About Edinburgh - a travel guide to accommodation, eating out, flights, car rental and golf

An online guide to the City of Edinburgh - Edinburgh Castle, The Royal Mile, Leith, the Lothians, Golfing in Edinburgh and lots more

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Visit Edinburgh - capital city of Scotland - Edinburgh Festival, golfing in edinburgh, Edinburgh Castle

Edinburgh's Famous People

Edinburgh has been birthplace and home to many famous people who have been inspired to do many amazing things.  Below we have some information on just some of them!  When you visit Edinburgh see if you can find their paintings, sculptures, buildings, statues or birthplaces (sometimes identified by a blue plaque.)

Alexander Nasmyth (1758-1840).  Portrait and landscape painter, often called the "father of Scottish landscape painting." His famous portrait of Robert Burns is now in the National Gallery of Scotland

Ceclie Walton (1891-1956).   Painter, illustrator and sculptor. She and her husband Eric were two of the moving spirits of the Edinburgh chapter of the Symbolist movement in the early 20th century.

Henry Raeburn (1756-1823  Portrait painter. His famous portrait of Sir Walter Scott resides in the National Gallery of Scotland.

Patrick Nasmyth (1787-1831). He was the eldest son of the famous artist Alexander Nasmyth, whilst his younger brother, James, was a prominent engineer who gained notoriety as the inventor of the steam hammer.  

Samuel Peploe (1871-1935). Post-Impressionist painter, noted for his still life works and for being one of the group of four painters that became known as the Scottish Colourists.

Allan Ramsay (1713-1784).  Royal portrait painter to George III.  

Rory Bremner (b.1961).  Impressionist, playwright and comedian, noted particularly for his work in political satire.  

Sir Sean Connery (b.1930). Born in Fountainbridge, Edinburgh. Retired Scottish actor and producer. Winner of an Academy Award, 2 BAFTA Awards and 3 Golden Globes.  

Ronnie Corbett (b.1930).  Actor and comedian best known for his association with Ronnie Barker in the long-running British television comedy sketch series The Two Ronnies.

Sir Ludovic Kennedy (1919-2009).  Writer, journalist and presenter best known for re-examining cases such as the Lindbergh kidnapping and the murder convictions of Timothy Evans and Derek Bentley, and for his role in the abolition of the death penalty in the United Kingdom.  

Sir Harry Lauder (1870-1950). Born in Portobello, near where we lived!  Scottish singer and entertainer, described by Sir Winston Churchill as "Scotland's greatest ever ambassador!"

Ken Stott (b.1955). Born in Edinburgh, attended George Heriot's School. Particularly known for his numerous television roles.

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (1859-1930) physician and writer, particularly renowned for his stories about the detective Sherlock Holmes. 

Sir Walter Scott (1771-1832). historical novelist and poet,  wrote Ivanhoe, Rob Roy, Waverley , The Heart of Midlothian and The Bride of Lammermoor.  

 Dame Muriel Spark (1918-2006). writer, best known for her novel The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie.  

Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894). novelist, essayist, poet and travel writer, particularly renowned for Treasure Island, Kidnapped and The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde 

Norman MacCaig (1910-1996). Leading light in the The Scottish Renaissance.

Ken Buchanan (b.1945). Former boxing undisputed world lightweight champion. Many consider Buchanan to be the best boxer ever to come out of Scotland.  

Sir Chris Hoy (b.1976).  track cyclist; multiple world champion and Olympic Games triple gold medal winner. Hoy is Scotland's most successful Olympian and the most successful Olympic male cyclist of all time.  

Gordon Strachan (b.1957). football manager and former player, he won 50 international caps for Scotland and is a member of the Scotland Football Hall of Fame.  

Gavin Hastings (b.1962).Scotland rugby union player. He is considered one of the best rugby players to come out of Scotland. Lovely man!  

Graeme Souness (b.1953).  former professional footballer and manager. Souness is perhaps best known as the former captain of the successful Liverpool team of the early 1980s.  

John Greig (b.1942). professional football player - spent his career at Glasgow Rangers as a player and then later a manager.  

Stephen Hendry (b.1969). Born in South Queensferry. Professional snooker player - became the youngest ever snooker World Champion at 21. Holds six further World Championship titles and was snooker's world number one for eight consecutive years between 1990 and 1998, and again in 2006/2007.

Alexander Graham Bell (1847-1922).credited with the invention of the telephone.

Sir Robert Lorimer (1864-1929). architect, he designed the war memorial at Edinburgh Castle and the Thistle Chapel at St Giles' Cathedral.

James Simpson (1811-1870). Discovered the anaesthetic properties of chloroform.

Sir Tom Farmer (b.1940). Born in Leith Founder of the Kwik-Fit chain of garages.

John Menzies (1808-1879). Founder of John Menzies plc, most widely known for their chain of book and stationary shops sold to WH Smith in 1998.

David Hume (1711-1776).  Scottish philosopher and historian who was a leading figure of the Enlightenment. He is considered one of the giants of Western philosophy.

Katharine Stewart-Murray (Duchess of Atholl) (1874-1960). noblewoman and leading Conservative politician

George Brown (1818-1880). Politician and a founding father of Canada.

James Braidwood (1800-1861).Founded the world's first municipal fire service in Edinburgh in 1824, and was the first director of the London Fire Engine Establishment

John Knox (c.1510-1572). clergyman and leader of the Protestant Reformation who is considered the founder of the Presbyterian denomination.

Alexander Laing (1793-1826). explorer and the first European to reach Timbuktu.

Deacon Brodie (1741-1788).  cabinet-maker and Edinburgh city councillor, who maintained a secret life as a burglar. The dichotomy between Brodie's respectable façade, and his real nature inspired Robert Louis Stevenson to write The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.

Burke and Hare. Both lived in Edinburgh , where they murdered 16 victims and sold their bodies to Dr. Knox, a private anatomy lecturer whose students were drawn from Edinburgh Medical College.

Greyfriars Bobby (1855/1856-1872). Skye terrier who became known in 19th-century Edinburgh after reportedly spending 14 years guarding the grave of his owner, John Gray, until he died. A statue and fountain was erected in 1873 at the southern end of the George IV Bridge to commemorate him

Mary Queen of Scots (1541-1587). Spent her early years in Edinburgh, returning to rule Scotland in 1561. Mary was forced to abdicate the throne in 1567, in favour of her one-year-old son James VI. She was imprisoned in England for 19 years and eventually executed for her involvement in three plots to assassinate Elizabeth I.

Douglas Haig (1861-1928). . British soldier and senior commander (field marshal) during World War I. Most notably he was commander during the Battle of the Somme, the 3rd Battle of Ypres and the series of victories leading to the German surrender in 1918.



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