St Marys Wynd
|Motto||Radicem Firmant Frondes (from the roots comes strength)|
|Rector||Mr A Tuffery|
There is no definitive date for the founding of the Grammar School that, over time, evolved into today's Kirkcudbright Academy. It is possible that the Grammar School owes its origin to the Church of Scotland's 1560 First Book of Discipline that set out a plan for a school in every parish in Scotland. This plan was not universally successful due to financial limitations but it did result in the creation of some grammar schools in the following years. However, the Grammar School may even have existed in some form prior to this date as there were also cases of pre-existing schools being turned into reformed grammar schools by this initiative. The earliest actual evidence of its existence are Council Records that state that on 6 June 1582, the Magistrates and Council "appoint William Turner, schoolmaster, to teach the grammar school, with salary of 50 merks, to be paid quarterly - viz., Candlemas, Beltane, Lammas, and Hallowe'en - and they to find him a sufficient schoolhouse, mail free."
The Grammar School stood on the grounds of St. Andrew's Church, the site of the present Roman Catholic Church, which was given to the burgh by Sir Thomas M'Lellan (the Provost) for the Freres Kirk and orchards, on which site he built his castle, the present ruin.
The school at this time was supported by a combination of kirk funds, contributions from the burgh council and charging parents fees. Education was focussed on the classics but it is possible that other subjects such as French and catechism were taught. It is recorded that pupils, many of whom were boarders, came from a much wider area of Scotland and England with records of a concentration coming from Liverpool and its surrounding areas.
In 1815, the Grammar School amalgamated with two other schools, the English School and the Commercial School to form the Academy of Kirkcudbright. This consolidated school needed more accommodation and so it moved to a new building on the current site in 1818. The accommodation initially consisted of three large class rooms entered from a spacious porch.
An interesting insight into education in the newly formed Academy in 1843 was provided by the Church of Scotland’s New Statistical Account of Scotland which provided a review of every Scottish Parish. It reports that “The Grammar, the Commercial, and the English schools, are united, and form the Academy of Kirkcudbright. This institution is under the patronage of the magistrates and town-council, and the salaries of the masters are paid by the burgh. There are nearly 200 pupils constantly attending the academy, and the fees for one branch of education vary from 2s. to 7s. 6d. per quarter. In the classical departments are taught Latin, Greek, and French, with ancient geography, &c. Attached to the grammar school is a library consisting of between 300 and 400 volumes of useful literature. It was instituted by the present master in 1837. The teacher of the grammar school is allowed a yearly salary of L.50; and he realizes by fees about L.60. In the commercial department are taught mathematics, navigation, geography, book-keeping, arithmetic, writing, &c. The teacher receives a salary of L.50; and his annual fees amount to about L.90. The master of the English school has a yearly salary of L.40; and his fees on an average amount to L.60. In this class are taught history, geography, composition, and the principles of the English language. The Academy of Kirkcudbright has long maintained a high reputation."
With the passing of the Education (Scotland) Act 1872, the Academy came under the management of the newly created Kirkcudbright School Board. This Act brought in compulsory education for all children between 5 and 13 in Scotland although fees still had to be paid until 1890.
The next 2 major developments occurred in 1901: the first was the minimum school leaving age was raised to 14; the second resulted from the Kirkcudbright School Board's decision to raise the Academy to the rank of a secondary school. In order to achieve this the school needed to create science and art departments so during 1901 an entire reconstruction of the school was carried out to provide those departments with properly equipped accommodation. The only parts of the original building left after this work were the front portions of the south and north wings.
This accommodation was subsequently substantially remodelled in 1926 which resulted in the Old School building that exists today. A series of subsequent extensions in the second half of the 20th Century have resulted in the newer buildings built to the West.
- Jennie Adamson, former Labour MP, Junior Minister and Labour Party Chair
- Samuel Anderson (Australian settler) first settler in Westernport, Victoria
- Emma Baird, author 
- James Desmond Black, Lieutenant 2 Special Air Service who was wounded and captured during Operation Loyton in 1944 and was subsequently executed by the Gestapo aged 19 
- Professor Arthur Frederick Brown, former Professor of Physics and Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh
- Dr John Brown, former senior lecturer in history at Edinburgh University and mentor of former UK prime minister, Gordon Brown
- Katrina Bryan, actress
- Malcolm Caldwell, academic and Marxist writer, twice chair of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament
- Finlay Carson, Scottish Conservative Party MSP for the Galloway and West Dumfries constituency
- Robert Carson, leading expert on Roman coins, and Keeper of Coins and Medals at the British Museum from 1978 to 1983
- Edgar Corrie, Liverpool trader and anti-slavery campaigner. The company he formed in 1780 still trades as Corrie MacColl 
- John Corrie, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party politician, former MP & MEP and chief of Clan Corrie
- David Coulthard, former Formula One racing driver
- James Craik was Physician General (precursor of the Surgeon General) of the United States Army, and George Washington's personal physician and close friend.
- George Davidson, long serving former lifeboat coxwain who, over a 34 year tenure, saved over 50 lives
- John Duncan, Adventurer, explorer and author
- John Erskine, 1st Baron Erskine of Rerrick, banker, Governor of Northern Ireland
- Dr Maxwell Garthshore, Scottish physician and Fellow of the Royal Society
- Bazil Gordon, tobacco merchant who by the time of his death was believed to be America's richest man and its first ever millionaire
- Sir Robin Gray, former MP and 23rd Speaker of the House of Representatives New Zealand
- Haig Gordon, former TV reporter and presenter of Scotland Today
- Thomas Gordon, Scottish writer and Commonwealth man
- William Greggan, Olympian and Silver Medalist 1908 Games - Tug of War
- Julia Hamilton, author
- Thomas Henney MBE Scottish architect
- George Henry, Glasgow Boys Artist
- Edward Atkinson Hornel, painter
- Innes Ireland, former Formula One racing driver
- George Kerr politician
- David Lenox, American Revolutionary soldier who led the rescue of James Wilson, one of the Founding Fathers of the United States and a signatory of the Declaration of Independence. Following the Revolutionary War, President George Washington appointed Lenox to be the second U.S. Marshal for the District of Pennsylvania where he was instrumental in suppressing the Whiskey Rebellion. After Lenox left his position as Marshal, he served as Agent for the United States to the Court of St. James's. Later, he distinguished himself in commerce, banking and finance eventually becoming the second ever President of the Philadelphia Bank. One time owner of the historically significant Davis-Lenox House in Philadelphia.
- Robert Lenox, brother of David above, American businessman and property investor after whom the Lenox Hill neighborhood of Manhattan in New York City is named.
- Bert MacLachlan, former professional football player who played for Aston Villa, Aberdeen and Heart of Midlothian
- David MacMyn, former rugby union international, captain of the British and Irish Lions on the 1927 tour of Argentina, later a Selector for then President of the Scottish Rugby Union. He also practiced as a surgeon.
- John MacTaggart, poet, author and engineer 
- Bob McDougall, former professional football player who played for Liverpool FC
- Stafford McDowall, Professional rugby player with Glasgow Warriors
- Sir John McMichael, former Professor of Medicine at Hammersmith Hospital, London, Director of the British Postgraduate Medical Federation and a trustee of the Wellcome Trust
- James McMonies, former Canadian businessman and politician
- Alexander Manson FRSE physician based in Nottingham who pioneered the use of iodine in medicine
- Robert Milligan, Liberal Party politician and the first mayor of Bradford
- James R Minto, former pioneering educator and charity worker
- William Mouncey Artist
- Sir John Nairne, 1st Baronet, former Chief Cashier then Director of the Bank of England and a BBC Governor
- Sir Andrew Sloane, former policeman, detective on the Yorkshire Ripper case & Chief Constable of Strathclyde
- Arthur Smith former rugby union player winning 33 caps for Scotland including some as captain, twice selected to tour with the British and Irish Lions in 1955 & 1962 both times to South Africa and was the captain on the 1962 tour
- Jack G Smith, former assistant general manager with the Bank of Scotland
- James Smith, International Show Jumper 
- Samuel Smith, Liberal politician, former MP and co-founder of Edge Hill University
- Edward Telfair, American Revolutionary, three time Governor of the state of Georgia, member of the Continental Congress, and signatory to the Articles of Confederation.
- James Williamson Banker and politician in Australia
- Kathleen Wilson PhD OBE, Nurse turned academic who co-authored the defining textbook for healthcare students
- James Wolffe QC, is a senior Scottish lawyer who has served as Lord Advocate since 1 June 2016.
As a side note:
These mean that half of all the Scottish drivers who have ever won a Formula One race (50% - 2 out of 4) and a quarter of all the Scots who have ever captained the British and Irish Lions (25% - 2 out of 8) were pupils at Kirkcudbright Academy
- 1905-1906 Christian Jane Fergusson, artist
- ????-1985 William James McCulloch, long serving Head Janitor awarded the BEM on retiring
- 1973-74 George Thompson (Scottish National Party politician), taught french at the Academy then became SNP MP for Galloway 1974-79, after losing his seat he was ordained as a Roman Catholic priest and worked at Dalbeattie
- "Kirkcudbright Academy : Homepage" (PDF). Kirkcudbright.dumgal.sch.uk. Retrieved 2016-06-19.
- "Home page - Dumgal - Dumfries and Galloway Council". Archived from the original on March 5, 2016. Retrieved September 13, 2015.
- "Opening of Kirkcudbright Academy - 1926". Kirkcudbright.co. Retrieved 2016-06-19.
- "Arthur Frederick Brown : 2 September 1920 – 9 October 2014" (PDF). Royalsoced.org.uk. Retrieved 2016-06-19.
- Hello (2012-01-18). "Obituary: Dr John Brown, historian, academic and lecturer who inspired a former prime minister". The Scotsman. Retrieved 2016-06-19.
- "Finlay Carson for MSP - Finlay Carson for MSP for Galloway and West Dumfries". Finlaycarson.co.uk. Retrieved 2016-06-19.
- Joe Cribb. "Obituary: Robert Carson | Global". The Guardian. Retrieved 2016-06-19.
- "John Corrie | J A Corrie & Co". ZoomInfo.com. Retrieved 2016-06-19.
- "A VERY FAST LEARNER (From Herald Scotland)". Heraldscotland.com. 1994-10-25. Retrieved 2016-06-19.
- "George Davidson, lifeboat coxswain". The Scotsman. 2009-12-04. Retrieved 2016-06-19.
- "John Maxwell Erskine". Heritagearchives.rbs.com. 1980-12-15. Retrieved 2016-06-19.
- "Author Details : Julia Hamilton". Harpercollins.co.uk. Retrieved 2016-06-19.
- "Thomas Henney (From Herald Scotland)". Heraldscotland.com. 1998-02-28. Retrieved 2016-06-19.
- "Major David Lenox papers, 1782-1832". dla.library.upenn.edu.
- Bell, Kwebs - James. "Robert Lenox of Kirkcudbright and New York". www.kirkcudbright.co.
- http://www.biographi.ca/en/bio/mactaggart_john_6E.html. Missing or empty
- http://www.glasgowwarriors.org/glasgow-warriors/player/stafford-mcdowall. Missing or empty
- "Munks Roll Details for John (Sir) McMichael". Munksroll.rcplondon.ac.uk. Retrieved 2016-06-19.
- "Dr James R Minto (From Herald Scotland)". Heraldscotland.com. 1995-04-18. Retrieved 2016-06-19.
- "Sir Andrew Sloan". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 2016-06-19.
- "Obituary: Jack G Smith". The Scotsman. Retrieved 2016-06-19.
- Andrew Jones. 1972. The Politics of Reform 1884. P260
- "Obituary: Dr Kathleen Wilson OBE". The Scotsman. 2010-03-31. Retrieved 2016-06-19.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on April 2, 2015. Retrieved March 14, 2015.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)