Patrick Blair (surgeon)

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Patrick Blair, M.D. (c.1680–1728) was a Scottish surgeon and botanist, a Fellow of the Royal Society from 1712.


He was born at Dundee, where he practised as a doctor. He was introduced to Hans Sloane by Charles Preston in 1705.[1] Being a nonjuror and Jacobite, he was imprisoned as a suspect at the time of the 1715 Jacobite Rebellion. He subsequently moved to London, then settled at Boston, Lincolnshire.[2]


In 1706 Blair dissected and mounted the bones of an elephant, and contributed a description, under the title of Osteographia Elephantina, to the Royal Society of London, published in 1713. He delivered some discourses before the Royal Society on the sexes of flowers.[2]

Blair published Miscellaneous Observations on the Practice of Physick, Anatomy, and Surgery in 1718, Botanick Essay in 1720, and Pharmaco-botanologia in 1723–8, which ended with the letter H. His Botanick Essays were his major work. In them he expounded the progress of the classification of plants up to his time, and the then novel views as to the sexual characters of flowering plants, adding his own observations.[2]