Great Scots

cotland has many famous men and women who have contributed to both Scotland and the rest of the world. Here is a list of the most well known individuals.

Alexander Graham Bell Alexander Graham Bell (1847 - 1922)

Bell was born in Edinburgh and later immigrated to the USA. He is most famous for his invention of the telephone in 1876.

Robert the Bruce Robert the Bruce (1274 - 1329)

The legendary Bruce was crowned King of Scotland in 1306 and later secured Scottish independence when he defeated the English King Edward at Bannockburn in 1314. He is considered one of Scotland's heroes.

Robert Burns Robert Burns (1759 - 1796)

Scotland's National Poet was born in Alloway, and wrote many famous works such as Auld Lang Syne. Today, this song is sung around the world every new year. Burns is celebrated by the Scottish though "Burns Night" every January 25.

Andrew Carnegie Andrew Carnegie (1835 - 1918)

Originally born in Dunfermline, he later moved to the USA and became an iron and steel millionaire and a great philanthropist. Part of his fortune was given to Scotland and used for education and 10,000 church organs.

Sean Connery Sean Connery (1930 - )

This actor is best known for his role as the British agent, James Bond. He has been in many other films, such as The Untouchables and won as Oscar for Hunt for Red October.

 Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (1859 - 1930)

Born in Edinburgh, Doyle wrote about Sherlock Holmes and his adventures. Besides his writing career, he graduated from the Edinburgh University in medicine and practiced both in Edinburgh and aboard a ship in the Boer War.

Alexander Fleming Sir Alexander Fleming (1881 - 1955)

This famous Scot accidentally discovered the world's first antibiotic drug Penicillin when mold was allowed to grow on a bacterial culture. He was later knighted for his accomplishment and received the Nobel Prize in 1944.

Mary Queen of Scots

Mary Queen of Scots (1542-1587)

This famous Scottish queen inherited the crown when she was only six days old. Securing the Scottish-French alliance, she married the French crown prince and became Queen of France until her husband's death. Mary later gave birth to James VI of Scotland, who became James I of England when he ascended to the English throne in 1603 following Queen Elizabeth's death. In an interesting twist, before her son became King of England, Mary was executed by Queen Elizabeth, who was also her cousin.

Flora MacDonald Flora MacDonald (1722-1790)

After the defeat of the Jacobite uprising, and its leader "Bonnie" Prince Charlie (Charles Edward Stuart, the Young Pretender),Charles was forced into hiding and had to escape dressed as a woman. MacDonald and another Scottish patriot helped bring Charles across Scotland and safely to France. She was later tried as a traitor and imprisoned in the Tower of London.

John Paul Jones John Paul Jones- (1747-1792)

This famous Scot from Kirkbean is considered the Father of the U.S. Navy. He helped the American colonies in their fight for Independence from the English. Jones famously uttered the phrase, "I have not yet begun to fight!".

Sir Walter Scott Sir Walter Scott (1771 - 1832)

This famous Scottish author was born and educated in Edinburgh. He helped to mold Scottish national pride by publishing the Waverley Novels. These historical novels include Ivanhoe (1791) and Rob Roy (1817). He was also a translator and a biographer of Napoleon.

Adam Smith Adam Smith- (1723-1790)

A famous philosopher and professor at the University of Glasgow, Smith is remembered for his book Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations (1776). Today it is considered one of modern history's most important books, and Smith is referred to as the founder of economics.

Robert Louis Stevenson Robert Louis Stevenson (1850 - 1894)

Another famous author from Edinburgh, his works include Treasure Island (1883), Kidnapped (1886) and The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde (1886). Trying to escape a lifetime history of poor health, he traveled a lot and eventually died in Samoa.

William Wallace William Wallace (1274 - 1305)

This famous Scottish defender crushed the English army at the Battle of Stirling Bridge. Shortly after his death, Robert the Bruce re-established Scotland's independence. Wallace's life is dramatized in the movie Braveheart (1995).

Back To Top