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Robert Blair


(Lord Avontoun)

1741 - 1811

Jurist. Born at Athelstaneford, the third son of another Robert Blair (1699 - 1746) who was parish minister there, but is better known as a poet. Blair was educated in Haddington and then at the Old High School of Edinburgh, where he met Henry Dundas, later Viscount Melville (1742 - 1811), whose assisted Blair in his career. Blair then studied law at the University of Edinburgh. He was admitted as an Advocate in 1764. Blair served as Solicitor General for Scotland (1789 - 1806), Dean of the Faculty of Advocates (1801-08) and Lord President of the Court of Session from 1808 until his death. He built a mansion on the estate of Avontoun near Linlithgow and took the title Lord Avontoun.

His friend Dundas took ill at Blair's funeral and died a few days later.


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