Scots 18th century medical students were permitted to pay their tuition fees in corpses
The godfather of American science-fiction was born in Cupar, Fife. Robert Duncan Milne emigrated to California in around 1864 and wrote over 60 futuristic stories.
Dumfries-born superstar DJ Calvin Harris grew a beard in an attempt to win a Grammy. He thought the facial hair would give him the clout to secure a nomination in the producer category. It worked to a certain extent – he was nominated but didn’t win.
The lyrics for Last Night of the Proms classic Rule Britannia and English rugby anthem Abide With Me were both written by Scots. Anglican minister Henry Francis Lyte wrote Abide With Me only weeks before his death while James Thomson – whose name is on the Scott Monument – wrote Rule Britannia.
Muriel Spark got her inspiration from using notebooks from one specific Edinburgh stationers. She ordered James Thin’s 72-page Bothwell spiral notebooks in bulk.
Alexander Hamilton, one of the US founding fathers, was third cousin 14 times removed to Sir William Wallace
Muhammad Ali once fought at Paisley Ice Rink – and got booed! It was back in 1965 when Ali, then known as Cassius Clay, fought Jimmy Ellis in an exhibition bout. The crowd were unimpressed by his performance.
Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau’s great-grandfather, James George Sinclair, left Banffshire for British Columbia after being threatened with the jail for fishing in the local laird’s stream.
Borders-born botanist, Robert Fortune stole Chinese tea-making secrets by disguising himself as a native. He even owned a fake pigtail.
The 10th Duke of Hamilton, Alexander Douglas, paid £11,000 for the ornate ancient tomb of an Egyptian princess. It wasn’t until he died in 1852 that it was discovered he was far too tall to fit inside it. There was only one solution – his feet were cut off and placed beside him.
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James Cosmo’s father wrote the classic Scots song, For These Are My Mountains. The Game Of Thrones and Braveheart star’s dad was actor James Copeland.