Born in Perthshire comprises a series of short essays on well-known figures born within the historical county of Perthshire. Each topical and biographical piece includes an original associated illustration. Born in Perthshire includes: William Archer:; Winifred Anna Cavendish Bentinck; Patrick Blair; General Edward Braddock; Alexander Bryce; Alexander Buchan; John Buchan; Peter Robert Drummond; Victoria Alexandrina Drummond; Mary Williamina Findlater:; David Octavius Hill; Marjory Kennedy-Fraser; Lena Login; Lawrence MacDonald; Alexander Mackenzie; James Mackenzie:; John James Rickard Macleod; Archibald Menzies; David Morrison; Eliza Ogilvy; Caroline Oliphant; Pontius Pilate; Robert Gillespie Reid; John Monteath Robertson; Thomas Ross; George Seton; Robert Stirling; John Wood. The book also includes separate chapters entitled ‘A Brief Guide to a Few of the (Historical) Newspapers, Magazines, and Journals of Perth & District’ and ‘Honorary Burgesses & Honorary Freemen of Perth’. Born in Perthshire is the first in a series of Tippermuir Mini Books, which will cover a range of subjects all with the central theme of the city of Perth and its district.

Perth: Street by Street is an architectural, archaeological, geographical, historical, and visual journey around the city of Perth’s c.630 streets, avenues, closes, roads, and vennels. Drawing on a range of disciplines, Perth: Street by Street will appeal both to those readers interested in the history and life of Perth, and to anyone who has lived, worked, or spent time in Scotland’s Fair City. For the people of Perth and those who hail from St John’s Town, the book will be particularly poignant. Within its pages, readers may find their own homes, place of birth, workplaces, schools, favourite shops, and the public architecture and civic backdrop which form a part of their everyday existence. The book is available online from Amazon and other internet retailers, and from the following bookshops: Waterstones (Perth), WHSmith (Perth), Sweet Words (Dunkeld), as well as from Gloagburn Farm Shop by Tibbermore.




A Mixed Bag of Other Folk II

Michael Bruce of Kinross-shire (Poet of Loch Leven; Poet of Lomond Braes; The Shepherd Poet): Edmund Burke once described Michael Bruce’s Ode to the Cuckoo as “the most beautiful lyric in our language.” Michael Bruce was born in March 1746 at Kinnesswood in the cottage used by his father for weaving. He learnt to read by the age of four and went onto the University of Edinburgh. Michael Bruce had intended to join the Secession Church but died at the early age of 21. He left behind a body of work including poetry and Gospel sonnets. There is a controversy around the publication of some of his work as it appeared in print under the name of the Reverend John Logan of South Leith who was passing it off as his own work. Bruce is known as the Gentle Poet of Lochleven and every year a memorial service is held at Portmoak Parish Church and a wreath laid on his grave (the memorial stone of which was erected by Reverend William Mackelvie). See Life and Works of Michael Bruce by Reverend William Mackelvie or Michael Bruce by Thomas G. Snoody (1947). Michael Bruce Poet and hymn-writer buried in the Poatmoak Kirkyard (no. 18202) in Kinross-shire – sarcophagus-style memorial.

Anna Masterton Buchan - O. Douglas: This author was born in Kirkcaldy, Fife on 24 March 1877. The daughter of a minister and the sister of John Buchan, Anna Buchan was educated at Hutcheson's Grammar School in Glasgow. Most of her life was spent in Peebles and her home appears in her writing as Priorsford. The novels of Anna Buchan were written under the name O. Douglas:

Olivia in India - 1912

The Setons - 1917

Penny Plain - 1920

Ann and her Mother - 1922

The Proper Place -1926

Jane's Parlour - 1937

People Like Ourselves - 1938

Unforgettable, Unforgotten - 1945 - a biography of her family

Farewell to Priorsford - 1950 - autobiography, published posthumously

Anna Buchan died in Peebles in 1948.

Anabella Drummond:William, third Lord Graham [1st Earl of Montrose 1463/4-1513], sat in the first parliament of King James the Fourth, 1488; and on 3d March, 1504-5, he was created Earl of Montrose, a charter being granted to him of that date, of his hereditary lands of "Auld Montrose", which were then erected into a free barony and earldom to be called the barony and earldom of Montrose. It is from these lands, therefore, and not from the town of Montrose, that the family take their titles of earl and duke. He fell at the battle of Flodden, 9th September 1513. He was thrice married. By his first wife, Anabella, daughter of Lord Drummond, he had a son, second Earl of Montrose; by his second wife, Janet, a daughter of Sir Archibald Edmonstone of Duntreath, he had three daughters; and by his third wife, Christian Wavance of Segy, daughter of Thomas Wavance of Stevenston, and widow of the ninth Lord Halyburton of Dirleton, two sons, Patrick, ancestor of the Graemes of Inchbrakie, Perthshire; and Andrew, consecrated bishop of Dunblane in 1575, and the first Protestant Bishop of that See. The third Lord Graham took part in 1488 at the battle of Sauchieburn, in which James III. fell. In that battle the King’s rearward division was commanded by Graham, Earl of Menteith, with Lords Erskine and Graham as his lieutenants, and, at a later day, in 1504, on account of his gallantry, Lord Graham was made Earl of Montrose. Still later, at the Battle of Flodden in 1513, he led part of the Scottish vanguard along with the Earl of Crawford, and fell along with his royal master on the disastrous field. By his third wife, a daughter [widow] of Lord Halyburton, the Earl was the ancestor of the Grahams of Inchbrakie. He married Anabella Drummond, daughter of John Drummond of Stobshall,1st Lord and Elizabeth Lindsay of Crawford, on 25 November 1479 in Parish Church, Muthyll, Perth, Scotland. Anabella Drummond was born about 1465 and died after 1492.

John Duncan Fergusson: Painter born in Perthshire in 1874. Fergusson took up painting after studying Medicine. He is part of the Scottish Colourists Group that includes Samuel John Peploe and Francis Cadell. The Colourists came out of the Glasgow School of Painting with the mantra of the importance of colour over line. Fergusson travelled to North Africa, Spain (1897) and Paris ; where he lived prior to the First World War. His exposure to the Mediterranean light and landscape, Post-Impressionism and Faures influenced his work. Of note are his WWI naval dockyard paintings and his female nudes (which tend towards Cezanne, Cubism and Fauve colour). Fergusson also creates his own style in his paintings by his relation to dance, movement and rhythm. Fergusson married the dancer Margaret Morris in 1939, and settled in Glasgow.

"The Fergusson Gallery houses the world's largest collection of work by the celebrated Scottish Colourist artist John Duncan Fergusson (1874 - 1961). The extensive collection of paintings, drawings and sculptures is shown in a programme of changing exhibitions.The Gallery is housed in a former Water Works dating from 1832. The unusual building was converted to The Fergusson Gallery in 1992."

Jane Findlater & Mary Findlater: "Jane Findlater was born at Lochearnhead, Perthshire, on 4 November 1866. She and her sister were educated together at home and had a close relationship which would even extend to the co-writing of several books. Their father died in 1886, and the family moved to Prestonpans, East Lothian, but following the success of Jane's first novel, "The Green Graves of Balgowrie" (1896), she was able to support the family, with successive homes in Devon, London, Rye and finally Comrie in Perthshire, where she died on 20 May 1946.Mary Findlater was born at Lochearnhead, Perthshire, on 26 March 1865. Though she wrote novels and poetry in her own right she is remembered for the novels she co-wrote with her sister, with whom she lived until Jane's death in 1946. Mary remained at their last home in Comrie, Perthshire until her own death on 22 November 1963. Jane Findlater's best-known novel, "The Green Graves of Balgowrie", has an 18th-century setting, and is based on her own family's history. Of the novels written with her sister, perhaps the best is "Crossriggs" (1908), a light-hearted romance of upper-class manners. They followed it with other similar novels, set in the Victorian world, which were highly popular in their day. Their taste for collaboration also resulted in two long novels written with Charlotte Stewart (under the pseudonym "Allan McAulay") and Kate Douglas Wiggin. Based on notes by Andrew Crumley." And sourced from

The Findlater Sisters by Eileen McKenzie is a further source of information about these two writers.

Books by Mary Findlater:

1895. Sons & Sonnets.
1897. Over the Hills.
1899. Betty Musgrave.
1901. A Narrow Way.
1903. The Rose of Joy.
1907. A Blind Bird's Nest.
1914. Tents of a Night.

Books by Jane Findlater:

1896. The Green Graves of Balgowrie.
1897. A Daughter of Strife.
1899. Rachel.
1902. The Story of a Mother.
1904. Stones from a Glass House.
1905. All that Happened in a Week.
1906. The Ladder to the Stars.
1912. Seven Scots Stories.
1921. A Green Grass Widow and other Stories.

Books written together:

1901. Tales that are Told.
1908. Crossriggs.
1911. Penny Moneypenny.
1916. Seen and Heard Before and After 1914.
1916. Content With Flies.
1923. Beneath the Visiting Moon

Books written Kate Douglas Wiggins and Allan McAulay:

1904. The Affair at the Inn.
1911. Robinetta.

James (Gillespie) Graham: An architect born in Dunblane in the County of Perthshire in 1776. Of note are his churches - St. Mary's RC Cathedral in Edinburgh (1813-14); St. Andrew's Cathedral in Glasgow (1814-17); and, the Tolbooth Church in Edinburgh - collaboration with A. W. N. Pugin (1839-44). These building invoke a purer Gothic style with authentic architectural detailing. James (Gillespie) Graham also designed several country houses - Dunninald in Angus (c.1820-4); and, Murthly House in Perthshire (1829-30; demolished). In 1815, James Gillespie married an heiress, Margaret Graham of Ochill and took her surname. James (Gillespie) Graham was also a respected town planner and his Moray Estate (designed 1822) is described as "the most imaginative and successful of the Edinburgh New Town Schemes." He died in 1835.

Hugh Haliburton (the Pseudonym of the minor poet James Logie Robertson): Born in Milnathort by Kinross in 1846 and educated at Orwell Parish School. Hugh Haliburton began as a student-teacher at Haddington before studying at Edinburgh University and teaching at Heriot’s Hospital. He became the first English master at Edinburgh Ladies’ College (later Mary Erskine’s School) a position he held between 1876 and 1913. In the guise of a shepherd in the Ochil Hills he wrote (and was published as Hugh Haliburton) Horace in Homespun: A Series of Scottish Pastorals (1886) and Ochill Idylls (1891). His prose includes several essays. Hugh Haliburton was the editor of several poets: James Thomson (1700-1748); Robert Burns (1759-96); Allan Ramsay (1681-1758); and, Sir Walter Scott (1771-1832). 


He died in 1922 in Edinburgh and is buried in Morningside Cemetery.


David Octavius Hill: This painter and pioneering portrait photography was born in Perth in 1802, the son of a local bookseller. Educated at Perth Academy he studied subsequently at the Edinburgh School of Design. He became interested in railways as a young man and produced a set of engravings of the Garnkirk & Glasgow Railway in 1831. It was the first time an artist had attempted to record the mechanical devices with meticulous precision.
As a painter Hill concentrated on landscapes and genre painting – he is work is described as poetic and influenced by J M W Turner.  In 1929 he helped found the Scottish
Academy. As an originator of the Association for the Promotion of the Fine Arts, David Hill promoted art education and helped secure several works by Scottish artists.  A tiny selection of some of his paintings is found below: 


Edinburgh, Old and New – 1851

Ruins of the Palace of Dunfermline – 1854

The First General Assembly of the Free Church of Scotland; signing the Act of Separation and Deed of Demission - 18th May 1843


In 1821 he published the first set of lithographs to be issued in Scotland – “Sketches of Scenery in Perthshire”. David Hill also worked as a book illustrator, for example his 1840, Land of Burns.  Around 1843 he developed an interest in photography and proceeded to collaborate with Robert Adamson for three-and-a-half years in which time some three thousand photographs were made by the calotype process. These were mainly portraits and are considered a landmark in the history of photography. Of special note as a photographer is Hill’s, The Fishermen and Women of the Firth of Forth. He died in 1870. The University of Glasgow (Special Collections) and the Scottish National Portrait Gallery house much of the Hill & Adamson negatives (490 in Glasgow University). There are 468 salted paper prints in the Glasgow collection. In 1843, Hill was commissioned to take photographs of the founders of the Free Church of Scotland. His picture of the Linlithgow Railway is believed to be the first ever photograph of a railway scene. Hill continued to paint and in 1848 his friend, the railway engineer, John Miller, suggested he painted the viaduct he had built at Ballochmyle. Hill painted three pictures of the viaduct and also took numerous photographs of the Glasgow, Dumfries & Carlisle Railway. 


David Octavius Hill died in 1870. 


Further information and catalogues of Hill and Adamson’s work can be found at and at

David Mallet (Malloch): Born near Crieff around 1705, David Mallet, a farmer's son rose from being janitor of Edinburgh High School to an acclaimed poet and songwriter; though a less than successful playwright. He attended St. Andrews University whence he became a tutor (1720) and gained employment as such to the children of the Duke of Montrose (1723 to 1731). During this time in London, he anglicized his name from the Scottish Malloch to Mallet. Amongst his body of work are the poems:

William and Margaret (1723)

The Excursion (1728)

The (tragedies) plays:

Eurydice (1731)

Mutapha (1739)

Alfred, a Masque (1740)

Elvira (1763)

From Alfred, a Masque, which David Mallet co-wrote with another Scottish poet James Thomson (1700-48) came the song Rule Britannia.

Thee haughty tyrants ne'er shall tame, All their attempts to bend thee down Will but arouse thy generous flame; But work their woe, and thy renown.

Rule, Britannia! Britannia, rule the waves: Britons never will be slaves.

(sung to a variation for piano by Beethoven WOO 79)

His writing can be found in Ballads and Songs by Dinsdale (1857), a book which also includes a biography of James Mallet. In 1754, James Mallet also edited and published the works of the English statesman and polemicist, Henry St. John, Viscount Bolingbroke (1678-1751). James Mallet died in 1765.

Note: A masque is a courtly show or pageant that includes music, acting, dancing and singing often set with an elaborate staging.

John MacDiarmid: John MacDiarmid (1779-1808) was born the son of the minister of Weem at Perthshire. A writer amongst which his body of work is found:

An Inquiry into the System of Military Defence of Great Britain (1803)

Inquiry into the Nature of Civil and Military Subordination (1804)

Lives of British Statesmen

he also edited the St. James Chronicle.

Robert Gillespie Reid: A Scottish financier and bridge builder who was born in c1840 in Coupar Angus. he trained as a bridge builder with his uncle and then set up his own business. After some travel, Australia (1865) he settled in Montreal in 1871. There he built the International Bridge across the Niagara River - the first of several Canadian bridge projects. In the United States, Robert Gillespie Reid was involved with the design and build of bridges across the Rio Grande, Colorado and Delaware River. In 1889, he began to build railway bridges and 1890 saw a series of railway constructions in Newfoundland. In Newfoundland he was granted by the local state a 50 year tax-free monopoly to operate the railways - this began in 1898 and laid the foundation of his sizeable fortune. In Newfoundland he was known by the name, Czar Reid. He died in 1908.


John Monteath Robertson: Born on a farm near Aucterarder in 1909, John Monteath Robertson became a crystallographer of note. He studied at Edinburgh University and then joined the research team of W. H. Bragg. Robertson pioneered the investigation of the structures of organic molecules by passing X-rays through them and looking at the associated diffraction pattern. This method yielded the structure of naphthalene and oxalic acid amongst others. Later work involved large molecules. The body of work produced by John Monteath Robertson revolutionised crystallography. In 1939 he moved to Sheffield University and during part of the war years he was Chemical Advisor to Bomber Command (1941-42). From 1942 until 1970 he held a Chair at Glasgow University and built up an internationally renowned school of crystallography. He died in 1989.


Thomas Thomson: Born in Crieff in 1773, Thomas Thomson is known for his work in the field of chemistry. He studied initially at Edinburgh University and graduated a doctor in 1799. After a period working as a freelance editor, writer, teacher and historian, Thomas Thomson began an appointment as Professor at Glasgow University (1817). This Chair he held until his death in 1852. It is believed that he is the first university professor to insist on the systematic training in practical experimentation. A strong advocate of the Atomic Theory of Dalton, Thomson undertook to prove that theory experimentally. His empirical work also included exploring William Prout's hypothesis that the atomic weights of elements are whole number multiples of the atomic weight of hydrogen.


Ramsay Heatley Traquair: Known for being a paleontologist, Ramsay Traquair was born at the Manse of Rhynd in Perthshire in 1840. After education at the University of Edinburgh he graduated a MD in 1862. Appointed as a Demonstrator at that university, he undertook that role for 3 years. He then performed similar posts at Cirencester and then Dublin. In 1873 Ramsay Traquair became Keeper of Natural History at the then Royal Scottish Museum of Edinburgh - staying in post for 33 years until retirement. He published widely on fossil fishes especially those of the Paleozoic Era. Of note is his work on the Old Red Sandstone Fish Faunas of Scotland. Ramsay Traquair was married to the enamellist Phoebe Traquair. He died in 1912.

Thomas Semton: A clergyman born at Gask in Perthshire in 1536 Thomas Semton studied Philosophy at St. Andrew's University. He had attended school with James Lawson and Alexander Arbuthnot. Appointed to the post of Regent at Salvator's College, Thomas Meton left for Europe during the Reformation. In 1578 after his return to Britain he became moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, a position he went on to hold several times. He is believed to have died after 1581 - the exact date being uncertain.

Robert Stirling: This clergyman is most well-known as an inventor. he was born in Cloag in Perthshire in the year 1790. After study at Edinburgh University, Robert Stirling was ordained in 1816 within the Church of Scotland and subsequently appointed Minister at Galston in Ayrshire (1837-78). His foremost invention is the Stirling Hot-Air Engine "in which the working fluid (air) is heated at one end of the cylinder by an external source of heat." This engine was developed by Robert Stirling in conjunction with his brother James an engineer. The first prototype was built at the foundry in Dundee where James Stirling was employed in 1843. In recent years scientists and engineers have begun to look again at this engine as it offers operational characteristics that are non-polluting.

James Young: James Young is known as an inventor, agricultural engineer and philanthropist. He managed the cotton mills at Deanston in Perthshire from 1807. He is credited with the invention of the 'thorough drainage' system that employed subsoil ploughs. James Young was born in 1789 and died in 1850.

Thomas Young : This tutor of the great English poet John Milton (until 1622) at St. Andrews University (until 1622) was born in Perthshire in 1587. A Puritan divine, Thomas Young studied at St. Andrews, taught there and then held religious positions in Hamburg and in Essex. Of note is an anti-episcopal text, Answer, which although technically one of its authors (the authorship was given the name Smectymnuus from the amalgamation of the initials of Stephen Marshall, Edmund Calamy, Thomas Young, Matthew Newcomen and William Spurstow) Thomas Young made the major contribution. The book was a reply to a point of polemic with Joseph Hall, Bishop of Exeter. Thomas Young died in 1655.