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Hall, Basil
Hamilton, James Hamilton
Hamilton, Patrick
Hardie, James Keir


Heroes & Famous Scots (H)


Hall, Basil (1788-1844)

Basil hall was known as another great Scottish explorer, and naval officer. He was born at Dunglass in East Lothian . Hall was famous for his exploratory trips to the United States of America , South America and also to the Asian continent. Hall documented all these trips and because they were so precisely recorded, they became a major source of information about the various countries. He was the Commander of an expedition with the English Ambassador William Pitt Amherst to the Chinese Emperor at Peking in the year 1815.

Korea China Map
Basil Hall was to publish these reports as: Accounts of a Voyage of Discovery to the West Coast of Korea and the great Loo-Choo Islands . Basil hall went on to write journals which covered his travels to Mexico , Peru , and Chili. Hall was a truly great Scottish explorer. The map depicts where hall explored in Korea/China and surrounding areas.
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Hamilton, James Hamilton (1606-1649)

Hamilton inflicted more damage to Charles I, than any of his true enemies, during the entire civil war. He was so inept at his job that Charles I, had no chance of succeeding in his cause.

Hamilton was no friend to the Scottish people and was known for his incompetence as a military leader. He had been in Charge of an army in the Thirty Year War, between Sweden and Germany , with disastrous results. The King made him Commissioner to deal with the rebellious Scots, who had drawn up a Covenant and pledged their support for the Presbyterian way of religious belief.

James Hamilton

The Scots would not accept the Anglicised Liturgy, would be used in their churches. Hamilton was to fail again in this task. Hamilton had attempted to compromise Argyll and this led to enmity with true royalists like Montrose. Hamilton did try to keep Scotland neutral in and during the English Civil war. He was eventually sent to jail by his own King Charles I, who no longer trusted him. The King in desperation again gave him his freedom and an army of 24 thousand troops to go and meet Cromwell who had a much smaller company of troops. Unfortunately for Hamilton his ineptitude shone through and his army was heavily defeated. Hamilton and his King, paid the ultimate price for his incompetence when the were both executed by the victorious Cromwell.

Hamilton was not the best example of a Scottish patriot.

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Hamilton, Patrick (1504-1528)

Patrick Hamilton although raised a catholic would become the first protestant martyr. He had converted to the Lutheranism form of religion. Patrick had published a book and he was declared heretic because of it, and he had to flee to Germany , where his religion was strong and secure. The infamous Catholic Bishop Beaton devised a plan to get rid of the young Hamilton . He lured him to St. Andrews promising safe passage, where he was tried convicted and burnt at the stake. Scotland had joined in with the rest of Europe and started to burn any or all heretics. The trial and execution of Hamilton took less than half a day, and the great John Knox was sickened by the sheer barbarous methods used to make the death by burning last even longer. Hamilton had a hand blown off with gunpowder place in the fire but Bishop Beaton stood watching the whole execution (Which took six hours) and seemed to relish the suffering of the burning man. Totally due to this terrible torture of people Catholicism lost a lot of followers and became a spent religion in the Scotland of that period. Hamilton was truly a brave Scottish person.

Hamilton Burning
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Hardie, James Keir (1856-1915)

James Keir Hardie was a great Scottish fighter for the common man and woman, and was treated like the hero he became. He was the first ever labour Member of Parliament. (Although he would not recognise his party today). He had stunned the snobbish and sober members of the parliament when he entered the house with his deer-stalker hat on, instead of the traditional top hat. (Later Transmogrified by legend to a working mans flat cap). He had been born in Lanarkshire to an unmarried mother, a farm labourer, who later wed a ships carpenter. Hardie had a tough upbringing , having to start working when he was eight and then straight down the mines when he reached the tender age of ten. Hardie was soon in trouble with the mine owners because of his union activities and was blacklisted from the pits. Hardie was not to be beaten and moved to Ayr , where he became the secretary of the local miners organisation.

James Keir Hardie
He produced and published his own paper about union rights and giving the workers a say in how they worked and lived. He founded the Scottish labour Movement in the year1888. Although he did not get elected in Scotland , but in Merthyr Tydfil , in 1893, he was still a proud Scot. He was to lose it again in 1895. Hardies stance against the Great War went against him and many people shunned him because of his pacifist beliefs. Keir Hardie was indeed a great Scottish hero.

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© Crann Tara 2006