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Men Who Flourished In Other Places In The Past


David Gregory

Gregory was born at Drumoak, Aberdeenshire, on 20 December 1625, the second-eldest son of John Gregorie, who was minister there. His maternal grandfather was talented in medicine and mathematics and his younger brother James designed the Gregorian telescope. His father sent him to the Netherlands to be a herring trader but he was never keen and returned to Aberdeen to concentrate on his interest in science and literature. In 1664 he inherited Kinnairdy Castle. In 1671 his wife Jean died having borne him fifteen children and a few months later and he married Isabel Gordon who was to bear him a further fourteen children. Twenty of his children reached adulthood and three became professors of mathematics at Oxford, Edinburgh and St Andrews.

At Kinnairdy Gregory helped the local people by giving free medical advice and by using his barometer (the only one in the area) to advise farmers of when to sow and harvest. After passing the estate to his son David in 1690, Gregory and his wife retired to Aberdeen, where he designed a prototype cannon which was passed to Isaac Newton. He, however, advised that it should be destroyed because it would be “destructive to the human species” and no records or details have survived. Gregory died in 1720 aged 95 years.

General Alexander Gordon

 At the end of the 17th Century Peter the Great, Tsar of Russia, began to modernise his army and looked abroad for advice. Alexander Gordon III of Auchintoul, born in 1669, was one of many Scots soldiers who fought in the Russian army at that time, joining in 1696. He rose to the rank of Major-General before returning to Auchintoul on the death of his father.

Marnoch Kirkyard
He fought on the Jacobite side in the 1715 Rebellion then hid in the Highlands until he escaped to France in 1717. He was included among those charged with treason but, because he was listed in error as Thomas, he did not lose his estates. In 1727 he returned to Scotland took no part in the 1745 Rebellion. Gordon died in 1751 and was buried in Marnoch Kirkyard.

William Gordon Stables

William Gordon Stables was born in Aberchirder in 1837.  He initially served as a surgeon in the Royal Navy and wrote over 130 books, largely boys’ adventure fiction. In 1884 he commissioned a “gentleman’s caravan” – The Wanderer – travelling the length and breadth of Britain. Stables well earned his title as the ‘Father of Leisure Caravanning’.

William Gordon Stables

See more about Dr William Gordon Stables exciting life and his connection with the popular UK Caravan Club today on our site here.

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