BLAIR, James (?1788-1841), of 12 Devonshire Place, Mdx. and Penninghame House, Wigtown.
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Family and Education
b. ?1788, o.s. of John Blair of co. Down. m. 27 Dec. 1815, Elizabeth Catherine, da. of Lt.-Gen. Hon. Edward Stopford*, s.p.
Blair’s family seem to have migrated from Perthshire to county Down. His father’s brother, Lambert Blair, who resided at Courtland, near Exmouth, possessed sugar and cotton plantations in Berbice, Demerara and Surinam, to which James became coheir with his cousin John MacEamon, who had managed them, on Lambert Blair’s death in 1815. In the same year he married his late uncle’s sister-in-law. Dying without issue, he left the estates in South America, as well as those he had acquired in Ulster and Scotland to her family, the Stopfords.
Blair entered Parliament with the West India planters’ interests in mind; his only known speeches, both after 1820, were in their defence. He purchased his first seat in 1818 on the interest of James Buller II*. Buller seems to have permitted Michael George Prendergast*, who had purchased a life interest in the seat, to sub-let it to Blair for that Parliament. In 1820 he had to look elsewhere. He gave a general support to administration: he voted with the majority against Tierney’s censure motion, 18 May 1819. In subsequent Parliaments he followed the same line. Blair died 9 Sept. 1841, aged 53.
Gent Mag. (1841), ii. 547; PCC 65 Pakenham (one of Lambert Blair’s executors was John Stewart II*); PCC 1841, f. 728; L.J. Ragatz, Fall of the Planter Class in the British Caribbean 1763-1833, p. 52.