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Dalrymple, Alexander
Darien Scheme
David I
David II
Doyle, Sir Arthur Conan
Drummond, William
Dunbar, William
Duncan, Andrew, Younger
Dundee , John Graham of Claverhouse
Duns, Scotus, John


Heroes & Famous Scots (D)


Dalrymple, Alexander (1727-1808)

Captain James Cook the great explorer would have been a great fan of Alexander Dalrymple because through his persistence that there existed a huge populous continent in the South Pacific, Cook was able to do plenty of exploring. Dalrymple himself introduced the name of this as yet unknown land as ‘ The Great South Land ' . Dalrymple hoped to find this place on an expedition due for the year 1769, but unfortunately for him the command was given to Cook.

Map of Australasia
The expedition did not find what they were looking for but discovered New Zealand and Australia, or as Cook called it ‘Terra Australia'
When Dalrymple published his Historical Collection of the Several Voyages and Discoveries in the South Pacific Ocean in the years of 1770-1771, the widespread interest aroused by his continued claim of the existence of the unknown continent. This was enough to lead Cook, now promoted to Captain, to undertake yet another long experimental voyage into the distant Ocean of the South Pacific, adding more knowledge of that part of the world and charting many new coasts.
Darien , Scheme (1695)
The infamous Darien Scheme, which almost bankrupted Scotland and which inadvertently (or maybe not so inadvertently) led to the union of the parliaments in 1707. Scotland was almost wiped out in financial terms as all the Scottish gentry had put their money into the flawed scheme. It had begun in 1695 when at the Scottish parliament there was an act passed for the establishment of a ‘Company for Scotland trading to Africa and the Indies' it was to be an outlet for Scottish goods and the trade was promised to be wonderful. They would be known as the ‘African' or ‘ Indies ' companies before they would receive the fateful Darien name. William Paterson, (a Scot) who was founder of the Bank of England was a great believer in the Scheme and spent a lot of time and effort encouraging Scottish businessmen and gentry to put their money in the fundraising kitty. This was supposed to be a purely Scottish venture but the money was all kept in London , where the company was known as ‘The Scottish East India Company'. £400,000 was raised in Scotland , which was approximately half of all the available finance in the country. Some ships were purchased from Amsterdam and Hamburg as there was no shipbuilding facility in Scotland . The destination had been kept secret, but an advert had been placed for 1200 people to take part in the expedition. They left Leith docks on the 12 th of July 1698 , which was quite an ironic date as King William III celebrated his victory at the Boyne , eight years previously. The King had a huge influence with the Scheme and promised the Scots that he would help in any way he could. Unfortunately for the Scots this help never materialised and King William III of orange turned his back on Scotland when the Scheme failed. English ships in the Panama area were told not to help the stranded and desperate Scots in any way at all.

This was an official government directive which came straight from the top of the house. It has been suggested that the scheme was doomed to failure from the very first idea and maybe that was actually why it had been put together. Perhaps it was a ploy to leave the Scottish gentry financially embarrassed and they would therefore be easier to persuade towards a union with England . Who knows?

Darian Map
The Darien Scheme failed miserably and many people lost their lives as well as their savings, England could have helped as they did have resources in the area but as previously stated they were not allowed to give aid. The secret had been to go to Panama and start a new settlement there. The place was already occupied by the indigenous races and the Spaniards, who didn't take kindly to a bunch of Scots trying to muscle into their land. In no time at all the company lost their ships and supplies. The only ship that made it back was the Caledonian . Only about 750 souls survived the disaster. Another expedition left to try their luck but lasted an even shorter time than the first. With Scotland in disarray the English were able to bribe the Scots with gold to form a union which was more favourable to England than Scotland . Looking at the whole scenario it looks like one massive fraud from start to finish, with the only winners being King William III and England .
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David II (1324-1371)

The famous King Robert the Bruce had a daughter who married Walter FitzAlan, He was known as the steward of Scotland , which through time changed to Stuart. The couple were blessed with a son named David who was to be King. Young David Succeeded at the age of five, and Moray was made Regent to aid him in his Kingly tasks. At first, the reign of David II as King of Scotland seems to show us little more than long periods of costly wars against the hated English, but the consequent decline in the prestige of the Scottish monarchy and the increase in the power of the greedy Scottish barons had important repercussions.

David II
Especially important for Scotland's future was the amazing strengthening, (mainly by royal default), of the Scottish Parliament that was to play such a huge part in the later imposition of Presbyterian Protestantism in their disregard of the religious policies of the Catholic Stuart monarchs of England. It was this same Parliament that was to repudiate the arrangement made by David that a son of Edward III of England would succeed to the throne of Scotland . They knew that the Scottish people would never accept this, Thus David's irresponsible behaviour had already sown the seeds of a mighty revolution in Scottish political and religious history. This period would be bloody and barbaric as the people fought for control of the realm. The picture depicts David II and Edward III after the battle of Neville's Cross in 1346
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Doyle, Sir Arthur Conan (1859-1930)

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is one of Scotland 's best known and loved writers. He is of course famous for his super sleuth ‘Sherlock Holmes', who with his equally well known side-kick Doctor Watson went through the literary world solving every case with their brilliant methods of deduction. His first published work was ‘ A Study in Scarlet' which became a best seller. Who could forget his arch enemy ‘Professor Moriarty', or the howling noise which you could almost imagine coming from the ‘Hounds of the Baskerville'? People still to this day flock to London every year to visit 221B Baker Street, to see where they believed the fictional character lived.

Conan Doyle
He was definitely a major figure of the time. It is said that Sherlock Holmes was based on one of Doyle's teachers at the University of Edinburgh , and sometimes in his writing his medical past shines through with some small item or other. Conan Doyle was a great believer in the spirit world and was a founder member of a spiritualist church in Glasgow . Doyle killed off his famous detective in 1893 but the outcry was so severe that he had to reintroduce the amazing Holmes.
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Drummond, William (1585-1649)

William Drummond hailed from Hawthornden, near the capitol city of Edinburgh , he was a renowned Scottish writer and it is to him the claim of being the first poet to write deliberately in the English language falls. He was a lover of the Renaissance love poetry and it is thought that he was heavily influenced by his passionate reading of the subject matter. Drummond had spent several years in France before settling at Hawthornden again in his twenties. Drummond was also first to use the Italian metrical form, the conzone in English. This unusual procedure brought Drummond to the attention of many of the poets and writers of that time.

Drummonds Girl Friend
His forward thinking played its part in the future of Scottish writing. Local dialects would continue to be used by the Scottish writers but they had been given an option which before this man had not been available. The picture of the young woman is a study of Drummond's girlfriend who he wrote most of his poetry about.
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Dunbar, William (1460-1530)

Although not as well known in the world as Robert Burns, was to become, William Dunbar was a great Scottish poet. Burns work was definitely more humanitarian than Dunbar's , but it stands for itself with the sheer beauty of the words, the metrical variety, freshness and versatility in the phrasing. This was said to be the ‘Golden Age' of Scottish poetry, and the Scots were foremost when it came to vigorous poetry that would please their monarch Henry VII. One of Dunbar's most famous poems is named ‘The Golden Targe' it tells the story of a man who has fallen asleep on a beautiful May morning and is beginning to dream.

He is dreaming about the ‘Arrows of Love' which are being fired at him but being deflected by his Golden Targe.

Dunbar was attached to the court of James the IV of Scotland, and performed the function of Poet Laureate. He wrote a poem called “The Thrissil and the Rois” (The Thistle and the Rose) which was about the marriage between James IV of Scotland and Margaret daughter of the English King Henry VII, There was no doubting his mastery of words both in his love poems and in his most bitter work about darker issues. He was a truly great Scottish Poet. The picture shown depicts James IV, on the day of his wedding to Margaret.
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Duncan, Andrew, Younger (1773-1832) Elder (1744-1828)

Andrew Duncan was a great Doctor and Professor. He worked in Edinburgh and was the founder of what was to become “The Royal Public Dispensary” which was chartered in the year 1818, Duncan was a forward thinking man and as President of the Edinburgh College of Physicians, he proposed the city build and run the first public lunatic house. This project was completed in 1799. He was also the founder of the Caledonian Horticulture Society in the year 1799. Andrew Duncan had a son whom he named Andrew after himself. His son was a clever boy and soon showed signs that he too would follow in his fathers footsteps. Andrew the Younger was the first professor of medical jurisprudence anywhere in Britain at the University of Edinburgh in the year 1807.

Edinburgh College of Physicians
He later joined his father Duncan as joint professor of the Institute of Medicine and did much to break down the ancient theories of healing and introduce more modern, life-saving methods. Edinburgh University owes a debt of gratitude to the younger Andrew Duncan, because it was due to his efforts as commissioner, that the place was rebuilt from 1816 until his death in 1832. Andrew the younger had several publications to his name; among them were ‘The Edinburgh New Dispensary' it was actually published in ten editions and in the Edinburgh Medical and Surgical Journals
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Dundee , John Graham of Claverhouse, 1 st Viscount (1649-1689)

John Graham was a great Scottish patriot who paid the ultimate price for his country. He was an icon of the Jacobite struggle for truth and died at the very moment of his personal glory after the battle of Killiecrankie in July 1689, with him died any real hope the Jacobite cause had at that time to defeat the forces of the Protestant King William III of Orange, who had usurped the crown along with his equally usurping wife Mary. John Graham was known as a fierce and courageous Scotsman who would do anything for his country, which he did. He was affectionately named “Bonnie Dundee” and had famous songs written about him.

Bonnie Dundee
Graham had taken up arms for James the Vii of Scotland second of England , and was created Viscount in 1688. At the Famous battle of Killiecrankie Grahams Highlanders has slaughtered the troops of Hugh Mackay, but alas he was hit and fell from his horse after being struck by a bullet. He died soon after. His troops were devastated at the tragic death of their leader and they were soundly beaten at the next battle which was at Dunkeld. If “Bonnie Dundee” had lived maybe Scotland's bloody history would have been different, but we will never know.
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Duns, Scotus, John (1265-1308)

Duns Scotus was a man who had great influence on the Catholic people of Scotland for many years. He was a Franciscan scholar, philosopher and theologian. He was originally from Duns in Berwickshire. It was him who wrote the classic defence in favour of the Virgin birth, as Immaculate Conception without sin, which is still so important to the Roman Catholic Church even today. Scotus was also one of the many who stood up for his religion when the French wanted to tax the Catholic church to pay for wars waged in the name of religion. Scotus was known to have a very fertile speculative mind and this can be seen by reading his great Theology work entitled ‘ Orinatio '. He was a great Scotsman who fought for what he believed in to help his church and his people.

John Duns Scotus

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© Crann Tara 2006