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Keith, George, Keith Elphinstone, Viscount
Keith, James Francis Edward
Kenneth I, MacAlpin
Kenneth II
Kentigern, Saint
Kidd, William
Knox, John


Heroes & Famous Scots (K)


Keith, George, Keith Elphinstone, Viscount (1746-1823)

George Keith was a Scot born in the city of Stirling , he was a sailor from an early age and was known to love the mariners way of life. Strangely enough he was born just a year before that other famous Scottish Mariner John Paul Jones. George Keith went on to become an admiral too just like Jones. The difference was that Keith was in the pay of the British Navy, where he fought with distinction.

Keith had several very good Battle results both in Europe and in North America ; it would have been interesting to see him and Jones fight it out. George Keith is probably most famous for his capture of Charleston , South Carolina , during the American war of Independence . He also fought for Briton at the French Revolution and held Toulon from the French in 1793. Keith was part of the force which pushed the French from Egypt ; forcing Napoleon to withdraw was no mean feat. Keith was involved with the defence of the English coastline against marauding French vessels, and when Napoleons defeat came about it was Admiral George Keith's ship who escorted the once great French leader to his final exile in St. Helena in the year 1815. George Keith was a great Scot and a wonderful Admiral.
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Keith, James Francis Edward (1696-1758)

James Keith had been born at Inverugie castle, Peterhead, Aberdeenshire in the year 1696.

He was better known as Marshall Keith and was a loyal Jacobite who played a great part in the Struggle for truth that was the Jacobite cause.

He was of a certain breed that made him fierce and warlike, he was a career soldier. James Keith fought with great distinction outside the boundaries of his native Scotland , and his nomadic soldiering took this great Scot all over the world to fight. He earned huge acclaim fighting for Frederic the Great of Prussia, after having proven himself while in the service of Spain and Russia . Frederic the Great promoted James Keith to Field Marshall, and he was there to command the Prussian forces at the siege of Prague in the seven year war. James Keith was also involved with the defence of Leipzig against the Austrian army. He was killed at the battle of Hochkirch, in the year 1758, and William I of Prussia was so impressed with his fighting and leadership abilities that he came to Keith's home town and built a memorial to a great Scottish fighting man. The picture depicts William the first of Prussia.
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Kenneth I, MacAlpin (810-858)

Kenneth MacAlpin is one of the most famous names from the volumes of Scotland 's vast History book. He was the first king of the united Scots of Dalriada and the Picts, and worked hard to maintain a good society which could prosper and grow. In declaring himself King it meant he held most of the land which stretched north from the great river Forth in the east to the magnificent Clyde in the west. He had started out trying to pacify the Picts, Scots, Britons, and Anglos after he had defeated most of them in battles. According to what has been left behind he did manage to unite them in a sort of semblance of unity by the year 843 A.D.

MacAlpin created his capital at Forteviot, which was deep in Pictish territory. MacAlpin was said to have moved the remains of St. Columba, from Iona to a new religious centre in Dunkeld on the river Tay in Perthshire. The good thing about King Kenneth MacAlpin was that he had identified a common enemy for all the different type of people in his realm, namely the Vikings and so with that common cause they fought well together. The fights would go on for many years and Kenneth MacAlpin would prove himself worthy of being Called ‘The First King of Scots'

Pict Man
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Kenneth II (D 995)

There is not a great deal of information on this King Kenneth the second. It is said that he did not attain full power until he had slain his nearest claimant to the throne, Amlaib. Most of kenneth's territory like the rest of the Scottish Kings at that time was north of an invisible line which stretched from the Great River Forth to the magnificent river Clyde . Kenneth the second started raiding further south going deeper into enemy territory, and raiding everywhere he touched.

Kenneth II

This caused massive conflict with his enemies and he was forever being hounded back and forth across the border. It is said that he was getting bored with all the too-ing and fro-ing and asked the King across the border for a treaty. This was agreed to as long as Kenneth paid homage to him. At last he had a bit of peace in his country.

Kenneth was to die at Fettercairn in the Mearns, and according to some reports he was slain treacherously by his own subjects. Through the friendship with the daughter of Finvela he was laid to rest at Iona , which is one of Scotland 's most sacred islands

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Kentigern, Saint (d612)

Saint Kentigern is the patron saint of Glasgow but better known by his other name Saint Mungo. It is said that he was the first Bishop of Glasgow. When you take the two names together as the early Christians did, then translate them from the Celtic, they say the names as ‘High Lord' or ‘Dear Friend' There is a traditional Glasgow story about Saint Mungo which incorporates the Cities Coat of Arms, it is: ‘There's a tree that never grew, there's the bell that never rang, there's the fish that never swam, and there's the bird that never flew. All the items in the Arms have stories attached to them.

Glasgow Coat of Arms
A lot of Mungo or Kentigerns work was in the Cumbria area, the Welsh speaking kingdom of South West Scotland . Mungo also travelled to Wales where he met with David who was to become the Welsh Patron Saint. He founded a Monastery at Llanelwy, now called St. Asaph after the bishop appointed by Kentigern to succeed him when he left to do more of his spiritual work. So although Kentigern was not born a Scot he is still a great example of Scottish Christianity. The picture of Glasgow Coat of Arms is topped with an image of Saint Kentigern.
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Kidd, William (1645-1701)

Captain William Kidd, the very name stirs up distant memories of pirate ships and buried treasure, every school boys dream. Kidd was the most famous pirate ever to come out of Scotland where he was born in the year 1645, in the town of Greenock , Renfrewshire.

Captain Kidd was the role model for all pirates, with swashbuckling accounts of his exploits, in his search for plunder on the high seas. Kidd had started of as a legitimate Privateer in the pay of the British government where he had been expected to attack and salvage French ships, mainly of the islands of the West Indies , and the North American coast. Kidd decided that his future lay in another form of salvaging vessels and duly turned pirate.

William Kidd
He was fortunate enough to capture a fine ship named, Quedagh, which was a merchant vessel. He took his prize and stripped and sold her for another ship to replace his own ancient hulk. He then set sail in his new ship, the ‘Antonio' Unfortunately for Kidd he was arrested by Governor Belmont at new York where he was sent to England to face a Charge of Murder. He was found guilty and hanged in the year 1701. A truly infamous Scotsman.
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Knox, John (1514-1572)

John Knox was undoubtedly the most senior figure in Scotland's religious Reformation. Knox had studied for the Catholic Priesthood. He had a great influence in the setting up and structuring of the Church of Scotland and this system has been mirrored in the way Scotland was governed in a political sense.

Lowland Scotland was just waiting for someone like John Knox to come along. Here it was fertile ground for his famous speeches and this was also where the commerce lay in the country. He had a captive audience with plenty of opinions against the Catholic Church of that time, and this area was more open to English influence because of the coming and going of so many English merchants and political figures.

John Knox
Knox heard about the martyrdom of Patrick Hamilton in St. Andrews and bled plenty of political and religious propaganda from that bestial act. Bishop Beaton had ordered Hamilton 's death and in the process killed the Catholic Church as a force in Scotland at that time. Beaton helped the Protestant cause more than Knox could ever have done. John Knox carried with him a huge two handed sword and was a zealot in his conversion of the masses to the Protestant religion. This became known as the ‘Rough Wooing' after much trouble in Scotland Knox spent some years as a slave on a ship, on the orders of Henry VIII. Knox on his release had lost none of his enthusiasm and carried on as before in his religious quest for a Protestant Scotland. A remarkable Scotsman.

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© Crann Tara 2006