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Sir James Hunter Blair


1741 - 1787

Politician and banker. Son of an Ayr merchant, James Hunter adopted the name 'Blair' after marrying Jean Blair, a wealthy heiress.

Blair was Member of Parliament for Edinburgh (1780-4) and the Lord Provost of the City (1784). He began the work of rebuilding the University and the construction of the South Bridge. Blair was knighted in 1786, but died the following year leaving 14 children. Robert Burns (1759-96) wrote a mediocre eulogy on Blair's life and works.

Blair Street and Hunter Square in Edinburgh are named after him.


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