Great Scots Born Overseas

Wellington Cable Car

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

1) Africa

Six Fathers of modern Africa have had the benefit of a Scottish Education:

Jomo Kenyatta (1893 – 1978) of Kenya.
Hastings Banda (1902 – 1997) of Malawi.
Kwame Nkruma (1909 – 1972) of Ghana.
Nelson Mandela (1918 – 2013) of South Africa.
Kenneth Kaunda (1924 – ) of Zambia.

All attended Missionary Schools or Colleges, whilst

Julius Nyere (1921 – 1999) of Tanzania attended Edinburgh University. (Courtesy again of The Scottish Empire by Michael Fry).

2) 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.

3) 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).

4) Scots Influence in Australia

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

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.

5) 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.

6) 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.

7) Film Directors

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

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

8) Hong Kong

The very heavens wept at the final fanfare for Empire, when Britain handed over Hong Kong to China on June 30,1997. The Colony had been a largely Scottish creation in 1842, and Scots had played a huge role in its economy and government. It was therefore fitting that the Empire should be played out by a Scottish Regiment, the Black Watch, on that day in 1997. (Courtesy of The Scottish Empire by Michael Fry).

9) India

“In 1831, India’s five biggest commercial groups were, in order of size, Tata, Andrew Yule, Inchcape, James Finlay and Burn and Co., the first Indian, the rest Scottish in origin. A majority even of the country’s top twenty groups had a similar Scottish origin. They owned four hundred subsidiaries dominating jute, tea, sugar, metals, coal, electricity, transport and general investment.
“Within a further twenty years, they had all but vanished. The global economy was undergoing a deep shift away from the system of the nineteenth century, and the era of free trade in staple commodities from exotic parts, dominated by British merchants, would soon be over.” (Extract from “The Scottish Empire” by Michael Fry.)
Time never stands still, and the world changes!!

10) Musicians/Composers

a) Ronald Stevenson (1928 – 2015) 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 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).

11) 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.

12) 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.

13) South East Asia

Alexander Dalrymple

The father of hydrography, and in his time of the early 18th century, became the most famous as the world’s greatest expert on the Pacific Ocean, and his strong views on the concept of a chain of emporiums would be later realised in the Straits Settlements, and his toehold in Borneo prefigured British control of it’s northern option. These two factors helped to form the modern Malaysia of today, straddling 400 miles of sea.

By the 19th century, the youngest, most burgeoning and soon most important of the Straits Settlements was Singapore. Its foundation on 6th February, 1819, is always credited to Sir Stamford Raffles, who stayed there just one night. His colleague, William Farquhar, to be succeeded by John Crawford. The first merchants to land there bore the Scots names of Hay, Johnston, Napier and Scott. By 1834, out of 17 partnerships formed in the Colony, 12 were Scots.
In 1824, Robert Hunter set up the sole foreign merchants in Bangkok.
In the Philippines, Smith, Bell and Co established themselves, whilst in the Dutch East Indies, three more in Maclaine and Co, McNeill and Co and Fraser Eaton and Co set themselves up. Scots continued continued whole new lines of trade all over Southern Asia and the islands: coffee, sugar, spices, vegetable oils, guttapercha, metals and minerals.
A flotilla of the Royal Navy under another Scot, Admiral Thomas Cochrane attacked and occupied Brunei in 1846. The next year, merchant princes from Glasgow, with their partners in Singapore, sent a trading mission there, and in charge they put one Robert Burns, an illegitimate grandson of the bard.
W.R. Paterson and Co of Glasgow and Singapore, transformed itself into the Borneo Co. in 1851. It built the port of Kuching, and a big exporting business. It remained under Scottish direction till the 1930’s.
Another Scot, one William Cowie made great strides in the Philippines.
Robert Tytler from Peterhead introduced cacao and coffee to Ceylon, and coffee became Ceylon’s major crop by the mid 19th century. In a clannish way others from the N.E. Scotland followed to the island: James Taylor in cinchona and tea, James and Graeme Elphinstone planted coconuts, and John Brown built a modern system of irrigation. By 1875, perhaps half the managers of Ceylonese plantations hailed from Aberdeenshire and Kincardineshire. Thomas Lipton spent £75,000 in 1890, making himself the largest single proprietor on the island. The tea gardens of today’s Sri Lanka, still bear names, Balmoral, Blinkbonny being examples.
In Malaya, big strides were made in the introduction of rubber, among the investors the Lockhart family, who earned a fortune, and over 2,000 Scots made up of a good one third of the rubber planter class.
In 1896, the Guthrie Group now involved in banking, insurance, railways, steamships, docks and telegraphs went too into rubber.
During the economic depression of the 1920s and 30s, industry fell off badly.
However rubber did recover, and an Aberdonian George Hay formed a new Guthrie group in 1961 until his death in 1967 when Scots influence existed no more.
Imperialism did create the conjoint network, and here had been a maritime empire like of which Dalrymple had dreamed, not an empire of conquest and domination, but of peaceful exchange and mutual advantage, a Scottish Empire after all.
( adapted from the “Scottish Empire” by Michael Fry.)

14) 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.