As part of our Burns Night celebrations, a traditional Scottish holiday to mark the life of Robert Burns, the author and poet behind Auld Lang Syne. It’s a day that is all about Scottish culture and traditions, full of haggis, neeps, tatties and traditional music and dress.

To mark the occasion, here are ten notable Scots from across history.

William Wallace

You might remember him from a certain film with some questionable accents, Wallace is one of the country’s most revered heroes. He wasn’t of noble blood, starting out as an outlaw, but rose to prominence after leading forces into battle against the English in 1297 at Stirling Bridge. Sadly, he didn’t have a happy ending, after being executed as a traitor in 1305. You can find a number of monuments dedicated to him across the country, including the Wallace National Monument in Stirling.

Rob Roy

Known as the Scottish Robin Hood, Rob Roy was part of a Jacobite uprising which aimed to restore James II to the throne after he was removed because of his Catholic faith. He would later become an outlaw and found himself in prison but was eventually pardoned.

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Most famous for his Sherlock Holmes novels, Conan Doyle was a medical doctor and writer producing a number of stories, plays and poets. He was very interested in spiritualism and was a leading figure in the movement during the Victorian era.

Alexander Fleming

Fleming was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1945 after discovering penicillin which would change the face of medicine forever. It continues to be one of the most efficient life saving drugs in the world and Fleming remains one of the most important people of the 20th Century.

Flora MacDonald

At the tender age of 24, Flora helped Bonnie Prince Charlie escape Scotland after the Battle of Culloden by disguising him as a woman and taking him by boat to Skye. The Bonnie Prince, who led the Jacobite revolution to restore the Stewart monarchy got away but Flora was arrested and imprisoned in the Tower of London. After her release she emigrated to America, but returned to Scotland where she is buried.

Victoria Drummond

As the first female marine engineer in the UK and the first female member of the Institute of Marine Engineers, Victoria deserves to be celebrated anyway, but she also happens to be Scottish. Her godmother was Queen Victoria, who she was named after and she also served at sea as an officer in the British Merchant Navy during WWII.

Sir Walter Scott

Edinburgh born Scott was a very popular writer and poet, as well as being involved in business thanks to his training as a lawyer. You can find monuments dedicated to him around Edinburgh.

Alexander Graham Bell

Another Edinburgh native, Bell is the inventor of the telephone. He spent much of his career in the States where he developed the telephone, patenting it just days before his rivals and founding the Bell Telephone Company, which launched him into fame and fortune.

The Edinburgh Seven

We’re cheating a bit with this one but there are far too many incredible Scots to narrow it down to just ten! The Edinburgh Seven were a group of women who studied medicine at Edinburgh University and were the first women that finished their undergraduate studies at any British university but were prevented from graduating by their male classmates. Following this, they launched a campaign to grant women the right to a university education, which was finally passed in 1877.

Greyfriars Bobby

As one of the cutest Scots in history, we have to mention Greyfriars Bobby. He was a small terrier who became famous in the 19th century for guarding the grave of his owner, John Gray for over 14 years. He was buried just inside the gate of Greyfriars Kirkyard, not far from his owner’s final resting place and a statue of him sits on the corner of Candlemaker Row in Edinburgh.




Comments are disabled for this post.