Famous Scottish Leaders

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 1 
William Wallace
(Scottish Knight Who Became One of the Main Leaders During the First War of Scottish Independence)
William Wallace
19
Birthdate: April 3, 1270
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Elderslie, Renfrewshire, Scotland
Died: August 23, 1305

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.

 2 
John Paul Jones
(United States' First Well-Known Naval Commander in the American Revolutionary War)
John Paul Jones
8
Birthdate: July 6, 1747
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Scotland
Died: July 18, 1792
John Paul Jones was an American Revolutionary War naval commander. Named the Father of the American Navy, he was part of the Continental Navy against the Kingdom of Great Britain. He later joined the Imperial Russian Navy and became a rear admiral. His life later inspired an Alexandre Dumas novel.
 3 
David Stirling
3
Birthdate: November 15, 1915
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Lecropt, Perthshire, Scotland
Died: November 4, 1990

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.

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 4 
James II of Scotland
(King of Scots)
James II of Scotland
6
Birthdate: October 16, 1430
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Holyrood Palace
Died: August 3, 1460

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.

 5 
Robert the Bruce
(King of Scotland)
Robert the Bruce
14
Birthdate: July 11, 1274
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Turnberry Castle, Scotland
Died: June 7, 1329
King of Scots Robert I, better known as Robert the Bruce, is revered as a Scottish national hero. He successfully led his country against England in the First War of Scottish Independence. Legends state he was inspired by a spider’s relentless effort to spin a web, to ultimately defeat England.
 6 
Alex Salmond
(Scottish Politician and Economist Who Served as First Minister of Scotland from 2007 to 2014)
Alex Salmond
7
Birthdate: December 31, 1954
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Linlithgow
 7 
Nicola Sturgeon
(First Minister of Scotland and Leader of the Scottish National Party)
Nicola Sturgeon
17
Birthdate: July 19, 1970
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Irvine, Ayrshire, Scotland

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.

John Balliol, King of Scotland
6
Birthdate: 1249 AD
Died: November 25, 1314

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.

 9 
James IV of Scotland
(King of Scotland from 1488 to 1513)
James IV of Scotland
7
Birthdate: March 17, 1473
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Stirling, Scotland
Died: September 9, 1513

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

 10 
Keir Hardie
(Former Leader of the Labour Party of the United Kingdom (1906 - 1908))
Keir Hardie
3
Birthdate: August 15, 1856
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Newhouse, Lanarkshire, Scotland
Died: September 26, 1915

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.

 11 
Henry Campbell-Bannerman
(Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (1905-08))
Henry Campbell-Bannerman
5
Birthdate: September 7, 1836
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Glasgow, Scotland
Died: April 22, 1908
Andrew Moray
5
Died: October 31, 1297

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.

 13 
Henry Dundas, 1st Viscount Melville
(British Advocate, Independent Whig Politician and Former Secretary of State for War (1794 - 1801))
Henry Dundas, 1st Viscount Melville
4
Birthdate: April 28, 1742
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Edinburgh, Scotland
Died: May 28, 1811

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.

 14 
John Reith, 1st Baron Reith
(Former Minister of Information of United Kingdom and 1st Director-General of the BBC)
John Reith, 1st Baron Reith
4
Birthdate: July 20, 1889
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Stonehaven, Kincardineshire, Scotland
Died: June 16, 1971

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.

 15 
Simon Fraser, 11th Lord Lovat
(Scottish Military Leader & Chief of Clan Fraser of Lovat)
Simon Fraser, 11th Lord Lovat
3
Birthdate: January 5, 1667
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: England
Died: April 9, 1747

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.  

 16 
Stephen Crabb
(Politician)
Stephen Crabb
4
Birthdate: January 20, 1973
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Inverness, Scotland

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.

 17 
Malcolm Rifkind
(Politician)
Malcolm Rifkind
3
Birthdate: June 21, 1946
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Edinburgh, Scotland
 18 
Alastair Denniston
(Field hockey player at the 1908 Summer Olympics)
Alastair Denniston
3
Birthdate: December 1, 1881
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Greenock, Renfrewshire, Scotland
Died: January 1, 1961

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. 

 19 
John Stuart, 3rd earl of Bute
3
Birthdate: May 25, 1713
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Parliament Square, Edinburgh, Scotland
Died: March 10, 1792
Archibald Douglas, 6th earl of Angus
3
Birthdate: 1489 AD
Birthplace: Lanarkshire, Scotland
Died: January 22, 1557
 21 
Edward Bruce
(High King of Ireland (1315–1318))
Edward Bruce
3
Birthdate: 1275 AD
Birthplace: Scotland
Died: 1318 AD
 22 
John Murray, 4th Earl of Dunmore
(Governor of the Province of New York 1770 - 1771)
John Murray, 4th Earl of Dunmore
3
Birthdate: 1730 AD
Birthplace: Scotland, United Kingdom
Died: February 25, 1809
 23 
Reginald Johnston
(Commissioner of Weihaiwei (1927–1930) ,Former diplomat who served as the tutor and advisor to Puyi, the last Emperor of China)
Reginald Johnston
3
Birthdate: October 13, 1874
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Edinburgh, Scotland
Died: March 6, 1938
 24 
James Graham, 1st Marquess of Montrose
(Poet, Viceroy and Captain General of Scotland)
James Graham, 1st Marquess of Montrose
3
Birthdate: October 25, 1612
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Edinburgh, Scotland
Died: May 21, 1650

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.

 25 
John Moore
(General)
John Moore
3
Birthdate: November 13, 1761
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Glasgow, Scotland
Died: January 16, 1809
 26 
John Comyn III of Badenoch
(Guardian of Scotland (1298 - 1304) Who Played a Key Role in First War of Scottish Independence)
John Comyn III of Badenoch
4
Birthdate: 1274 AD
Birthplace: Badenoch
Died: February 10, 1306

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.

 27 
Donald Campbell Dewar
3
Birthdate: August 21, 1937
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Glasgow, Scotland
Died: October 11, 2000
 28 
Edmund Ironside, 1st Baron Ironside
2
Birthdate: May 6, 1880
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Edinburgh, Scotland
Died: September 22, 1959
 29 
Ian Hamilton
(Army General)
Ian Hamilton
4
Birthdate: January 16, 1853
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Corfu, Greece
Died: October 12, 1947
 30 
Alexander Mackenzie
(Former Prime Minister of Canada)
Alexander Mackenzie
0
Birthdate: January 28, 1822
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Logierait, Scotland
Died: April 17, 1892
 31 
James Macpherson
(Poet, Translator, Writer)
James Macpherson
2
Birthdate: October 27, 1736
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Ruthven
Died: February 17, 1796
 32 
Jackson Carlaw
(Politician)
Jackson Carlaw
2
Birthdate: April 12, 1959
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Newton Mearns, England

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.

 33 
Hugh MacDiarmid
(Scottish Poet, Essayist and Politician)
Hugh MacDiarmid
3
Birthdate: August 11, 1892
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Langholm, Dumfriesshire, Scotland
Died: September 9, 1978

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.

 34 
Thomas Sutherland
(Founder of The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation)
Thomas Sutherland
0
Birthdate: August 16, 1834
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Aberdeen, Scotland, United Kingdom
Died: January 1, 1922

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.

 35 
Jo Grimond
(Politician)
Jo Grimond
2
Birthdate: July 29, 1913
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: St. Andrews, Scotland
Died: October 24, 1993
 36 
Lord George Murray
(Scottish general)
Lord George Murray
2
Birthdate: October 4, 1694
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Huntingtower, Scotland
Died: October 11, 1760
Sir Leander Starr Jameson, Baronet
2
Birthdate: February 9, 1853
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Stranraer, Scotland
Died: November 26, 1917
 38 
James Wilson
(Businessman)
James Wilson
2
Birthdate: June 3, 1805
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Hawick, Roxburghshire, Scotland
Died: August 11, 1860

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.

 39 
Alexander Burnes
(Scottish Explorer, Military Officer and Diplomat)
Alexander Burnes
2
Birthdate: May 16, 1805
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Montrose, Scotland
Died: November 2, 1841

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.

 40 
Gavin Esler
(Journalist)
Gavin Esler
0
Birthdate: February 27, 1953
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Glasgow, Scotland

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.

 41 
John Ross
(Navy Officer)
John Ross
2
Birthdate: June 24, 1777
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Balsarroch, Scotland
Died: August 30, 1856
 42 
Mountstuart Elphinstone
2
Birthdate: October 6, 1779
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Dumbarton, Dumbartonshire, Scotland
Died: November 20, 1859
 43 
Robert Morrison
(Former Presbyterian preacher, is most notable for his work in China)
Robert Morrison
2
Birthdate: January 5, 1782
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Morpeth, Northumberland, England, United Kingdom
Died: August 1, 1834

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.

Jennie Lee, Baroness Lee of Asheridge
2
Birthdate: November 3, 1904
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Lochgelly, Fife, Scotland
Died: November 16, 1988
James Hamilton, 1st earl of Arran
2
Birthdate: 1475 AD
Birthplace: Scotland
Died: 1529 AD
Henry Brougham, 1st Baron Brougham and Vaux
2
Birthdate: September 19, 1778
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Cowgate, Edinburgh, Scotland
Died: May 7, 1868
Archibald Campbell, 9th Earl of Argyll
2
Birthdate: February 26, 1629
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Dalkeith, Scotland
Died: June 30, 1685
Archibald Douglas, 4th Earl of Douglas
2
Birthdate: 1369 AD
Birthplace: Scotland
Died: August 17, 1424
Robert Stewart, Duke of Albany
2
Birthdate: 1340 AD
Birthplace: Dundonald, Scotland
Died: September 3, 1420
Richard Haldane, 1st Viscount Haldane
2
Birthdate: July 30, 1856
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Edinburgh, Scotland
Died: August 19, 1928

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.