Walter Biggar Blaikie

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Walter Biggar Blaikie
Dr Walter Biggar Blaikie cropped to head shot.jpg
Dr. Walter Biggar Blaikie (ca.1905)
Born23 November 1847
Edinburgh, Scotland
Died3 May 1928
Edinburgh, Scotland
OccupationCivil engineer
Spouse(s)Janet Marshall Macfie (1852–1942)
Children5 daughters
Parent(s)Rev Prof William Garden Blaikie (1820–1899)
Margaret Catherine Biggar/Blaikie (1823–1915)
The grave of Walter Biggar Blaikie, St Cuthberts, Edinburgh

Walter Biggar Blaikie FRSE DL LLD (23 November 1847 in Pilrig, Edinburgh – 3 May 1928) was a Scottish civil engineer, printer, historian and astronomer.[1]


Second of the seven recorded sons of William Garden Blaikie, minister of Pilrig Free Church, and Margaret Catherine Biggar, Walter Biggar Blaikie was educated at Edinburgh Academy and Edinburgh University.

He worked as a civil engineer with the Department for Public Works in India from 1870 until 1873, but after the birth of their first child he and his wife returned to Scotland to work for the large engineering firm of Blyth & Blyth where he worked until 1880. In 1879, he became involved in the printing business which became T and A Constable of Edinburgh.[2] He would work with the firm for almost fifty years, and for many years he ran it.[3]

He became one of the leading scholars of the Jacobite period, especially of the life of Bonnie Prince Charlie.

In 1897 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, his proposers being John George Bartholomew, Sir John Murray, Frederick Bailey and Hugh Robert Mill. He served as Vice President of the Society 1924 to 1927.[4]

He is buried in the grave of his maternal grandfather, Henry Balfour Biggar, in the north-east corner of the north extension to St Cuthberts Churchyard in Edinburgh. He is the last named on a badly eroded stone.

Walter Blaikie Collection[edit]

In 1928 his daughters donated a large collection of his historical papers concerning the Jacobite Uprising and the Stuarts to the National Library of Scotland. This ran to 1076 printed items in 756 volumes, 42 manuscripts, 3 charters and around 400 engravings.[5]


  • Itinerary of Prince Charles Edward (1896)
  • Edinburgh at the Time of the Occupation of Prince Charles (1910)
  • Origins of the 45 (1914)

Awards and honours[edit]


  1. ^ a b C D Waterston; A Macmillan Shearer (July 2006). "Former Fellows of The Royal Society of Edinburgh 1783–2002" (PDF). The Royal Society of Edinburgh. p. 89. Retrieved 28 February 2015.
  2. ^ W. R. Arbuthnot; et al. (1 October 2008). "The Genealogy of the Blaikie Family". Kittybrewster generalogy website of W.R.Arbuthnot. Retrieved 28 February 2015.
  3. ^ a b c A.H.Young (1971). Blaikie of Aberdeen. A.H Young (printed by Kendall and Strachan, Pietermaritzburg).
  4. ^
  5. ^ "Special and Named Printed Collections in the National Library of Scotland". Retrieved 11 February 2018.