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Ayrshire - Famous People

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  • Sir Alexander Fleming, Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, 1945 (1881 - 1955)
    SIR ALEXANDER FLEMING (1881-1955) Scottish biologist, pharmacologist and botanist. His best-known discoveries are the enzyme lysozyme in 1923 and the antibiotic substance benzylpenicillin (Penicillin...
  • Sir Lord Stephen Lockhart (1132 - 1192)
    Founder the town of Stevenston, in Scotland, who also owned 120 acres of land in Ulster, Ireland. Biography It has been theorized that the origins of the Lockhart family were English who fled after Wil...
  • John Boyd Dunlop (1840 - 1921)
    Born into a farming family in Dreghorn in Ayrshire, John Boyd Dunlop was a veterinary surgeon by profession, having qualified at Edinburgh Veterinary College (now part of Edinburgh University ) when ...
  • Robert Burns (1759 - 1796)
    Robert Burns (25 January 1759 – 21 July 1796) (also known as Rabbie Burns, Scotland's favourite son, the Ploughman Poet, Robden of Solway Firth, the Bard of Ayrshire and in Scotland as simply The Bard)...
  • Robert I the Bruce, King of Scots (1274 - 1329)
    Robert I of Scotland Roibeard Brús Raibeart I na h-Alba Robert I av Skottland English Monarchs, The House of Bruce, Robert the Bruce

Famous People Connected to Ayrshire


Historic County of Scotland

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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