7 Scottish-born British prime ministers

Which British leaders were born north of the border?

According to the Londonist, eighteen prime ministers were born in central London, none in Wales and seven in Scotland. Just one prime minister was born outside the British Isles: Bonar Law was born in New Brunswick, Canada.

So which PMs were born in Scotland?

1. John Stuart

Stuart, or Lord Bute, was one of Britain’s shortest-serving prime ministers lasting just shy of a year in power between May 1762 and April 1763. He was born in Edinburgh and also served as Leader of the House of Lords.

2. George Hamilton-Gordon

Hamilton-Gordon also known as the Earl of Aberdeen was of course born in Scotland. Where? In Aberdeen? No, in fact Hamilton-Gordon was born in Edinburgh in 1784. He served as a Peelite prime minister between 1852 and 1855.

The Viscount Palmerston, who also served as prime minister, served as Hamilton-Gordon’s Home Secretary.

3. Arthur Balfour

This former Conservative prime minister was born in East Lothian, next to Edinburgh, and also served as Scottish Secretary, but represented a English variety of seats during his time in parliament. He served as British prime minister from 1902 to 1905, taking over from Lord Salisbury who had won a massive majority in 1900.

4. Henry Campbell-Bannerman

Campbell-Bannerman was born in Glasgow in 1836 and served as a Liberal prime minister between 1905 and 1908. He won a landslide in 1906 election, but stepped down as prime minister due to illness two years later, paving the way for his chancellor, Herbert Asquith, to take the top job.

5. Ramsay MacDonald

Labour’s first ever prime minister was born in Lossiemouth in Morayshire in the north of Scotland. He briefly led a minority government in 1924 before returning to power in 1929 and leading the country right up until 1935.

6. Tony Blair

Blair represented the North-east English seat of Sedgefield between 1983 and 2007, but was born in Edinburgh. He also attended the Edinburgh independent school of Fettes when he was younger.

He was Labour’s fourth prime minister, serving between 1997 and 2007, winning three elections under the New Labour banner.

7. Gordon Brown

Brown is the most recent British prime minister to have hailed from Scotland. He was born in Giffnock, Renfrewshire, and represented the Fife constituency of Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath from 1983 – 2015. He served as Labour’s most recent prime minister between 2007 and 2010 following a decade-long spell as chancellor.

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