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BAIRD, Charles (1766-1843) Russia’s First Steamship Builder

Baird was born at Westerton, Stirlingshire. He served an apprenticeship at Carron Iron Works and in 1786 went to Russia. It was there in 1792 that he founded what became known as the Baird Works specialising in steam-driven machinery and in 1815 launched the Elizaveta, Russia’s first steamship.

BARCLAY de TOLLY, Michael Andreas (1761-1818) Russian Field Marshall & Minister of War.


A member of the Scottish Clan Barclay from Towie, Aberdeenshire. He was born in Lithuania  and raised in what is now Estonia. His grandfather became Mayor of Riga and his father was admitted into the ranks of the Russian nobility. A hugely successful military leader over many campaigns, his scorched-earth policy led to the eventual defeat of Napoleon in Russia. During the invasion of France in 1814 he took Paris and was made up to Field Marshall. At the end of that campaign was made a Russian prince.

CAMERON, Charles (1745-1812) Architect

Scottish pioneer of Greek revival with an illustrious career as Catherine II of Russia’s favourite architect.

FARKHVARSON (FARQUHARSON), Andrei Danilovich (1675-1739)

Henry (Harry) Farquharson was a Scottish mathematician and astronomer at the University of Aberdeen. At the start of the 18th century, he was employed by Peter the Great to establish and administer a mathematics and navigation school, principally for the Russian Navy. Under his guidance, and with his assistance, Tsar Peter wrote the curriculum for the school.

GORDON, Patrick (1635-1699) Imperial Russian Admiral and General-in-Chief Russian Army

Born in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, he rose to become general-in-chief of the Russian army under Peter the Great. Peter has been credited with dragging his country from medieval mediocrity to become a major European power. Few are aware however that Gordon was the driving force behind him.

GORDON,Thomas (c.1658-1741) Commodore Royal Scots Navy. Admiral and Commander-in-Chief Imperial Russian Navy

He was a commodore of the Royal Scots Navy when it merged with the Royal Navy. In 1714 he refused to swear an oath of allegiance to King George I on his succession to the throne, and resigned his commission. In 1717 he joined the Imperial Russian Navy and was promoted to admiral early in May 1727. Later that year he became Commander-in-Chief and remained in that position until his death in 1741.

GREIG, Aleksy Samuilovich (1775-1845) Admiral Imperial Russian Navy

He was the son of Admiral Samuel Greig and part of his education took place at the High School of Edinburgh. His naval career commenced with the Royal Navy 1785 to 1796. He then returned to Russia and joined the Imperial Russian Navy. In 1816 he was appointed Commander of the Black Sea Fleet, and by 1828 was in full command of the Russian Navy. In 1833 the Tsar asked him to superintend construction of the Pulkovo Observatory.

GREIG, Samuel FRS (1735-1788) Admiral of the Russian Empire.Imperial RN.

He was born in Inverkeithing, Fife, and spent some time the the Royal Navy, before transferring to its Russian counterpart. He spent much energy in transforming that navy into a disciplined and effective fighting force, and is sometimes referred to as Father of the modern Russian Navy.

HASTIE, William (c.1763-1832) Architect and Civil Engineer.

He was born and educated in Scotland and left for Russia in 1784 never to return. He became influential at court and was responsible for the design of many individual buildings throughout Russia. He built the first cast-iron bridges over rivers in St Petersburg and ultimately was playing a major part in most urban developments in Russia including villages and whole towns.

JONES, John Paul (1747-1792) Captain US Continental Navy

Born in the Stewartry of Kirkcudbright, Scotland, he was a Scottish sailor who settled in the United States and joined the Continental Navy, precursor to the US Navy, as it was being formed circa 1775. In 1776 he had the honour of hoisting the first US ensign over a naval vessel. He was a captain who relished a fight and did much to frustrate the British during the Revolutionary War. When peace ensued he joined the Imperial Russian Navy. He died in Paris in 1792, having been honoured by the French government, and was buried there in a small cemetery which gradually c hanged in use to become a garden, and his grave was lost. In 1905 the US Ambassador to France, found the grave after a five year search, and his coffin returned to America aboard the USS Brooklyn escorted by other USS vessels. His remains are now contained within a magnificent bronze and marble sarcophagus at the Naval Academy Chapel in Annapolis. He has been described as Father of the United States Navy.

LERMONTOV, Mikhail Yuryevich (1814-1841) Russia’s Leading Romantic Poet


Proud of his Scottish ancestry, he was descended from George Learmont, a Scottish mercenary who entered the Russian service with considerable success in the 17th century.

MACKENZIE, Thomas. (1740-1786) Admiral Imperial Russian Navy

Scottish admiral and founder of the vitally important Russian Black Sea naval base of Sevastapol in Ukraine.

MENELAWS, Adam (c1748-1831) Architect

Born in Scotland between 1748 and 1756, died in 1831 in Saint Petersburg, Russia. He was a Scottish architect and landscape designer who between 1784 and 1831 designed Russian Gothic Revival residences and their park-lands for senior members of the Russian establishment. He eventually became the first domestic architect of Nicholas I, in other words, the leading architect of the Russian Empire.

WYLIE, Sir James (1768-1854) Personal Physician to Three Tsars.

In the 18th century it was claimed with some justification that every pharmacy in Russia was run by a Scotsman. The most eminent of them must have been Wylie, born at Tulliallan, by Kincardine-on-Forth, Scotland and educated at Edinburgh and Aberdeen Universities. Apart from his royal duties he took part in over 50 battles and made major advances in Russian military medicine. He was so renowned in Russia that Leo Tolstoy included him in has major work War & Peace giving him the name Villier, the Russian spelling of his name.

Scottish Achievement, Influence & Heritage is a work in progress