For such a relatively small nation, Scotland has contributed more than its fair share of famous faces, adding to society, literature, art, engineering... Here's a small list of them, please feel free to /msg me with others!

Historical figures

Robert the Bruce – King Robert I of Scotland, victor of the Battle of Bannockburn
David Dale – builder of New Lanark
Keir Hardie - founder of the British Labour Party
David Livingstone - African explorer and missionary
Macbeth – King of Scotland, made famous by William Shakespeare's play
Flora MacDonald – helped Bonnie Prince Charlie escape the English
Ramsay MacDonald - British Labour Prime Minister
Charles Rennie Mackintosh - architect, designer and painter
Mary, Queen of Scots – Catholic rival of Elizabeth I, who had her beheaded
Rob Roy MacGregor – Bandit and Jacobite supporter
Kirkpatrick Macmillan - Bicycle pioneer
Charles Edward Stuart (Bonnie Prince Charlie) – romantic leader of Jacobite rebellion
William WallaceScottish patriot, Guardian of Scotland, hero of the Braveheart film


Iain Banks – author of The Crow Road and The Wasp Factory
Iain M. Banks – Iain Banks' pen name when writing science fiction
James M. Barrie - author of Peter Pan
James Boswell - Writer, biographer of Samuel Johnson
John Buchan – author of The Thirty-Nine Steps
Robert Burns - Scotland's most famous poet - we celebrate him every year with haggis on Burns night
Arthur Conan Doyle - author of the Sherlock Holmes books
William McGonagall – poet, author of The Tay Bridge Disaster
Sir Walter Scott – author of The Lady of the Lake, Waverley, Rob Roy, and Ivanhoe
Adam Smith – economist, author of Wealth of Nations
Robert Louis Stevenson – author of Treasure Island, Kidnapped, The strange case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
Irvine Welsh – modern writer, author of Trainspotting


Stanley Baxter - TV comedian
Bay City Rollers – 70's pop group
Johnny Beattie - actor and comedian
Big Country - 80's pop group, lead singer Stuart Adamson
Capercaillie – Pop group
Robert Carlyle – Actor, star of Trainspotting, Full Monty, Hamish Macbeth
Paul Coia - TV presenter
Robbie Coltrane - Actor and comedian, star of Fitz and Nuns on the Run
Billy Connolly – Foul-mouthed but much-loved comedian, star of Mrs Brown
Sean Connery – Actor, famous for his roles as James Bond and in such films as A Bridge Too Far, The Name of The Rose, and The Untouchables
The Corries - Folk singers, writers of Flower of Scotland
Iain Cuthbertson - actor
Deacon Blue – Pop group
Lonnie Donegan - Pop artist
Donovan - Pop artist
Sheena Easton – Solo pop singer, also sang with Prince
Fairground Attraction – Pop group
Craig Ferguson - comedian
Rikki Fulton - comedian, well-known for his TV Hogmanay specials
Clare Grogan - lead singer of Altered Images
Hue and Cry – Pop group
Gordon Jackson - actor
Mark Knopfler - pop star, lead singer of Dire Straits
Eddie Large - comedian (allegedly!)
Annie Lennox - Pop singer, lead singer of the Tourists and the Eurythmics
Jimmy Logan - actor and comedian
Ewan McGregor - Actor, star of Trainspotting, Star Wars and many others
Mark McManus - actor, star of Taggart
Frankie Miller - pop singer
Marti Pellow – Solo pop artist, former lead singer of Wet Wet Wet
The Proclaimers – Pop group
BA Robertson – Solo pop singer
Runrig – Rock group
Simple Minds - Pop group
John Gordon Sinclair - actor, star of Gregory's Girl
Jimmy Sommerville - pop singer, formerly part of the Bronski Beat group
Sweet – Pop group
Travis – Pop group
Midge Ure – Lead singer of Ultravox, one of the founders of Band Aid, along with Bob Geldof
Kirsty Wark – TV journalist and presenter
Wet Wet Wet – Pop group

Inventors, Scientists, Engineers, et al

Robert Adam - Architect and designer
John Logie Baird – Television pioneer
Alexander Graham Bell – Inventor of the telephone
John Loudon McAdam – Engineer, inventor of the macadam road surface
Andrew Carnegie - millionaire philanthropist
Allan Pinkerton – Founder of famous American detective agency
Sir John Reith - First Director General of the BBC
Robert Falcon Scott – Antarctic explorer, second to reach the South Pole after Norwegian Roald Amundsen
Thomas Telford - Engineer, builder of bridges and canals, including the Caledonian Canal and the bridge over the Menai Strait in Wales
Johnnie Walker - Manufacturer of one of Scotland's most famous brands of Scotch whiskies
James Watt – Developed more efficient steam engines

Sportsmen and women grateful for suggestions here!

David Coulthard – Formula 1 driver
Kenny Dalglish – International footballer
Eric Liddell – Olympic athlete, hero of the Chariots of Fire film
Sandy Lyle – Golfer
Liz McColgan – Olympic and international 10,000m and marathon runner
Colin Montgomerie – Golfer
Bill Shankly – Former manager of Liverpool Football Club
Jackie Stewart – Formula 1 driver and manager
Jim Watt – Boxer
Allan Wells – Olympic 200m sprinter

Sources: and my own memory
Famous Scots, Ian Fellowes Gordon, Shepheard-Walwyn, 1988

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