James Blair

c.1788 - 1841

Politician and plantation-owner. Raised in Wigtownshire, to Scots-Irish parents, he inherited South American sugar and cotton plantations from his uncle in 1815 and, in the same year, he married Elizabeth Stopford. He purchased the Penninghame Estate in Wigtownshire in 1825. He bought seats in Parliament for the Saltash in Devon (1818), Aldeburgh in Suffolk (1820) and Minehead in Somerset (1826), primarily to defend his slave-owning interests. Following the abolition of slavery in 1833, Blair submitted one of the largest compensation claims and was awarded a vast sum. He was returned to Parliament briefly between 1837 and 1841 for Wigtownshire.

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