Are you interested in a guided tour of Dundee and Angus? Please visit our day tours of Scotland page.
Table of Contents
Great Scots Dundee and Angus
a) Andrew Melville: (1545 – 1622) b.Kinnaird
Theologian – regarded as the founder of Presbyterianism.
a) Will Fyffe: (1885-1947) b. Dundee.
Wrote the famous “I Belong to Glasgow”
b) David Niven: (1910 – 80) b. Kirriemuir
Great actor of world renown.
c) Brian Cox (1946 – ) b. Dundee
Another famous actor.
a) James Playfair (1755-1794) b. Benrie nr Dundee
Dundee architect and brother of John Playfair. Protégé of William Dundas for whom he built Melville Castle (1786-91) outside Edinburgh and also Caithness House in Aberdeenshire.
a) Arthur Melville (1855-1904) b. Angus.
Famed for his watercolours, especially of the Middle East and Spain. One of the “Glasgow Boys”.
a) James Matthew Barrie: (1860-1937) b. Kirriemuir
Great writer and most famous perhaps for “Peter Pan” and “The Admirable Crighton”.
a) James Mackay, 1st Earl Of Inchcape b. Arbroath (1852-1932)
One of the greatest Capitalists of his time.
Known as Sir James Mackay from 1894-1911, he was a British businessman and Colonial administrator in India, who became Chairman of the P & O.
In 1907 he was reappointed as a Member of the Council of India, and was largely responsible for solving India’s currency problems and for the adoption of the Gold Standard.
He was made a Baron by King George V for his services to Industry and to the Nation in 1911.
He later served as VP of the Suez Canal Co., was Chairman of the P and O and Director of the Persian Oil Co and of the National Provincial Bank.
Between 1891 and 1910 he received 4 commendations, with the last being made a Knight Commander of the Order of the Star of India.
In 1911,he became Baron Inchcape of Strathnaver in Sutherland. He chose the title to commemorate the Inchcape Rock off Arbroath and Strathnaver in Sutherland.
Finally in 1924, he was made a Knight Grand Commander of the Order of the Star of India and created Viscount Inchcape.
a) Robert Fleming b. Dundee (1845-1933)
He launched the Scottish American Investment Trust in 1873, the first of the of the Scottish Investment Trusts.
He became an International financier in London, establishing the Investment Bank that bore his name for over a century, out of which came the Fleming Collection Of Scottish Art and the Fleming Collection was born.
He was one of the shrewdest investors of his generation and widely respected, and an acknowledged expert in the financing of the American railroads.
Also a great philanthropist in his City of Dundee.
He was the Grandfather of the novelist Ian Fleming.
b) James And Janet Keiller
The making of marmalade started by them in the early 18th Century in Dundee, following an over delivery of oranges. The business was developed by their son James; its success grew and later the family set up a marmalade factory. Quite early the family then moved its main activity to the Channel Islands, and then to Silvertown in the London Docks, keeping only a nominal capacity to make marmalade and jams in Dundee.
c) James Valentine (1815-1880) b.?
He opened a Photographer and Publisher Studio in Dundee in the 1850 s,and later was the Founder Member of the Edinburgh Photographic Society. His company began making postcards in the 1890’s.
d) Sir Hugh Munro (1856-1919) b. nr Kirriemuir
Founder of the Scottish Mountaineering Club in 1891, and produced the list of all mountains over 3,000 ft in Scotland, which are called “Munros” after him.
e) David Couper Thomson (1861-1954) b. Dundee?
He founded DC Thomson, the Dundee newspaper firm in 1905,which included the Dundee Courier, Sunday Post, Scots Magazine and Peoples Friend, and complemented by its comics, including the Beano and Dandy.
f) William Duncan Baxter (1868-1960) b. Dundee
Having emigrated to South Africa, he became Mayor of Capetown in 1907/8. The Baxter Theatre Centre in Capetown named after him, following a charitable gift to the University of Capetown, made specifically for the construction of the Theatre Centre.
William Sydney (Syd) Scroggie, b in Canada 1919 of a Scots father from Fife, killed in WW1.
d. in Bridgefoot in Angus in 2006.
Inspirational hill-walker, author and worthy. He was brought to Dundee as a baby.
Educated at John Watson’s in Edinburgh and the Harris Academy in Dundee.
He joined D.C. Thomson the famous publisher, where he worked as sub editor of the Hotspur comic.
He lost his sight and his right leg from a mine in WW11, and was fitted with a false leg. However unbowed, he learned Braille at St. Dunstan’s in London and studied for a time at New College, Oxford, before returning to Dundee, working with the NCR, where he spent the rest of his career.
With good humour and determination, he overcame his disabilities to return to his beloved hills, walking thousands of miles and making more than 600 blind climbs, accompanied by a walker with full sight. Describing his blindness as “ a sort of adventure”, he inspired many by refusing to let it limit his life.
He taught himself Greek and became a published poet and author, with works including the book “The Cairngorms “, “Scene and Unseen”(1989), and a collection of his poems “Give me the Hills” (1978).
He appeared on the TV show “This is Your Life” in 1964, and was awarded an honorary degree by the University of Dundee in 2001.
He is remembered by a cairn on Balluderon Hill in his beloved Sidlaw Hills, a rare honour for a living hill – walker, built in 2000. He walked up the hill for the official unveiling at the age of 81.
9) Explorers And Pioneers
a) James Bruce (1730-94) b. Kinnaird
Explorer – reached the source of the Blue Nile in 1770.
b) John Kirk (1832-1922) b. Barry.
Botanist and W. African explorer and colleague of David Livingstone.
a) Sir David Baxter (1793-1872) b. Dundee
Textile Manufacturer and philanthropist. Co-endowed Bell – Baxter School in Cupar, Fife.
a) James Chalmers (1782- 1853) b. Arbroath
Inventor of the Adhesive Postage Stamp, although Rowland Hill received all the rewards and publicity for introducing the penny post in 1840. However it was JC’s adhesive postage stamp invented in 1834 and submitted to Parliament in 1837 that made the scheme viable.
b) Patrick Bell (1799-1869) b. nr. Dundee.
He developed the World’s first reaping machine from 1826-28. The design shaped Cyrus McCormack’s successful reaper in the US.
c) Alexander Carnegie Kirk (1830- 1892) b. Barry.
Shipbuilder and marine engineer. He developed the High-Pressure Boiler + Triple Expansions, achieving such economy in coal; consumption, that similarly – conceived vessels rapidly came to dominate world trade.
d) Alexander Shanks b. Arbroath.
In 1842 he patented the first lawnmower, that effectively picked up all the cuttings, a considerable advance on Edwin Budding’s invention of 1830. A pony would pull the mower, hence the saying “Shanks’s Pony”.
e) David Dunbar Buick (1854 – 1929) b. Arbroath
Inventor and Motor Engineer of the Buick motorcar in 1903. He emigrated to the US when 2. He also invented enamel baths and sinks.
f) Sir Robert Watson-Watt (1892 – ?) b Brechin
“Father of Radar” – his revolutionary tracking system was one of the major turning points of World War 2, which helped the RAF defeat the German Luftwaffe.
12) Military Men
a) James Graham, Marquis Of Montrose (1612-50)
Widely regarded as the best General in Europe in his day – if Charles 1 had listened to him, he might have kept his head!
a) Ronald Belford “Bon” Scott (1946 – 1980) b. Forfar
Scottish – born Australian rock musician, famed lead singer of the rock band AC/DC.
b) The Average White Band
Formed in Dundee in the 1970’s.
a) Sir David Lane: (1952-) b.?
Best known for his work on the P53 Tumour Suppressor Protein. Besides his position at the University of Dundee, he also founded the Cyclocel Biotechnology Company, and is the Chief Scientist of Cancer Research UK. Made a Knight Bachelor in 1999 and won the Buchanan Medal in 2004. He was also the Executive Director of Singapore’s Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology, receiving worldwide acclaim.
15) Sports People
a) David Leslie (1954 – ) b. Dundee?
Rugby International playing for Scotland 32 times for Scotland, and whilst arguably Scotland’s greatest No.7 of all time, never played for the British Lions.
b) Liz McColgan (1964- ) b. Dundee.
World class distance runner.
a) Frances (Fanny) Wright: (1795-1852) b.Dundee
Social Reformer, wealthy and influential, she emigrated to the IN 1818, and campaigned for Female Suffrage and for the abolition of Slavery. She produced the Socialist Paper “Free Enquirer”.