Famous People from Hamilton

Hamilton is a relatively small town, however, the list of famous people some of which gained an international fame is quite long. Here are only a few people who made Hamilton more recognizable both in Britain and abroad.

William Cullen William Cullen (1710-1790). Physician, chemist and of the most respected professors at the Edinburgh Medical School as well as the leading figure in the Scottish Enlightenment was one of the most famous Hamilton’s residents. He has profoundly influenced his students many of whom became important historical figures themselves. Some of his best known students were John Coakley Lettsom (founder of the Medical Society of London), John Morgan (founder of the first medical school in the Colonial America), William Withering (discoverer of digitalis) and Benjamin Rush (signatory of the United States Declaration of Independence). William Cullen also written many influential medical textbooks. In 1773, he became the President of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh and First Physician to the King in Scotland.
Joanna Baillie Joana Baillie (1762-1851). The Scottish poet and dramatist was among the very few female authors who achieved fame and admiration during their lifetime. She has written five poetry collections and eleven plays. Her most famous work is Plays on the Passions. She was born in Bothwell, Lanarkshire but her family moved to Hamilton in 1769.
Matthew Baillie Matthew Baillie (1761-1823). Joana Baillie’s brother was a physician and pathologists who published the first systematic study of pathology titled The Morbid Anatomy of Some of the Most Important Parts of the Human Body in 1783.
Sir Henry Lauder Sir Henry Lauder (1870-1950). The internationally famous Scottish entertainer whom Sir Winston Churchill described as “Scotland’s greatest ever ambassador” was not born in Hamilton but he spent his early life working in mines around Hamilton. He started his entertainment career earning five shilling per night but by 1911, he was earning $1,000 a night. He was knighted in 1919 for raising 1 million pounds for World War I soldiers.
Hellen Gordon Helen Orr Gordon (born 1934). Swimmer who came to be known as Elenor Gordon is one of the most successful Scottish swimmers. She has a bronze medal from the 1952 Olympic Games in 200 metres breaststroke, and three gold medals and one bronze medal from the British Empire and Commonwealth Games.
Walter McGowan Walter McGowan (born 1942). The former WBC world flyweight champion was born in Hamilton. He started his career as a professional boxer in 1961 when he won George McDade in Glasgow. By 1965, he was the WBC world flyweight champion becoming the first Scot to hold the world boxing championship.
Martin Boyce Sculpture Martin Boyce (born 1967). The 2011 Turner Prize winner is famous for his sculptures which are influenced by the early 20th century modernism. He convinced the jury at Tate Britain with his sculpture Do Words Have Voices. Martin Boyce became the third Turner Prize winner to be either educated or raised in Glasgow.