Glasgow Cathedral

Great Scots Greater Glasgow

Are you interested in a guided tour of Glasgow? Please visit our day tours of Scotland page.

Great Scots Greater Glasgow

1) Academics and Learned Men

a) Sir James George Frazer (1854-1941) b. Glasgow

A Scottish Social Anthropologist and Folklorist, influential in the early stages of the modern studies of mythology and comparative religion. His most famous work, “The Golden Bough” (1890), documents and details the similarity between magical and religious beliefs around the globe. He posits that human belief progressed through 3 stages:
Primitive magic, replaced by religion and in time replaced by science.

b) Sir William Burrell (1861 – 1958) b. Glasgow

Shipowner and Art Collector, he gifted his collection to what is today the famous Burrell Collection.

c) Sir Isaac Wolfson (1897 – 1992) b. Glasgow

Businessman and Philanthropist, starting from the bottom, he became MD of Great Universal Stores and made a fortune, establishing the Wolfson Foundation in 1955; he continued to support charitable aims, particularly Jewish causes. He founded Wolfson College, Oxford in 1966, and was a major benefactor to Glasgow University.

d) Anne Strachan Robertson (1910 – 97) b. Glasgow

Archaeologist and Numismatist, Professor of Roman Archaeology at Glasgow University, she curated the Roman collections in the Hunterian Museum, including the famous Hunter Coin Cabinet. She was an expert on the Antonine Wall.

2) Actors/TV Personalities

a) Jack Buchanan (1891 – 1957) b. Helensburgh

Theatre and film actor, singer, producer and director.

b) Tom Weir (1914 – 2004?) b. Glasgow

Famous for “Weir’s Way”, climber, walker, journalist and photographer.

c) Jack Milroy (1915 – 2001) b. Glasgow


d) Chic Murray (1919 – 85) b. Greenock


e) Deborah Kerr (1921 – ) b. Helensburgh

Actress of world renown.

f) Roddy MacMillan (1923 – 79) b. Glasgow


g) Gordon Jackson (1923 – 90) b. Glasgow


h) Ricki Fulton (1924 – 2004) b. Glasgow


i) Russell Hunter (1925 – 2004) b. Glasgow


k) Stanley Baxter (1926) b. Glasgow

Award winning actor, mimic and impressionist.

l) Fulton Mackay (1927 – 87) b. Paisley


m) Ian Bannon (1928 – 99) b. Airdrie


n) Jimmy Logan (1928 – 2001) b. Glasgow


o) Richard Wilson (1936 – ) b. Greenock


p) Tom Conti (1941 – ) b. Paisley


q) Billy Connolly (1942 – ) b. Glasgow


r) Robbie Coltrane (1950 – ) b. Glasgow


s) Elaine C. Smith (1958 – ) b. Glasgow


t) Robert Carlyle (1961 – ) b. Glasgow


3) Architects

a) Charles Wilson (1810 – 63) b. Glasgow

Designed the Park area and the design of Trinity College (1850-61), and the 3 hilltop towers which are the great landmarks of Glasgow’s West End. He also designed the domed Neilson Institution, which similarly dominates the Paisley skyline, and the neo-Tudor Mental Hospital at Gartnavel (1841-3).

b) John James Stevenson (1831 – 1908) b. Glasgow

Pupil of David Bryce and G.G. Scott. Designed the “Red House” in Bayswater, St. Leonards in the Fields, Perth and the Stevenson Memorial Church at Belmont Bridge, Glasgow.

c) Thomas Lennox Watson (1850 – 1920) b. Glasgow

Designed Wellington College, Glasgow, the Clyde Yacht Club and Hunter’s Quay.

d) Sir John James Burnett (1857 – 1938) b. Glasgow

The first Scottish Architect to train at the École des Beaux Arts in Paris. He designed the Clyde Trust Building in Glasgow. He later studied in the US, and designed American influenced office blocks, and Department Stores in Glasgow, Edinburgh and London. He was selected to design the Edward VII Galleries at the British Museum in 1934.

e) Charles Rennie Mackintosh (1868 – 1928) b. Glasgow

Architect, artist and designer, one of the most original, artistic talents to come out of Scotland.

f) Thomas Smith Tait (1882 – 1953) b. Paisley

Partner of Burnett, Tait and Lorne in London, a classical modern designer St. Andrew’s House in Edinburgh (1934-9) and the Glasgow Empire Exhibition of 1938.

g) Edward Grigg Wylie (1884 – 1954) b. Glasgow

Designed the Glasgow Dental Hospital, the Scottish Legal Life Building and architect to the Scottish Industrial Estates.

4) Authors/Writers

a) William Miller (1810 – 1972) b. Glasgow

Children’s writer “Wee Willie Winkie“.

b) Nigel Tranter (1909 – 2000) b. Glasgow

Famed historical novelist.

c) Edwin Morgan (1920 – 2009) b. Glasgow

Poet and critic, in 2004, was the Scots “Makar”, the equivalent of the UK’s Poet Laureate.

d) Alistair Maclean (1922 – 87) b. Glasgow

Adventure novelist of repute.

e) Jeff Torrington (1935 – ) b. Gorbals, Glasgow

Writer of “Swing Hammer Swing“, which won the Whitbread prize for a first novel in 1992.

f) Kenneth White (1936 – ) b. Gorbals, Glasgow

Poet and essayist, he travelled widely before settling in Brittany. Innovative, philosophical insights, Professor of 20th Century Literature at the Sorbonne (1983-96). Most widely received as a “Geopoet” and he set up the International Institute of Geopoetry in France in 1989.

g) Douglas Dunn (1942 – ) b. Inchinnan in Renfrewshire

Poet, Editor and Critic whose “Elegies” (1985) drew a moving account of his first wife’s death, became a popular success. Author of of over ten collections of poetry, whilst editing several anthologies, and the Faber Book of 20th Century Poetry (2000). He was Professor in the School of English at St. Andrew’s University from 1991, and awarded an OBE in 2003. In 2003 he won the Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry 2013, in recognition of his lifelong contribution to Literature.

h) Christopher Whyte (1952 – ) b. Glasgow

Poet, Novelist and Academic.

5) Artists/Painters:

a) James Tassie (1735 – 1799) b. Glasgow

By the late 18th century had become the most important portrait and antique gem modeller in Scotland, using a special paste, which he had co-invented in Dublin. There is a large collection in the Scottish Portrait Gallery. In 1792 commissioned by Catherine the Great of Russia to produce 12,000 pastes.

b) James Paterson (1854 – 1932) b. Glasgow

Known for his landscape paintings of the Moniaive area. In Paris he had met some of the Glasgow Boys, and he helped establish the journal “The Scottish Art Review”.

c) Edward Arthur Walton (1860 – 1922) b. Renfrewshire

Along with his friends James Guthrie and Joseph Crawhall, one of the most prominent of the “Glasgow Boys.”

d) Alison Watt (1965 – ) b. Greenock

Winner of the National Portrait Gallery’s annual portrait competition in 1987, which led to a commission to paint her Majesty Elizabeth the Queen Mother.

e) Katie Paterson (1981 – ) b.Glasgow

She is a Berlin based visual artist,whose multimedia artworks concern translation,distance and scale.She holds a BA from the Edinburgh College of Art(2004), and an MFA from the Slade School of Fine Arts (2007). She is an Honorary Fellow of the University of Edinburgh (2013).

In one project she created a map of 27,000 dead stars. Her ongoing project “History of Darkness” is a series of slides and photographs of the dark, all “numbered with distance in lights years from Earth”. She has had solo exhibitions at Modern Art Oxford, Kettle’s Yard Cambridge, Mead Gallery, Warwick Arts Centre, Selfridges London, BAWAG Contemporary Vienna, Haunch of Venison London and PKM, Seoul. She was a winner of a South Bank Sky Arts Award in 2014, and a Leverhulme Fellow at University College London. In July 2014, she sent an artwork into space to the International Space Station aboard ESA Georges Lemaitre ATV.

In August 2014 she launched the Future Library Project, a 100 year long artwork in Oslo’s Nordmarka Forest and New Public Deichmanske Library, and announced Margaret Atwood as the the first writer.

What next one wonders will this extraordinary lady produce?

6) Explorers

a) David Livingstone (1813 – 73) b. Blantyre.

First man to explore and discover the Victorian Falls, and strove passionately to abolish slavery.

b) James Allan Morrison (1905 – 59) b. Glasgow

Aviator, made record breaking flights from Australia to England in under 9 days in 1931, and then from England to South America in 1933. Husband of Amy Johnson.

7) Founders

a) Lt. Colonel The Hon James McGill (1744-1813) b. Glasgow.

Scottish-Canadian businessman and philanthropist, best known for being the Founder of the McGill University in Montreal, by leaving £10,000 and his summer house to the Royal Institution for the Advancement of Learning. The bequest not only funded the McGill University, but it also stretched to establish several other colleges and universities, including the University of British Columbia, the University of Victoria and Dawson College.

b) Sir George Burns (1795 – 1890) b. Glasgow

With his brother James, he developed steam navigation on the Clyde, and was one of the founders of the shipping company Cunard.

c) Paddy Henderson b. Glasgow (1809-1841)

He started business in Glasgow as a merchant in 1834. He had 3 brothers, 2 were merchants in the Italian port of Leghorn, and the third, George, who was a sea captain with his own ship. Paddy died early in 1841, but his legacy was made, and Captain George took over.
In 1841, a young man of outstanding ability, James Galbraith, joined the company, and expanded the business from being merchants to ship owners and managers.
They started trading with NZ in 1854, using sailing ships carrying Scottish emigrants and the Royal Mail.
In 1860, the company started calling in Burma, and with the trade growing rapidly, that in order to raise more capital, several new partners came to join them from the Albion Shipping Co., managed by P. Henderson and Co.
In 1882, the company pioneered the first frozen meat shipment from NZ to London.
That same year, the company merged and amalgamated with Shaw, Savill and Co., to form the Shaw, Savill and Albion Co.
James Galbraith died in 1884, and his death marked the end of an era of private capital, pioneering and of expansion into unknown countries and technologies.
Elder Dempster Lines chartered P.Henderson’s Fleet from 1947, and took over the company in 1952. By 1970 all stock had been transferred to E.D., and the name Henderson vanished from the shipping trade.
But what a story of development from tiny beginnings.

d) Abram Lyle b. Greenock (1820-1891)

Noted for founding the sugar refinery Abram Lyle and Sons, and they merged with his rival Henry Tate, to become Tate and Lyle, a name so long associated with sugar, in 1921.
He joined his father’s cooperage business and in partnership with a friend, John Kerr, developed a shipping business, heavily involved in the sugar trade with the West Indies, and also to Mauritius and India, taking coal, iron and railway sleepers in exchange for sugar.
He and his 3 sons bought two wharves in Plaistow in E.London in 1881, to construct a refinery for producing Golden Syrup, and the brand design has remained almost unchanged since 1885.

e) David MacBrayne (1815 – 1907) b. Glasgow

Shipowner – in 1851 together with David and Alexander Hutchison, he formed a shipping line, and in 1852 obtained a mail contract for the Western Isles. The firm he founded became part of the Caledonian MacBrayne in 1973.

f) Louisa Stevenson (1835 – 1908) b. Glasgow

Scottish campaigner for Women’s University Education, Women’s suffrage and effective, well-organised nursing company. Founded the Edinburgh School of Cookery with Christian Guthrie Wright, the founder of the Queen Margaret University.

g) James Templeton b. Glasgow?

Founder of the carpet manufacturer in 1839.

h) Alexander Dunlop Lindsay (1879 – 1952) b. Glasgow

Philosopher and Educationalist, Professor of Moral Philosophy at Glasgow University from 1922-24, and a pioneer of the Workers Education Association, before becoming Master of Balliol College, Oxford, and later Vice-Chancellor of Oxford University, before finally founder and first Principal of Keele University. His works include the “Modern Democratic State” in 1943.

i) Hugh Fraser (1903 – 66) b. Glasgow

Founder of the retail group “The House of Fraser”.

j) Lord Macfarlane of Bearsden (1926 – ) b. Glasgow

Businessman, established his reputation through his Clansman Group of companies. He then returned United Distillers to respectability, which was of utmost importance for the reputation of Scottish business in general, and of the Scottish Whisky Industry in particular. He retained the post until a further merger in 1997, which created the Diageo Corporation.

k) Belinda Robertson (1959 – ) b. Glasgow

Fashion Designer specialising in cashmere with outlets in Edinburgh, Birmingham and London, attracting International acclaim and awards.

8) Industrialists

a) Robert Napier (1791 – 1876) b. Dumbarton

Shipbuilder and engineer. The international reputation of Clyde Shipbuilding was largely founded on his work. He was the first Clyde Shipbuilder to provide ships for the Navy, and formed a partnership with Canadian Samuel Cunard to build steam powered transatlantic vessels.

A Scot of huge significance.

b) James Beaumont Neilson (1792 – 1865) b. Glasgow

Inventor and Engineer. In 1829 he invented the hot-blast system of Iron production, which reduced coal consumption and increases efficiency. As a result, cheap iron from Scottish “blackband” ores became more readily available, and as a result Glasgow emerged as a market leader in Heavy Engineering, and turned the Clyde into the world’s largest shipbuilding area.

Yet another Scot who influenced Glasgow and the Clyde as an area of huge Industrial importance.

c) Sir William Arrol (1839 – 1913) b. Houston.

Engineer/Industrialist. He began his working life at the age of 9 in Coats’ thread factory in Paisley. By 1953 he had set up his own boiler-making business and in 1872 set up a large ironworks. The works undertaken by his companies include the second Tay Railway Bridge, Forth Railway Bridge and Tower Bridge, London. He developed hydraulic machinery.

Is there a builder of more famous landmarks?

d) Sir Robert MacAlpine (1847 – 1934) b. Lanarkshire.

Known as “Concrete Bob” because of his early promotion of the use of concrete in construction. He is especially remembered for the viaducts at Glenfinnan and Borrodale on the West Highland Extension Railway. He founded the eponymous company in 1869, now one of the best known building contractors in the world.

e) John Craig (1874-1957) b .Mossend, North Lanarkshire.

Started employment as an office boy with David Colville and Sons. He worked hard on his education and by 1902 was a shareholder in the company and a director by 1910. By 1916 he was Chairman and his general expertise in the Steel Industry became referred to as “the consolidation and rationalisation of the Steel Industry in Scotland.”
He was a religious man and a keen member of the Free Kirk and a strong Protestant, brought up thus with a strong work ethic by his Mother.
CBE in 1918.
Knighthood in 1943 and an Honorary Degree from Glasgow University in 1951.

f) William Douglas Weir (First Viscount Weir Of Eastwood) (1877 – 1959) b. Glasgow

Son of James Weir, one of the founders of G and J Weir, Engineers, of the Holm Foundry, Cathcart. He rose to prominence in World War 1, when the company made military aircraft and shell cases on a large scale. In 1918, he became Secretary of State for Air, and was responsible for the creation of the RAF. Between the wars, he served as a Government advisor, recommending the creation of the National Grid for the distribution of electricity. He was instrumental in the direction of rearmament after 1936, especially the re-equipment and expansion of the RAF from 1936.Weirs again contributed to the war effort in World War 11.The Weir Group is one of the largest pump-making concerns in the world.

Another example of a truly great Scot.

9) Inventors

a) James Watt (1736 – 1819) b. Greenock

Designed the Monkland Canal, developed the steam engine with the concept of the separate condenser and air pump amongst other improvements of the Steam Engine, whilst going into partnership with Matthew Boulton in Birmingham in 1774.The introduction of the Watt beam engine for pumping water for coal mines was a major contribution to the Industrial Revolution.The watt, a unit of decimal energy, is named after him.

One of the truly great Scots.

b) William Symington (1763 – 1831) b. Leadhills

Devised improvements in mine-pumping engines, and patented a steam-powered road vehicle in 1787, and built a steam-driven paddlewheel boat in 1788.In 1802, he built the Charlotte Dundalk, one of the earliest working steamboats. Sadly he died in poverty.

c) Charles Mackintosh (1766 – 1831) b. Glasgow

He discovered dissolved India rubber to make the Mackintosh raincoat, named after him. He also invented bleaching powder with Charles Tennant.

d) David Napier (1790 – 1869) b. Dumbarton.

One of the most innovative of the early Marine Engineers, he built the boiler for Henry Bell’s pioneering steamship Comet, and vessels engines by him made cross-channel navigation practicable. He invented the surface condenser, which later became a universal feature of steamship propulsion, and still used in steam driven power stations. He founded a London firm famous for motor cars and aero engines.

A great pioneering Scottish inventor who truly influenced the shipping world.

e) John Logie Baird (1888 – 1946) b. Helensburgh

The pioneer of television poor health led to a move to the south of England, where he demonstrated the first television picture in 1926.The BBC used his systems from 1929-37, before adapting the EMI-Marconi system. His research projects included colour television and stereophonic sound, and also secret signalling and fibre optics, but were cut short by his continuing ill health and financial troubles.

A quite outstanding inventor, who changed the world.

10) Journalists and Publishers

a) William Collins (1789 – 1853) b. Glasgow

Publisher. A Glasgow schoolmaster who set up a publishing business in 1819 in partnership with Charles, brother of Thomas Chalmers. They published schoolbooks and religious works, including temperance material, but most notably copies of the Authorised version of the Bible. The firm expanded and continued under his son and further descendants, all named William Collins, until 1990, when it became part of HarperCollins.

b) Andrew Neil (1949 – ) b. Paisley

Journalist and Broadcaster, editor of the Sunday Times from 1983-94.

11) Military Men

a) William Wallace died in 1305 executed in Smithfield, London b. Elderslie Nr. Paisley.

Great soldier and hero patriot, who led the revolt against the attempt to reside English.

b) Major Thomas Weir (1599 – 1670) b. Carluke

Soldier and warlock, a Covenanter, later Captain of the Town Guard of Edinburgh and respected preacher. He was burnt at the stake as a witch, and his ghost haunts the West Bow of the Lawnmarket.

c) Sir John Moore (1761 – 1809) b. Glasgow

Much travelled soldier in Austria, France, Holland and Egypt, and very successful against the Napoleon. His final victory was at Corunna where he was killed “The Burial of Sir John Moore at Corunna” poem by Charles Wolfe.

d) Cochrane, 10th Earl of Dundonald (1775 – 1860) b. Nr. Hamilton

Commander in Chief of the Chilean, Brazilian and Greek navies, in their wars of Independence. After this he returned to his Royal Naval rank, and became the last British seadog, in the tradition of Drake and Hawkins, rather than Nelson. He was also a prolific inventor, successfully inventing the use of compressed air for the construction of the Blackwall Tunnel in London, and had patents for and attempted to develop gas lighting (before William Murdock), steam turbines and screw propellers for ships.

An extraordinary man of many talents, together with his earlier radical Whig political views as an MP in 1806.

12) Musicians

a) Hamish MacCunn (1868 – 1916) b. Greenock

Scottish conductor and teacher. His opera “Diarmid“, was produced at Coventry Garden in 1897. His other works included: “The Land of the Mountain and the Flood“, “The Dowie Dens o’Yarrow” and the opera “Jeannie Deans“.

b) Sir Alexander Gibson (1926 – 95) b. Motherwell.

Conductor, he was the first Scottish director of the Scottish National Orchestra, pioneering the performance of avant-garde music. He played a key role in establishing Scottish Opera.

c) Seumas MacNeill (1917 – 96) .b. Glasgow

Founder of the College of Piping.

d) Kenneth MacKellar (1927-2010) b.Paisley

Famous Scottish tenor very well known on radio and TV.

e) Jimmy MacGregor (1932 – ) b. Glasgow

Musician, writer and broadcaster.

f) Alex Harvey (1935 – 82) b. Glasgow

Founder of the renowned Alex Harvey Band.

g) Bobby Wellins (1936 – ) b. Glasgow

Jazz clarinet musician.

h) Moira Anderson OBE (1938 – ) b. Kirkintolloch, E. Dunbartonshire

Famous Scots singer, BBC radio presenter, and made many appearances on the BBC TV show “The White Heather Club.”

i) Donovan (1946 – ) b. Glasgow

Charismatic pop singer, with famous hits such as “Catch the Wind” and “Colours” in 1965, followed by “Mellow Yellow” and “Hurdy Gurdy Man.”

j) Gerry Rafferty (1947 – 2011) b. Paisley

Singer and song writer, associated with the group The Humblebums, but perhaps his greatest hit “Baker Street”.

k) Marie Lawrie (Lulu) (1948 – ) b. Glasgow

Charismatic and bouncy pop singer with many hits e.g. “Boat That I Row“.

l) Travis

Pop band formed in Glasgow in 1990, released 7 albums and were twice awarded the best band at the Brit Awards.

m) Angus Young (1955 – ) b. Glasgow

Angus is an Australian guitarist of Scottish origin, best known as the co-founder, lead guitarist, songwriter and sole constant member of the Australian hard rock band AC/DC.

n) Lonnie Donegan (1931 – 2006) b. Glasgow

Anthony James Donegan, referred to as the “King of Skiffle”. The British Hit Singles and Albums list him as “Britain’s most successful and influential recording artist before the Beatles.” He had 31 UK top single hits and  3 at no.1, with 2 US top 10 hits. He achieved a lifetime achievement award in 1997 and an MBE in 2000. He moved to London as a boy with his family, but a truly great Glasgow musician.

13) Philantropists

a) James Duncan (1834 – 1905) b. Greenock

He started off as a brilliant young chemist who by the age of 19 had invented a new method for refining sugar beet. After patenting it, he set up sugar refineries in London and Suffolk, and by the age of 30 had accumulated a vast fortune.
He gave a fifth of his personal annual income to churches and charitable causes, often anonymously, and he improved the welfare, pay and conditions of his factory workers well beyond the norm for Victorian Britain.
In 1870 he bought Benmore Estate near Dunoon, planting more than 6 million trees, creating a forested landscape and creating an impressive fernery.
He also had a passion for innovative art, and by the 1880’s his collection represented every major development in French 19th Century Impressionism, which was unparalleled in Scotland at the time, opening his gallery to the public in 1881.
However due to changing economic changes in the late 1880’s, with subsidised French and German sugar exports flooding the British market, his business empire crumbled and he was forced to sell off the art collection together with the estate.
The Benmore was eventually gifted to the nation by the Younger family and came into the care of the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh in 1929.
Duncan commissioned the Golden Gates in Berlin,and duly restored they now take pride of place at the southern end of the garden.

14) Photographers

a) Alexander Gardner (1820 – 82) b. Paisley

He made his name during the American War of Independence, where the public saw for the first time saw images of war dead. He also took some special pictures of President Lincoln.

15) Physicians

a) William Cullen (1710 – 90) b. Hamilton

Professor of Chemistry at Glasgow, and of Medicine at Edinburgh. He emphasised the role of the nervous system in disease, and coined the term “Neurosis.”

b) John Hunter (1728 – 93) b. East Kilbride

At 20, he worked with his brother the academic anatomist William Hunter. In 1763, after 3 years as an army surgeon, he ran a private practice and built up a museum of 14,000 preparations of 500 different plant and animal species, which informed his ideas about the body. Hunter believed that surgeons should understand how the body adapted to and compensated for damage.

He is known as “The Father of Scientific Surgery.”

c) Sir Robert Philip: ( b.Govan 1857, d. Edinburgh 1939)

Born in Glasgow, but the family moved to Edinburgh in 1866.
Educated at the Royal High School and then the University of Edinburgh, where he read Medicine. By 1889, he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, and VP from 1927-30.
He lived much of his life at 45 Charlotte Square.
During WWI, he held the rank of Lieut-Col, Scottish Second General Hospital in the Royal Army Medical Corps.
The main focus of his work was the implementation of his vision for coordinated treatment of tuberculosis, after the discovery of tuberculosis bacillus by Robert Koch in 1882. In 1887, he founded and opened the first TB dispensary clinic in Edinburgh at 13 Bank Street.
In 1894, he founded the Victoria Hospital for Consumption at Craigleith House in Edinburgh as a sanitarium.Prior it the discovery of medication to treat TB, his focus was to insulate patients from family and friends and offer sun, fresh air and exercise.
By 1912, the integrated approach to TB treatment was adopted with the first clinic opening in Paddington, London.
In 1917, he became the Chair in TB at Edinburgh University, he was President of the Royal College of Physicians,Edinburgh from 1918-22, and in 1927, he was the President of the British Medical Association.
He was knighted in 1913, and in 1955, his worth was recognised on a Belgian postage stamp.

d) Gordon Mackay: schooled in Erskine and qualified from Glasgow University in 1987.

Pioneered a bracing technique to treat ligament injuries for athletes, and has become one of the most famed sports surgeons in the world. His greatest achievement is the invention of a technique known as “Internal Bracing” which has the potential to fast track sports back to full recovery, that maybe could have been career threatening.

16) Politicians

a) Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman (1836 – 1908) b. Glasgow

Liberal PM in 1905, and an opponent of the Boer War.

b) James Keir Hardie (1856 – 1915) b. Holyrown, Lanarkshire

Founder of the Scottish Labour Party in 1888.

c) John MacDonald MacCormick (1904 – 61) b. Glasgow

Founder of the SNP in 1934 he was involved in the mystery disappearance of the Stone of Destiny from Westminster Abbey in 1950.

d) Jimmy Reid (1932 – 2010) b. Glasgow

Famous Trade Unionist and Politician.

e) Donald Dewar (1937 – 2000) b. Glasgow

Labour Politician who played a major role in obtaining Devolution for Scotland, and became Scotland’s first First Minister in 1999.

f) Sir Teddy Taylor (1937) b. Glasgow

Conservative MP for Glasgow Cathcart from 1964-79, then for Rockford and Southend East from 1980.

g) Sir Menzies Campbell, CH, CBE, QC, MP (1941 – ) b. Glasgow

Ming, in his youth a sprinter of re-known, and held the British record for the 100m sprint from 1967-74 in 10.2 seconds. He captained the GB Athletics team in 1965-66. He later became an advocate and leading politician with the Liberal Democrats, as MP for N.E Fife. He was leader of the Party from 2006-7, but affected by ill health. He is currently Chancellor of the University of St. Andrews.

h) Margo MacDonald (1945 – 2014) b. Hamilton.

A charismatic politician with the SNP and later as an Independent, and a strong believer in Scottish Independence.

i) Robin Cook (1946 – 2005) b. Bellshill, Lanarkshire.

Labour MP, serving in Tony Blair’s Cabinet as Foreign Secretary from 1997-2001, when he became Leader of the House of Commons. He resigned from the Cabinet in 2003 in protest against UK involvement in the war in Iraq.

17) Privateers

a) William Kidd (Captain Kidd) (1645 – 1701) b. Greenock

Privateer. Sea trader out of NY, he was rewarded for pirate activity protecting Anglo-American trade in the W.I. and in 1695 was entrusted with an English expedition against pirates in the Indian Ocean. However his victims included merchant ships, was tricked into surrendering in Boston, shipped to London and hanged.

18) Scientists

a) Thomas Graham (1805 – 69) b. Glasgow?

Son of a successful Glasgow Textile manufacturer, he defied his Father’s wish for him to enter the Church, instead studying Chemistry at Glasgow University. He worked on the diffusion of gases, resulting in “Graham’s Law”, but it was his work on separating colloids and crystallised using a “dialyzer”, a precursor to the modern dialysis machine, for which he was renowned.

As a result known as “Father of Colloid Chemistry”.

b) James Young (1811 – 1883) b. Glasgow

Industrial Chemist, his experiments with paraffin that developed the shale industry in Scotland, and became known as “Paraffin Young”. He endowed a chair of Chemical Technology in what is now Strathclyde University.

c) David Thouless (1934 – ) b. Bearsden
A condenser – matter physicist, and joint winner of the Wolf prize andlLaureate of the 2016 Nobel Prize for Physics, together with Duncan Haldane and Michael Kosterlitz, for theoretical discoveries of topological phase transitions and topological matter.

19) Sportsmen

a) Bill Struth (1875 – 1956) b. Glasgow

Very successful manager of Glasgow Rangers from 1920-53.

b) Alan Lauder Morton (1893 – 1971) b. Glasgow

Scotland footballer “The Wee Blue Devil.”

c) Sir Matt Busby (1909 – 94) b. Bellshill, Lanarkshire.

Famous Manager of Manchester Utd. There is a sports centre in his home town named after him.

d) Willie Waddell (1921 – 92) b. Forth

Successful Manager of Rangers.

e) Jock Stein (1922 – 85) b. Burnbank Nr Hamilton.

Famous Manager of both Celtic and Scotland.

f) Tommy Docherty (1928 – ) b. Glasgow

Great manager of both Manchester Utd. and Scotland.

g) Ally MacLeod (1934 – 2004) b. Glasgow

Charismatic Manager of Scotland in the 1980’s, and the Tartan Army formed during his time.

h) Jim McLean (1937 – ) b. Larkhall

Another very successful football manager, reaching the final of the UEFA Cup in 1987, and forming the other half of Scotland’s new firm with Aberdeen.

i) Sir Jackie Stewart (1939 – ) b. Dunbartonshire

World Champion Formula One Racing Driver 3 times in 1969, 71 and 73.

j) Mike Denness (1940 – ) b. Bellshill.

Cricketer for Scotland, Kent and England, captaining the latter two.

k) Sir Alec Ferguson (1941 – ) b. Glasgow

Arguably the best Football Manager the world has seen, winning the European Cup Winners Cup with Aberdeen, and then wonderful success with Manchester Utd. He also managed Scotland for a short time.

l) Jimmy Johnstone (1944 – 2005) b. Lanarkshire.

The “Flying Flea” mercurial winger for both Celtic and Scotland.

m) Kenny Dalgleish (1951 – ) b. Glasgow

Great footballer with Celtic, Liverpool, going on to manage both Liverpool and Blackburn Rovers.

n) Ally McCoist (1962 – ) b. Lanarkshire.

Footballer with Rangers and Scotland, now manager of Rangers.

o) Colin Montgomerie (1963 – ) b. Glasgow

International Golfer of great repute, but never to win a Major.

Great Scots from Greater Glasgow

Scroll to Top