Dr. Archibald Blair, Apothecary

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Dr. Archibald Blair, Apothecary's Geni Profile

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Dr Archibald Blair

Birthdate: (76)
Birthplace: Edinburgh, Midlothian, Scotland
Death: 1733 (72-80)
Williamsburg, Virginia
Place of Burial: Virginia, British Amercia
Immediate Family:

Son of Rev. Robert David Blair and Alvah Blair
Husband of Sarah Blair and Mary Blair
Father of John Blair; Sarah Harrison Blair and Elizabeth Bland Bolling
Brother of Reverend James Blair and William Blair

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About Dr. Archibald Blair, Apothecary

Emigrated from Scotland to the colony of Virginia.

Archibald Blair, a brother of the more famous James Blair, founder of the College of William and Mary. For an understanding of the place of Dr. Archibald Blair in the local community, we should recall his activities as a merchant and trader within the town. He was also an “apothecary” and is known to have practiced his semi-medical profession as surgeon and physician. 


The Rev. Archibald Blair immigrated from Banffshireby 1690. He attended the University of Edinburgh in 1685. Owned one of the first drugstores in America - an apothecary shop in Williamsburg, Va. SOURCES: The History of the Blair, Banister and Braxton Families, Before and After the Revolution, with a Brief Sketch of Their Descendants, by Frederick Horner; Library, college of William and Mary. James Blair of Virginia, by Parke Rouse, Jr., University of N.C. Press, 1971. William and Mary Quarterly; Vol. V; p. 280. Colonial Families of the southern States of America, by Hardy; p. 72.

In an old official guidebook and map of Williamsburg (1973) there appears the following: Archibald Blair House, Intersection of North England Street. This property was acquired in 1716 by Dr. Archibald Blair. The frame house, a full two stories with no dormers in the roof, was erected in mid-century. It has now been restored. On each floor there are two rooms on either side of a central hall, each room with a generous corner fireplace. Although the front porch is later in date than the house, it was retained because of its architectural appeal.

Dr. Blair was a Scottish physician who emigrated to Virginia in 1690, perhaps because of the position and influence of his brother, Rev. James Blair, at that time commissary in Virginia of the Bishop of London and subsequently founder and first president of the College of William and Mary. Archibald Blair supplemented the practice of medicine with the pursuits of commerce and conducted a business described by Governor Spotswood in 1718 as "one of the most considerable Trading Stores in this Country."

Blair was for many years a vestryman of Bruton Parish Church and a Burgess for Jamestown. He died in 1733, and the house later became the property of John Randolph "The Tory" who sold it to Dr. Peter Hay in 1763. Eight years later it was recovered by Archibald's son John, and eventually passed to his son. Dr. James Blair, a physician. During the Revolution it was occupied briefly by James Madison, President of the College of William and Mary and later first Episcopalian Bishop of Virginia. Privately occupied. Some genealogies show his wife as Mary Wilson ( b. Oct 1675 Elizabeth City,VA - d. 11 Jan 1740/41 "Blunt Point",Warwick,VA)

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Dr. Archibald Blair, Apothecary's Timeline

Edinburgh, Midlothian, Scotland
Age 30
Williamsburg, Virginia
Age 43
Williamsburg, James, Virginia, USA
April 4, 1712
Age 55
Williamsburg, James, Virginia
Age 76
Williamsburg, Virginia
Age 76
Virginia, British Amercia