Great Scots Born Overseas

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Great Scots Born Overseas of Scots Parents or “Adopted” Scots

(1) Architects

a) William Henry Playfair (1789-1857) b. London

Son of James Playfair – architect and responsible for the Natural Monument and Observatory on Carlton Hill, Edinburgh, the Royal Scottish Academy, National Gallery of Scotland, Royal College of Surgeons and Royal Terrace, Carlton Terrace and Regent Terrace all in Edinburgh, also New College on the Mound and Donaldson’s School for the Deaf.

b) Sir Basil Spence (1907-76) b. India

Educated in Edinburgh and London, one of the foremost architects of the 20th century, and his finest examples include University Buildings in Cambridge, Sussex and Southampton, and housing estates in Berkshire. His master-work was the new Coventry Cathedral in 1951.

(2) Artists

a) John Michael Wright (1617-94) b. London

Artisan – by 1636 he was in Edinburgh studying under George Jamesone, then portrait painter in Rome, which included Charles II, Sir William Bruce and Lord Mungo Murray (Scottish National Portrait Gallery).

(3) Scots Influence in Australia

a) Mary MacKillop (1842-1909) b. Fitzroy, Victoria whose parents emigrated from Roy Bridge, Invernesshire

Declared a saint by the Catholic Church for all her work in Australia, with a great emphasis on the education for the rural poor.

b) Cities & Towns

Cairns, Mackay, Port Macquarie, Robertson, Ayr, Port Douglas, Reid, Glenn Innes, Forbes, Port Pirie, Lithgow and Perth.

c) Rivers

Murray, Jardine, Lachlan, Mitchell, Thomson and Ross.

d) Lakes

Eyre, Mackay, Carnegie and Argyll.

e) Deserts

Simpson and Gibson.

f) Highways

Hume, Burnett, Stuart, Stuart, Mitchell, Bruce, Buchanan and Eyre.

g) Mountain Ranges

McCarty, McPherson and MacDonnell.

(4) Authors/Writers and Novelists

a) Sir Compton MacKenzie (Edward Montague) (1883-1974) b. W.Hartlepool

He added the name Mackenzie as a tribute to his Scottish heritage. In 1928 he settled in Barra. He helped found the Scottish National Party. His best known works include “Sinister Street ” (1913), “The 4 Winds of Love” (1937-45), “The Monarch of the Glen” (1941), and “Whisky Galore” (1947). In his later years he lived in Edinburgh.

b) Emma Tennant (1937-) b. London.

Novelist and descendant of Charles Tennant.

c) Alexander McCall Smith (1948-) b. S. Rhodesia

Novelist and short story teller.

(5) Explorers

a) Captain James Cook (1728-79) b. Marton

Born in Yorkshire of a Scots Farmworker.

b) James Clark Ross (1800-62) b. London

Discovered the North Magnetic Pole in 1831, which revolutionised navigation.

(6) Film Directors

a) Alexander MacKendrick (1912-93) b. Boston USA

Films which included “Whisky Galore“, “Man in the White Suit” and “The Ladykillers”.

(8) Musicians/Composers

a) Ronald Stevenson (1928-) b. Blackburn, Lancashire

Composer – his fertile output include many pieces that draw on aspects of traditional Scottish music, including pibroch and dance forms. His “Passalaglia on DSCH” is an 80 minute single movement work for piano. He has spent most of his adult life in Scotland, and latterly in the Border town of West Linton.

b) Peter Maxwell Davies (1934-) b. Salford, Lancs

Composer who holds the honour of Master of the Queen’s Music. He made Orkney his home in the 1970’s. He often premières work at the St. Magnus Arts Festival in Orkney, which he founded.

c) Judith Weir (1954-) b. Cambridge

Her music has a wide range, much of it influenced by her interest in a worldwide folklore and theatre. Her operas include “A Night at the Chinese Opera” (1987), and has also composed song cycles and orchestral work such as “The Welcome Arrival of Rain” (2001).

(8) Politicians

a) John Crawfurd (1783-1868) b. Scotland

2nd British Governor of Singapore from 1823-26. Instrumental into implementing some of the key elements of Raffle’s vision for Singapore, and laying the foundations for the future economic growth of the Island. Crawfurd Street, Bridge and Park are all named after him.

b) Sir John Alexander MacDonald (1815-91) b. ?

First PM of Canada from 1867-73 and 1878-91. He promoted links with Britain and helped to develop the Pacific Railway.

(9) Scientists

a) Sir David Bruce (1855-1931) b. Australia

Brought up and educated in Scotland – Microbiologist – having identified the tsetse fly as the source of sleeping sickness, and while serving in the Royal Army Medical Corp in World War 1, he rediscovered the bacteria Brucella, the cause of brucellosis in cattle and undulant fever in humans.

b) William Speirs Bruce (1867-1921) b. London

First scientist to explore Antarctica in the 1920’s, having studied at Edinburgh University.

(10) Sportsmen

a) Sir Ian McGeechan (1946-) b. Yorkshire

Rugby international for Scotland before becoming their manager/coach as well as for the British Lions.

b) Sandy Lyle (1958 -) b. Shrewsbury

Great Scots golfer and double Major winner of the US Masters and Open Championships.

c) David Sole (1962-) b. Aylesbury

Scottish International Rugby Player and captain of their famous Grand Slam side of 1991.

As a point of note, I have gleaned this information for this study from many sources, but I have to make mention of my major source of “The Illustrated Encyclopaedia of Scotland”, edited by Iseabail Macleod M.B.E.