William Wallace was a Scottish knight who played an important role in the First War of Scottish Independence. Since his death, Wallace has been viewed as an iconic figure whose story of bravery and valor has inspired several works of art, including the Academy Award-winning film Braveheart. Wallace has also inspired video games and brewery companies, such is his popularity.
Scottish-born British Army officer David Stirling was known for his exploits in World War II, during which he formed and led the British Special Air Service (SAS). Following the war, he focused on combating racism in colonial Africa and even formed a foundation for animal conservation. He was knighted for his achievements.
James II of Scotland reigned as the king of Scotland from 1437 to 1460. One of the most popular kings of Scotland, James socialized often with the commoners. Renowned for his restless energy, he traveled around the country and proved to be an active king. Thanks to his popularity, James is often depicted in historical novels, plays, and short stories.
Nicola Sturgeon is a Scottish politician. Since 2014, Sturgeon has been serving as the leader of the Scottish National Party and first minister of Scotland. Being the first woman to serve in these positions, Nicola Sturgeon is seen as a major inspiration to women across Scotland.
Scottish king John Balliol, also known as Toom Tabard, was successful in taking over the reins of the kingdom out of 13 competitors for the crown, following Margaret, the Maid of Norway’s death. He eventually surrendered to the English king Edward I and was imprisoned at the Tower of London.
James IV of Scotland reigned as the king of Scotland from 1488 until his death in 1513. Although his reign ended at the Battle of Flodden, where he was defeated, James is widely considered the most successful monarch of Scotland from the House of Stewart.
Scottish-born labor leader and trade unionist J. Keir Hardie is best remembered for establishing the Labour Party of the UK. He also supported the suffragist revolt organized by activist Emmeline Pankhurst. A pacifist, he objected to Britain’s participation in World War I but eventually ended up being sidelined by his party.
Legendary Scottish patriot Andrew Moray is remembered for his exploits in the Scottish Wars of Independence. He is believed to be the man responsible for William Wallace’s victory at Stirling Bridge and died in battle, though history seems to have been mostly ignorant of his sacrifice.
His mastery of Scottish politics earned Henry Dundas, 1st Viscount Melville the nickname King Harry the Ninth. Apart from serving as the First Lord of the Admiralty and the Secretary of State for War, he also played a significant role in the British expansion in India. He was also a successful lawyer initially.
Scottish broadcaster John Charles Walsham Reith, 1st Baron Reith is remembered for introducing the concept of independent public service corporations in Britain. He had also been the director-general of the BBC and the minister of information under Neville Chamberlain. He later headed the British Overseas Airways Corporation, too.
Simon Fraser, 11th Lord Lovat was a Scottish military leader who served as the chief of Clan Fraser of Lovat. A Jacobite, Simon Fraser was among the Highlanders who were defeated at the Battle of Culloden and later sentenced to death after being convicted of treason against the Crown.
British politician Stephen Crabb, who represents the Welsh Conservatives, had initially worked as a marketing consultant and had also been associated with the London Chamber of Commerce. The first elected MP from Preseli Pembrokeshire, his home constituency, he was named the 2014 Welsh Politician of the Year.
Alastair Denniston was a Scottish code breaker and hockey player. He was deputy head of the Government Code and Cypher School (GC&CS) from 1919 to 1942. As a member of the Scottish Olympic hockey team in 1908, he won a bronze medal. He worked as a code breaker during the war years. He taught French and Latin following his retirement.
Known as The Great Montrose, James Graham, 1st Marquess of Montrose was not just a Scottish nobleman and military leader but also a talented poet. He won many battles for Charles I but was defeated in the Battle of Carbisdale, following which he was hanged to death in the Edinburgh marketplace.
John Comyn III of Badenoch was a magnate and baron who played a key role in the First War of Scottish Independence. After the forced abdication of King John Balliol, Comyn served as Guardian of Scotland. He also commanded Scotland's defence against English attacks for some time. Comyn died at age 32 after he was stabbed by Robert the Bruce.
Jackson Carlaw is a Scottish politician best known for his association with the Scottish Conservative & Unionist Party where he served as the leader from February to July 2020. From 2011 to 2019, he had served as the deputy leader of the party. Since 2007, Jackson Carlaw has been serving as a Member of the Scottish Parliament.
Christopher Murray Grieve, better known by his pseudonym, Hugh MacDiarmid, was one of the pillars of the 20th-century Scottish literary renaissance. Initially a journalist, he later focused on writing poetry, but rejected English and wrote in "synthetic Scots" instead. His best-known work remains A Drunk Man Looks at the Thistle.
Thomas Sutherland was a British politician and banker best remembered for founding The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC), the founder member of HSBC Group. After his demise, a street in Sheung Wan was named after him.
Born to a hat manufacturer, James Wilson initially wished to study law but later joined his father’s business. Over the years, he established what is now the Standard Chartered Bank. Sent to Kolkata by Queen Victoria to introduce tax reforms, he introduced paper currency in the country, but died of dysentery.
An explorer at heart, Alexander Burnes joined the East India Company army at 16. Proficient in languages such as Hindi and Urdu, he later explored places such as the modern-day Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Turkmenistan, and penned the autobiography Travels into Bokhara. He also earned the knighthood for his explorations.
Award-winning Scottish journalist and broadcaster Gavin Esler is best known for presenting BBC programs such as Dateline London, The Film Review, and Hardtalk. He has also penned novels such as The Blood Brother and non-fiction works such as Brexit Without the Bullshit. He also contested as election as a Change UK candidate.
Better known as the pioneer of Protestant missionary work in China, Robert Morrison was the first missionary from the London Missionary Society to visit China. Apart from translating the Bible into Chinese, he also enriched Anglo-Chinese literature with his dictionaries and books on Chinese grammar.
Richard Haldane, 1st Viscount Haldane was a British philosopher, lawyer, and politician. Between 1905 and 1912, he served as the Secretary of State for War and was instrumental in implementing a series of reforms of the British Army called The Haldane Reforms. He also served as the Lord Chancellor twice during his illustrious career. Richard was also an influential writer.