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William Blair


NationalityBritish 
RolesNaval Sailor 
Date of Birth1741 - Edinburgh ref:676
First Known Service1754CSORN
FatherDaniel Blairref:676
Last Known Service23.8.1781CSORN
Date of Death12.4.1782 - Battle of the SaintesBWAS-1714
Cause of DeathEnemy actionCSORN
Will Probated23.7.1782, PROB 11/1093/287

Event History


Date fromDate toEventSource
17541755Service as a merchant seamanADM 107/5
30.5.1760 Passed the Lieutenant's Examination ADM 107/5/248RNLPC
9.10.1760 Lieutenant ADM 6/19/201CSORN
14.10.17776.12.1777
Grafton (74) 1771-1816
British 74 Gun
3rd Rate Ship of the Line
, First Lieutenant ADM 6/21/324
ODNB
6.12.1777 CommanderCSORN
6.12.177718.4.1778
Wasp (8) 1749-1781
British 8 Gun
Unrated Sloop
, Commander and Commanding Officer
BWAS-1714
18.4.1778 Captain ADM 6/21/392CSORN
18.4.17784.5.1778
Albion (74) 1763-1797
British 74 Gun
3rd Rate Ship of the Line
, Captain and Commanding Officer ADM 6/21/392
ADM 6/21
4.5.177831.8.1779
Princess Royal (98) 1773-1807
British 98 Gun
2nd Rate Ship of the Line
, Captain and Commanding Officer ADM 6/21/400
BWAS-1714
6.7.1779 Battle of Grenada 
31.8.17798.3.1780
Nonsuch (64) 1774-1802
British 64 Gun
3rd Rate Ship of the Line
, Captain and Commanding Officer ADM 6/22/123
Issued by
Sir Peter Parker (1st Baronet of Bassingbourn)British
Naval Sailor
Service 1743-1799
, Jamaica
Confirmed 3.5.1780
ADM 6/22
2.3.178123.8.1781
Dolphin (44) 1781-1817
British 44 Gun
5th Rate Ship
, Captain and Commanding Officer ADM 6/22/257
BWAS-1714
5.8.1781 Battle of Dogger Bank 
23.8.178112.4.1782
Anson (64) 1781-1807
British 64 Gun
3rd Rate Ship of the Line
, Captain and Commanding Officer ADM 6/22/329
BWAS-1714
12.4.1782 Battle of the Saintes 

Notes on Officer


Early serviceODNB

Went to sea in merchant ships and, as surgeon's servant, able seaman, and midshipman, in the Windsor, Firebrand, Amazon, Aleide, Hussar, and Eolus, before passing his lieutenant's examination on 30 May 1760. From 9 October 1760 he served as lieutenant in the Grenado, Superb, Centurion, Salisbury, and Grafton, and then from 6 December 1777 commanded the sloop Wasp.


Biographyref:1059

BLAIR, WILLIAM (1741–1782), captain in the royal navy, was the son of Daniel Blair of Edinburgh, collaterally related to the Blairs of Balthayock. He became a lieutenant in the navy on 9 Oct. 1760, but did not attain his commander’s rank till 6 Dec. 1777. He was posted on 18 April 1778, and commanded the Dolphin, of 44 guns, in the stubborn battle on the Doggerbank, 5 Aug. 1781. Notwithstanding her small force, the exigencies of the case compelled the Dolphin to take her place in the line of battle. Blair's conduct was worthy of the distinction thrust upon him, and won for him the special approval of the admiralty, and his appointment to the Anson, a new 64-gun ship, then fitting for service in the West Indies. In the January following Blair sailed in company with Sir George Rodney, and on 12 April, when the French were completely defeated to leeward of Dominica, the Anson was in the leading squadron under the immediate command of Rear-admiral Drake, and was warmly engaged from the very beginning of the battle. Her loss was not especially great in point of numbers, but one of her killed was Captain Blair. A monument to his memory, jointly with his brother officers, Captains Bayne and Lord Robert Manners, was erected in Westminster Abbey at the public expense.




Previous comments on this page

Posted by Brian on Saturday 23rd of January 2016 17:55

1782 - Capt. Blair behaved with great bravery in the Dolphin frigate in the engagement with the Dutch on Dogger Bank, Aug. 5, 1781, for which he was promoted to the Anson, a new ship of 64 guns.

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