|Adam of Blair Adam|
coat of arms
For lists of the architectural works of William Adam and his sons, the reader is referred to Sir Howard Colvin's Biographical Dictionary of British Architects, 4th edn, 2008. There is also a list of Robert Adam's works in Wikipedia.
Blair Adam, Kinross-shire
|Blair Adam House: the self-effacing house of Scotland's grandest 18th century architectural dynasty|
|Blair Adam: drawing room|
‘The Corridor’ is Bryce’s main 1859 interior and occupies the space between the original house and later extensions. The 18th century staircase hall is preserved but the cast-iron balustrade is a change of 1847; the library in the north wing is also Georgian, with a tunnel-vaulted plaster ceiling and a mid 19th century white marble fireplace from the Carron Ironworks; the schoolroom was added by John Adam as a dining room. Near the house are the mid 18th century coach house and a walled garden formed by John Adam in 1755-61.
The Adams of Blair Adam
|William Adam (1689-1748)|
by William Aikman
|William Adam (1751-1839)|
engraving of 1803, from Wikimedia Commons
|Gillray cartoon depicting Adam's duel with |
Charles James Fox in 1779
from Wikimedia Commons
He inherited the encumberered Blair Adam estate from his father in 1792 but faced continuing financial difficulties throughout most of his life. In 1801 the bankruptcy of an uncle who owed him £25,000 caused a crisis, alleviated by his appointments in 1802; in 1808 he was obliged to borrow money to pay the debts of his son, John, and contemplated selling his estate, but was lent £10,000 by his Whig friends; in 1812 his salmon fishery on the R. Tay was destroyed by flooding, causing further losses. Only in old age did the salary of his judicial office provide a measure of security.
He died on 17 February 1839, aged 87.
Admiral Sir Charles Adam KCB (1780-1853) of Blair Adam. Second, but eldest surviving son of Rt. Hon. William Adam (1751-1839) and his wife the Hon. Eleanora, daughter of Charles Elphinstone, 10th Baron Elphinstone, born 6 October 1780. His mother's brother was Admiral Lord Keith and under his patronage he entered the navy at an early age (Lt. 1795; Captain, 1799; Rear-Admiral, 1825; Vice-Admiral 1837; Admiral, 1848); saw service in East Indies, 1795-1802 and home waters, 1803-15; was Captain of the Royal Yacht, 1815-25, and was Commander-in-Chief in the West Indies, 1841-45. He was MP for Clackmannan and Kinross, 1831-41, 1846-47, and was First Sea Lord, November-December 1834, April 1835-September 1841 and July 1846-July 1847; on retiring from Parliament he was appointed Governor of Greenwich Hospital, 1847 and an Elder Brother of Trinity House. He was Lord Lieutenant of Kinross-shire, 1839-54, in succession to his father and Captain commanding the Kinross-shire Yeomanry, and was knighted (KCB) in 1835. He married 1822 Elizabeth (d. 1871), daughter of Patrick Brydone FRS and had issue:
(1) Rt. Hon. William Patrick Adam (1823-81) (q.v.);
(2) Charles Brydone Adam (1825-40), born 26 June 1825; lost in HMS Fairy, 1840;
(3) Mary Adam (c.1829-1900), married 8 September 1859 Hugh Lindsay Antrobus (d. 1899), second son of Sir Edmund Antrobus, 2nd bt. and had issue one son and three daughters; she died 31 December 1900.
He inherited the Blair Adam estate from his father in 1839.
He died at Greenwich Hospital, 16 September 1853.
Rt. Hon. William Patrick Adam (1823-81) of Blair Adam. Eldest son of Admiral Sir Charles Adam KCB (1780-1853) and his wife Elizabeth, daughter of Patrick Brydone FRS, born 14 September 1823. JP and DL for Kinross-shire and Fife; Major in Fife & Kinross Volunteers; private secretary to Lord Elphinstone as Governor of Bombay, 1853-58; MP for Clackmannan and Kinross, 1850-80; a Lord of the Treasury, 1865-66, 1868-73; First Commissioner of Works, 1873-74, 1880; Governor of Madras, 1880-81. He married 23 February 1856, Emily (d. 1906), daughter of Gen. Sir William Wyllie GCB and had issue:
(1) Sir Charles Elphinstone Adam (1859-1922), 1st bt. (q.v.);
(2) William Keith Adam (1861-1900) (q.v.);
(3) Lt-Col. Frederick Loch Adam MVO (1864-1907), born 10 April 1864; an officer in Scots Guards (Lt-Col.); ADC to Viceroy of India 1894-1904 and Military Secretary to Viceroy, 1906-07; married 5 March 1906 the Hon. Lilian Theresa Claire Baring (1874-1962), only surviving daughter of Alexander Hugh Baring, 4th Baron Ashburton, but died without issue, 31 March 1907;
(4) Francis John Adam (1869-70); born 8 May 1869; died 19 June 1870;
(5) Clementina Mary Adam (d. 1944), Lady in Waiting to HRH Princess Patricia of Connaught; died unmarried, 8 February 1944;
(6) Emily Elizabeth Adam (d. 1932), married 1st, 5 July 1895, Maj. the Hon. Lionel Henry Dudley Fortescue (d. 1900), third son of 3rd Earl Fortescue, and 2nd, 3 September 1912, Walter B. Ferrie of Vancouver, Canada; died 3 February 1932;
(7) Constance Marion Adam (d. 1956), m. 7 August 1907 Ernest (d. 1929), son of John Turner Hopwood of Ketton Hall (Northants) and had issue; died 24 February 1956.
He inherited the Blair Adam estate from his father in 1853.
He died in India, 24 May 1881, aged 57.
Sir Charles Elphinstone Adam (1859-1922), 1st baronet, of Blair Adam. Eldest son of Rt. Hon. William Patrick Adam (1823-81) and his wife Emily, daughter of Gen. Sir William Wyllie GCB, born 7 August 1859. Educated at Eton, Christ Church, Oxford (MA 1885), and Inner Temple (called to the bar, 1885); created a baronet, an honour which it had been intended his father should receive, 20 May 1882; barrister; private secretary to Parliamentary Secretary to Treasury, 1892-94, Lord Privy Seal, 1894, and Chancellor of Duchy of Lancaster, 1894-95; JP and DL for Fife; Convenor of Fife County Council, 1893-1910; Lord Lieutenant of Kinross-shire, 1909-11; served in First World War with Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve, 1915-16. He married, 25 October 1913, Edith (d. 1929), daughter of William Dobson of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada but died without issue; baronetcy extinct on his death.
He inherited the Blair Adam estate from his father in 1881. At his death it passed to his nephew, Capt. Charles Keith Adam (q.v.).
He died 6 December 1922, aged 63.
William Keith Adam (1861-1900). Second son of Rt. Hon. William Patrick Adam (1823-81) and his wife Emily, daughter of Gen. Sir William Wyllie GCB, born 16 April 1861. Educated at Oxford (BA). A residential magistrate in Western Australia. He married 10 July 1888 Jane Emily (d. 1952), daughter of George Walpole Leake QC of Perth, Western Australia, and had issue:
(1) Robert William Wyllie Adam (1889-1916), sergeant in Western Australian forces; killed in action, 25 July 1916;
(2) Charles Keith Adam (1891-1971) (q.v.);
(3) Rose Emily Adam (d. 1970), married 4 November 1922, John, son of John Henderson of Clifton House, Ashbourne (Derbys); died 21 March 1970;
(4) Eleanora Constance Adam (d. 1981), married 9 November 1929, Air Commodore Athol Wordsworth Mylne RAF, son of Rt Rev. Louis George Mylne and had issue three sons.
He died 12 December 1900.
|Capt. Charles Keith Adam|
Image: Joan Daker
(1) Janet Eunice Adam (b. 1940)
(2) Clementina Caroline Adam (b. 1942), married 3 August 1968 David Charles William Adams, son of Cdr. Charles Poynder Adams DSC RN and had issue three sons;
(3) twin, Keith Robert Adam (b. 1944), now of Blair Adam; born 26 October 1944; educated at Eton and Trinity College, Dublin (BA, BSocSc), member of Royal Company of Archers, 1991; married 1 July 1972 Elizabeth, daughter of S. Burnside of Cultiagh, Northern Ireland and has issue two sons and two daughters;
(4) twin, (Rose Alison) Rita Adam (b. 1944), born 26 October 1944.
He inherited the Blair Adam estate from his uncle in 1922. At his death the estate passed to his only son.
He died 14 December 1971, aged 80.
Where are their papers?
Adam family of Blair Adam: deeds, estate and family papers, 1607-1863; family correspondence and papers, c.1660-19th cent. [National Records of Scotland, GD247, GD268]; estate, family, personal and household papers, 17th-20th cents. [Private collection: enquiries to National Register of Archives of Scotland];
Robert and James Adam, architects: architectural drawings of Robert and James Adam [Soane Museum]; family correspondence and notebooks of James Adam 1754-94 [National Records of Scotland, GD18]
Revision & Acknowledgements
This account was first published on 9 April 2013 and was revised on 15 October 2013 and 6 June 2019. I am most grateful to Susan Cooke for additional information.