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Raeburn, Sir Henry
Ramsay, Allan
Ramsay, Allan
Reid , Thomas
Rennie, John
Renwick, James
Richardson, Sir John
Ross, Sir John
Ross, John


Heroes & Famous Scots (R)


RAEBURN, SIR HENRY (1756-1823)

John Dewar and Sons, well-known Scotch whisky distiller, have in the collection a painting of a Highland chief, "The NcNab," showing us a romantic, shortbread tin image, idealized portrait of a Scottish Laird. It was painted by Henry Raeburn, who was born at Stockbridge, near Edinburgh, perhaps the most famous of all Scots artists. Raeburn was mostly self-taught, but heavily influenced by such English artists as Sir Joshua Reynold, who had studied in France ; Raeburn produced many startling portraits of the old Highland families for the rapidly expanding mercantile and professional classes of Edinburgh, who were anxious to preserve their ancient Scottish heritage around the turn of the century. Raeburn was elected to the Royal Academy in the year of 1815, after he had been President of the Edinburgh Society of Artists. His other well-known paintings include "Viscount Thurso," "Lord Newton" and "Mrs. James Campbell."

Henry Raeburn was a great painter and a very good example of Scottish talent.

Sir Henry Raeburn
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RAMSAY, ALLAN (1686-1758)

Allan Ramsay, was born in Leadhills, Lanarkshire, he was a poet and literary antiquary who maintained Scotland's poetic traditions by not only writing poetry in the original Scots, but also by preserving the work of earlier Scottish poets such as the famous Robert Henryson, William Dunbar and others. Robert Burns, was known to have read his work and to have been tremendously influenced by the passion and the ordinary Scots language that Ramsay always used, Burns thought that Allan Ramsay's work was the most important poetry ever written in Scotland, for it was produced during a time when most Scottish poetry was becoming heavily Anglicised, especially in Lowland Scotland.

Allan Ramsay
His output of verse was prolific when it suited him, and was modelled on classical styles and traditional metrical patterns, his lilting phrase made full use of the Scots dialect. Ramsay was also a wig maker and he was to help found the Easy Club' , which was a Jacobite literary society.
In the year of 1721, Allan Ramsay produced an edition of his poetry, with a second volume appearing seven years later. His pastoral comedy, The Gentle Shepherds' in the year 1725, in the Scots language, was turned into a ballad opera in the year 1729. His Fables and Tales' covering the years, 1722-30, included versions of French writers La Fontaine and La Motte turned into Scots, and his collection of old songs, poems and aphorisms were published in The Teatable Miscellany' with three volumes between the years1724-37 and Scots Proverbs in 1737. He was truly a great poet and a patriotic Jacobite, who wanted to see the Stewart Family back in its rightful place. He was undoubtedly an amazing Scottish patriot.
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RAMSAY, ALLAN (1713-1784)

Allan Ramsay, the name would most probably be better known in the literary world as that of the famous Scottish Jacobite Poet, but this name refers to his son who was not a poet but an artist. He was born in the Capital City of Scotland , Edinburgh with its famous castle steeped in Scotland's history. Sir Henry Raeburn and Ramsay jockeyed for the spot of foremost Scottish artist unlike the mostly self-taught Raeburn, however, Ramsay was well tutored in his craft, having studied in London and Italy before settling in London to produce his portraits, mainly of royalty.

Flora MacDonald
His paintings, exemplified in "Dr. Mead," anticipated the work of Sir Joshua Reynolds. Praised by Dr. Samuel Johnson himself, Ramsay devoted his later years to painting royal portraits for hanging in government buildings. Although he spent many years in England Allan Ramsay junior was very much a Scot at heart. He had inherited his father's passion for the Jacobite Struggle for Truth and Justice and was a great patriotic Scot.The picture is one he painted of Flora MacDonald the great Jacobite Heroine who helped save the life of Bonnie Prince Charlie after the defeat at Culloden.
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REID, THOMAS (1710-1796)

Thomas Reid, was from Strachan, Kincardineshire, much of his work is overshadowed by fellow Scots philosopher David Hume, whose scepticism Reid tried to counteract. Thomas Reid, who was also a Presbyterian minister as well as a university lecturer, was one of those who argued in favour of a "philosophy of common sense." His first critique of Hume, An Inquiry into the Human Mind on the Principles of Common Sense in the year of 1764, was favourably received in British philosophical circles, not quite ready for Hume's radically disquieting theories.

Thomas Reid
Reid argued that human behaviour and the use of language is more than enough evidence to support such truths as the existence of a material world and the retention of personal identity in the face of continuous change. He particularly found fault with Hume's notions of perception, that ideas are the direct object of the mind's awareness. Reid introduced the rather ambiguous idea that sensations "suggest" material objects.
Reid's thinking, which has had a strong influence on British philosophers of the present century, is found in Essays on the Intellectual Powers of Man (first published in 1785, but reissued in 1941) and Essays on the Active Power of Man (1788). Books about him include Thomas Reid: Works (ed. Hamilton and Mansel (1846-63), A.C. Fraser, Thomas Reid (1898); O.M. Jones, Empiricism and Intuitionism in Reid's Common Sense Philosophy, (1927); and M.F. Sciacca, La filosofia di Tommaso Reid (1963).
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RENNIE, JOHN (1761-1821)

John Rennie was from Phantassie, East Lothian , he was one of the outstanding engineers at the end of the eighteenth century and the beginning of the nineteenth century. He built a harbour on the canal which runs from Maryhill in Glasgow , which also incorporated a dry dock. In addition to building and improving a network of canals throughout Scotland and England , he also built bridges, docks, locks, harbours including three crossings across the Famous River Thames at London . Rennie also supervised extensive drainage projects in the Fens of Lincolnshire.

John Rennie
Rennie's London bridges were the Waterloo, with its three cast iron arches; the new London Bridge of 1831, which was to be completed by his son George who continued the prestigious family engineering firm which can now be found intact in Havasu City, Arizona, United states of America and the Southwark Bridge , in the years 1814-1819. Rennie's work is found all over Britain , especially in harbours and docks. He was a great builder and engineer and deserves the title Great Scot.
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RENWICK, JAMES (1662-1688)

James Renwick, from Moniaive, Dumfries , was a very brave Scot of amazing personal conviction. He was hanged at the Capital City of Edinburgh, thus staking his claim to fame as the last of the prominent Covenanter martyrs of Scotland .

James Renwick
His adherence to the perpetual obligation of the covenants of 1638 and 1643 had him declared a rebel by the Privy Council. In 1684, Renwick was largely responsible for the "apologetical declaration" by which he and his followers disowned the authority of King Charles II; the Council ordered it repudiated on pain of death. Renwick continued to preach; meeting illegally in the fields with his fellow Renwickites, after the declaration of indulgence allowed some liberty of worship to the Presbyterians. He was hanged for disowning the royal authority, and met his death bravely after refusing a pardon. He was an amazing person who had both personal courage and a great belief in his faith. He went to a martyrs death praising his religion and his chosen god.
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Sir John Richardson, from the town of Dumfries , near the Scottish border, was a naval surgeon and naturalist, who made accurate surveys of more of the Canadian Arctic coast than any other explorer of that particular time. The history of the exploration of Canada is saturated with the names of the Scottish explorers who charted these lands. Richardson 's long career in the Royal Navy, where he rose from assistant surgeon to inspector of hospitals and fleets, put him in the teeth of battle at Copenhagen , the blockade of the Tagus and in many other naval operations.

Reward Poster
Sir John Franklin's first overland expedition to the Canadian Arctic in the year of 1819-22, saw Richardson give his service to Canada's future when he was asked, and agreed to be surgeon and naturalist on the arduous trip.
Richardson wrote important works in many fields in natural history, specializing in Arctic biology and general ichthyology. He gained much of his knowledge in the second Franklin expedition serving as second in command and surveying some nine hundred miles of Frozen Canadian Arctic coast. With John Rae in the year of 1848 he then made an overland journey to search for the third Franklin expedition, lost somewhere in the frozen Arctic wilds. Though he found no trace of Franklin , he made valuable surveys of the region between the MacKenzie estuary and Cape Kendall . He was a true adventurer like the many Scottish people before him who had given their own life for the new country which they now lived in. Richardson was without doubt a brave Scotsman.This picture depicts a reward poster which was made to help with finding the missing Sir John Franklin.
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ROSS, SIR JOHN (1777-1856)

John Ross was from Inch,Balsarroch, Wigtownshire, His name can be added to those of the other Scotsmen who did so much to inform the world of northern Canada and the Arctic . Ross's expeditions in search of the Northwest Passage , the waterway linking the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans , led to the location of the north magnetic pole which was amazingly discovered by his nephew James Clark Ross, and to important contributions to the fangled oceanography. This new science was sweeping the world and it was contributing to making the world if not a smaller place, easier to move about in and accurately know where you were and what the terrain was likely to be..

SirJohn Ross
In the year of 1833, John Ross, and his expedition were rescued from the ice where they had been imprisoned and their ship lost. His third expedition to the Canadian Arctic was to try to find Sir John Franklin and his crew. Ross's accounts include Narrative of a Second Voyage in Search of a Northwest Passage , published in 1835. He was a very brave man who fought against the most severe environment on earth for the good of his fellow man. He was indeed a great Scotsman.
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ROSS, JOHN (1790-1866)

Although not physically born in Scotland this person could not be omitted from a list of famous Scots. Both Scotland and the Cherokee Nation can claim as one of its illustrious sons John Ross, a famous Cherokee chief. John Ross was born of a Scottish father and an Indian mother near Lookout Mountain , Tennessee , John grew up as an Indian though he did attend Kingston Academy . He married a full-blooded Cherokee and was able to bridge the severe gap between the cultures of the white settler and the native Indian; he actually spoke the language of Scotland and the Native American tongue of his people there.

John Ross
John Ross was to become the leader of the Great Cherokee Nation, who fought against their deposition west by white settlers seeking to take over their long-held tribal territory. From 1819 to 1826, he served as president of the National Council of the Cherokees, helping expose the nefarious schemes of those who would settle on prime Cherokee land through bribery. There were also those who thought it was there god given right to just take what land they required because they were white and the natives were not. John Ross was later elected as principal chief of the Cherokee Nation, suffering imprisonment for his attempts to help his beleaguered people. He was fighting for freedom much like his forefathers in Scotland had fought for theirs only to have it torn from their grasp in 1707 by William II of orange and a mass of English Gold.
It would seem that Ross's military service under General Andrew Jackson in the Creek War of 1813 -14 would have stood him in good stead when Jackson became President of the United States in the year of 1828. Sadly, his heroic efforts and impassioned pleas were ignored by Congress and the President (who obviously did not reward or appreciate loyalty) and in 1830, under the Indian Removal Act; Ross had to lead his people on their forced evacuation to an area of unfertile barren land in what later became part of Oklahoma . There in 1839 following their settlement after the notorious "trail of tears," the blue-eyed, fair-skinned Scottish Cherokee helped write a constitution for the United Cherokee Nation. John Ross was a great Native American and undoubtedly a Great Scottish Hero.

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