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Ayrshire - Famous People

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  • William Murdock (1754 - 1839)
    William Murdock/Murdoch From Wikipedia: William Murdoch (sometimes spelled Murdock) (21 August 1754 – 15 November 1839) was a Scottish engineer and long-term inventor. Murdoch was employed...
  • John L. McAdam, Highway Engineer (1756 - 1836)
    John Loudon McAdam (September 21, 1756 – November 26, 1836) was a Scottish engineer and road-builder. He invented a new process, "macadamisation", for building roads with a smooth hard surface...
  • James N. McAdam "Colossus of Roads" (1786 - 1852)
    James Nicholl McAdam, the "Colossus of Roads", was knighted for managing turnpike trusts - a knighthood, it is said, previously offered to his father but declined. "McAdam's second surviving son,...
  • Robert III, King of Scots (1337 - 1406)
    Robert III "The Lame King" of the House of Stewart , King of Scots was born c. 1337 in Dundonald Castle, Kilmarnock, Ayrshire, Scotland . He died 4 April 1406 at Rothesay Castle, Isle of Bute, Scotla...
  • Robert II, King of Scots (1316 - 1390)
    Robert II, The Steward, King of Scots was born 2 March 1316. He died 19 April 1390 in Dundonald Castle in 1390 and lies buried at Scone Abbey. He was also known as Robert, High Steward of Scots and b...

Famous People Connected to Ayrshire - Scotland

Historic County

Image right - Robert Burns

Those people of note with connections to the county are listed below. Some of these connections are a little tenuous - counties like to lay claim to people of renown!

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  • James Boswell, Dr. Johnson's biographer, inherited estates at Auchinleck.
  • Major-General Sir Thomas Makdougall Brisbane, 1st Baronet 23 July 1773 – 27 January 1860. He was Governor of New South Wales, Australia 1821-1825. The city of Brisbane, then a new penal settlement, was named after him.
  • Marjorie Bruce, Princess of Scotland
  • Robert I the Bruce, King of Scots
  • Robert Burns (1759 - 1796) Born in Alloway in South Ayrshire in 1759, the son of a farmer, Scotland's national bard was the eldest of seven children. At this time Scotland was probably the most literate country in Europe and as a result Robert was well read and educated, despite regarding himself as a simple tenant farmer.


  • Robert Colquhoun. For a time, Kilmarnock-born artist Robert Colquhoun (1914 - 1962) was able to enjoy due recognition for his work but he was to die in relative obscurity in London. Whilst the people and landscape of Ayrshire remained an inspiration for his art throughout his career he chose to live in London, cutting himself off from his former life in pursuit of his art. As an excellent draughtsman and a prolific painter and printer of haunting and unsettling images, his contribution to post war art was on an international level.




  • Alexander Fleming. (1881-1955) Sir Alexander Fleming was born at Lochfield Farm near Darvel in Ayrshire, Scotland on August 6th, 1881. He attended Loudounmoor School, Darvel School, and Kilmarnock Academy before moving to London at the age of about 14 where he attended the Polytechnic.








  • James MacMillan Composer. Born 16 July at Kilwinning in Ayrshire, Scotland, son of a joiner and a teacher (later social worker)
  • James Nicholl McAdam (1786-1852) Builder and administer of roads - Macadamisation
  • John Loudon McAdam (1756 – 1836) engineer and road-builder who invented "macadamisation" for building roads with a smooth hard surface.




  • James Stuart Park - Artist - (1862-1933) was born on the 29th of April, 1862 in Kidderminster, Worcestershire. It is likely that his father worked in the carpet industry in Kidderminster, having moved from Catrine.





  • John Taylor - artist, born in Darvel, Ayrshire, in 1936. A graduate of Glasgow School of Art, he went on to become a prominent figure in the promotion of contemporary Scottish art in the 1960's, helping to co-found the New charing Cross Gallery, Glasgow in 1963. In 1978 he won the Colquhoun Memorial Award and his work can be found in many public and private collections in Scotland and England.




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