl, also called Hugh, was a loyal supporter of Queen Mary. Hugh, the 12th Earl, succeeded to the Earldom in 1796, when he was in his 50s.

He fought for the British in the American War of Independence, gaining praise for his actions. After a further spell in the Army in France, he returned and became MP for Ayr in 1783. When he succeeded to the Earldom in 1796 he relaxed by composing popular airs, and building Eglinton Castle, just south-east of Kilwinning. This, and other grand schemes, were to financially ruin the family. The huge castle was unroofed and abandoned in 1925, mercilessly hammered by Commando training during World War II, and finally demolished in 1973.

Hugh Montgomerie also started an ambitious development of Ardrossan Harbour, eventually completed by the 13th Earl. Sited between Irvine and Greenock, Ardrossan is the ferry port for Arran. The 12th Earl had somewhat overvaulting plans to build a canal between Ardrossan and Glasgow, but this never materialised.

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customer-service@helpmego.to (Site Editor) Scottish Historical Figures Tue, 09 Feb 2010 11:02:57 +0000
James Douglas http://www.scotland.org.uk/scottish-historical-figures/james-douglas http://www.scotland.org.uk/scottish-historical-figures/james-douglas


Sir James Douglas / Famous Historical Figures

  • Name  : Douglas
  • Born  : c.1286
  • Died  : 1330
  • Category  : Famous Historical Figures
  • Finest Moment : Left Forward at Bannockburn, June 1314. Scotland 1: England 0

He's the 'Good Sir James' if you're Scots, 'The Black Douglas' if you're English, and, for an international flavour, 'El Gran Duglas' if you're Spanish!

He was the eldest son of Sir William Douglas, who was captured by the English and died as a prisoner in the Tower of London. Sir William had been a supporter of William Wallace. The Douglas was an ancient Celtic name, from the south-west of Scotland.

James was sent to Paris for his safety and was educated there though became penniless. He was rescued by Bishop Lamberton. Returning home he found an Englishman, Robert de Clifford, 'squatting' on his property. He stole a horse and joined Robert the Bruce, becoming a brilliant guerrilla fighter. He eventually regained his own castle at Douglas. In 1309 he joined the Bruce in Argyll. He took Roxburgh Castle in 1314 and later that year was knighted at Bannockburn, after the English had been smashed. Douglas had commanded the left wing with Walter the Steward.

While Robert the Bruce was engaged in Ireland, James Douglas was acting Warden of Scotland. His many successful raids in England gained him the name 'Black Douglas'. He invaded Yorkshire in 1319, defeated an English army at Myton-upon-Swale, and just before peace was settled, nearly captured Edward III in a typically brilliant night attack on the English camp at Weardale, in 1327.

The Bruce had always wanted to venture out on a Crusade to the Holy Land, but illness prevented his wish. Before he died, he asked Sir James to carry his heart there. Sir James set out in 1330, carrying the embalmed heart in a silver casket in a crusade against the Moors in Spain. There he died in battle.

That heart is borne on the escutcheon of the Douglases to this day.

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customer-service@helpmego.to (Site Editor) Scottish Historical Figures Tue, 09 Feb 2010 11:03:21 +0000