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.

Hunter 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. He was a founding fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 1783. Hunter 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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