James Hunter-Blair (1741 - 1787)

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Death: Died
Managed by: Alisdair Smyth
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About James Hunter-Blair

Wikipedia Biographical Summary

"Sir James Hunter Blair, 1st Baronet FRSE (February 1741 – 1 July 1787) was a Scottish banker, landowner and politician.

Born John Hunter, the son of an Ayr merchant, he became a banker in the banking company of Sir William Forbes, and acquired the estate of Robertland. On marrying Jean Blair, the daughter and heiress of John Blair of Dunskey in Wigtownshire in 1770, the family name became Hunter Blair when she inherited her father's estate in 1777. The two had 14 children.

Hunter Blair was Member of Parliament for Edinburgh from 1780 to 1784 and Lord Provost of Edinburgh in 1784. As Lord Provost, he carried through various reforms, including the beginning of work on rebuilding the University and the construction of the bridge over the Cowgate. The foundation stone of this bridge was laid by Lord Haddo, as Grand Master Mason of Scotland in 1785, after Parliament had passed an Act giving permission for the plans to be executed. Blair was knighted and created a baronet the following year, in 1786.

Hunter Blair cordially received Robert Burns when the poet first arrived in Edinburgh. On Hunter Blair's death, Burns drafted a somewhat stilted elegy, beginning: 'The lamp of day, with ill-presaging glare', which extols rather laboriously Blair's public virtues. Burns called it 'just mediocre', but Ferguson describes it, justifiably as 'the disastrous Elegy on the Death of Sir James Hunter Blair'. Hunter Blair was an enthusiastic Freemason. Hunter Square and Blair Street in Edinburgh are both named after him."

SOURCE: Wikipedia contributors, 'Sir James Hunter Blair, 1st Baronet', Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 17 March 2013, 19:57 UTC, <http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Sir_James_Hunter_Blair,_1st_Baronet&oldid=545038511> [accessed 10 April 2013]

Biographical Summary

"James Hunter-Blair, Lord Provost of Edinburgh, 2d s. of James Hunter, of Mainholm, and afterwards of Brownhill, both in co. Ayr, by Anne, da. and h. of William Cunninghame, of Brownhill, was b. Feb. 1740/1 ; was a merchant and banker in Edinburgh, took the name of Blaie after that of Hunter, about 1774, in consequence of his marriage ; acquired a large fortune as partner in the bank of " Sir William Forbes & Co.," Edinburgh ; was King's Printer and Stationer [S.] ; M.P. for Edinburgh, Oct. 1781 to 1784 ; Lord Provost in or before 1786, and was cr. a Baronet, 27 June 1786. He m. in 1770, Jane, sister and (in 1774) heir of David Blair, only da. of John Blair, of Dunskey, co. Wigton, by Anne, sister and coheir of David, 10th Earl of Cassillis [S.], da. of Sir Thomas Kennedy, 4th Baronet [S. 1682]. He d. 1 July 1787, aged 46. Will pr. Oct. 1787. His widow d. 2 Feb. 1817. Admon. May 1818."

SOURCE: Complete baronetage; Cokayne, George E. (George Edward); 1906; Vol. V; page 257

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Sir James Hunter Blair, 1st Baronet of Dunskey's Timeline

February, 1741
Age 28
Age 30
October 3, 1778
Age 37
Edinburgh, Midlothian, Scotland
July 1, 1787
Age 46