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Sir Alastair MacTavish Dunnett (26 December 1908 – 2 September 1998) was a Scottish journalist and newspaper editor. He edited The Daily Record newspaper for nine years and The Scotsman newspaper from 1956 to 1972. In 1975 he became chairman of Thomson Scottish Petroleum and was much involved in the establishment of the oil terminal at Flotta in Orkney. From the 1950s to the 1980s he was involved in many Scottish cultural activities including being governor of the Pitlochry Festival Theatre (1958–1984). He was awarded an honorary degree of LLD by the University of Strathclyde in 1978[1] and was knighted on 4 July 1995.[2]

Alastair Dunnett
Alastair MacTavish Dunnett

(1908-12-26)26 December 1908
Died2 September 1998(1998-09-02) (aged 89)
EducationHillhead High School to age 15
Known forJournalist and Newspaper editor
Spouse(s)Dorothy Dunnett
ChildrenNinian Dunnett
Mungo Dunnett

He published a book of short stories (Heard tell, 1947), a description of a kayaking voyage round the coast of Scotland (Quest by canoe, 1950, republished in 1969 as It's too late in the year and in 1996 as The canoe boys), several books on Scottish topics and an autobiography (Among friends, 1984).

Dunnett married Dorothy Halliday on 17 September 1946; as Dorothy Dunnett she was a celebrated artist and historical novelist, author of the Lymond Chronicles and The House of Niccolo. They had two sons, Ninian and Mungo.


  • as Sinclair, Duncan (1935). Treasure at Sonnach. Edinburgh: Nelson.[3]
  • Dunnett, Alastair (1947). Heard Tell. Edinburgh: Albyn Press.
  • Dunnett, Alastair (1950). Quest by canoe: Glasgow to Skye. London: G. Bell.
  • Dunnett, Alastair (1953). Land of Scotch being an account of the topography and history of Scotland with some mention of the products of that country. Edinburgh: A. Brown & sons for the Scotch Whisky Association.
    • Republished as: Dunnett, Alastair (1969). It's too late in the year, etc. Portway reprints. Bath: Cedric Chivers.
    • Republished as: Dunnett, Alastair (1995). The Canoe Boys: from the Clyde past the Cuillins. Glasgow: Neil Wilson. ISBN 1-897784-42-2.
  • Dunnett, Alastair (1960). The Donaldson Line: a century of shipping, 1854-1954. Glasgow: Jackson.
  • Dunnett, Alastair (editor) (1972). Alistair MacLean introduces Scotland. London: Deutsch. ISBN 0-233-96349-9.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
  • Dunnett, Alastair (1978). No thanks to the Duke. London: Cape. ISBN 0-224-01630-X.
  • Dunnett, Alastair (1984). Among friends: an autobiography. London: Century books. ISBN 0-7126-0932-6.
  • Dunnett, Dorothy; Alastair Dunnett (1988). The Scottish Highlands. Edinburgh: Mainstream. ISBN 1-85158-149-9.


  1. ^ University of Strathclyde Calendar 2006-07 (PDF). p. 287. Archived from the original (PDF) on 10 August 2007. Retrieved 13 March 2008.
  2. ^ "Honours and awards: Central Chancery of the Orders of Knighthood". London Gazette. 12 January 1996. Retrieved 13 March 2008.[dead link]
  3. ^ "Dorothy Dunnett - Bibliography - Related Items". Archived from the original on 6 October 2018. Retrieved 3 January 2019.


  • Linklater, Magnus (May 2005). "Alastair Dunnett". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Retrieved 12 March 2008.
Media offices
Preceded by
John Buchanan
Editor of The Scotsman
Succeeded by
Eric MacKay