Blair, Patrick

, an ingenious Scotch botanist, was a practitioner of physic and surgery at Dundee, where he made himself first known as an anatomist, by the dissection of an elephant, which died near that place, in 1706. He was a nonjuror, and for his attachment to the exiled family of Stuart, was imprisoned, in the rebellion in 1715, as a suspected person. He afterwards removed to London,

* This able officer, for his gallant distinguishing himself under sir George

conduct in the Dolphin frigate in the Rodney, he fell in the bed of honour,

engagement with the Dutch on the and became one of three heroes, to

Dogger Bank, August 5, 1781, was whom their country, by its rapresentapromoted to the command of the An- tives, voted a monument, on, a new ship of 64 guns. By bravely | where he recommended himself to the royal society by some discourses on the sexes of flowers. His stay in London was not long, and after leaving it, he settled at Boston, in Lincolnshire, where Dr. Pulteney conjectures that he practised physic during the remainder of his life. The time of his decease is not known, but it is supposed to have taken place soon after the publication of the seventh Decad of his “Pharmaco-Botanologia,” in 1728. Dr. Blair’s first publication was entitled “Miscellaneous observations in Physic, Anatomy, Surgery, and Botanies,1718, 8vo. In the botanical part of this work he insinuates some doubts relating to the method suggested by Petiver, and others, of deducing the qualities of vegetables from the agreement in natural characters, and instances the Cynoglossum, as tending to prove the fallacy of this rule. But the work by which he rendered the greatest service to botany, originated with his “Discourse on the Sexes of Plants,” read before the royal society, and afterwards greatly amplified, and published at the request of several members of that body, under the title of “Botanic Essays,1720, 8vo, in which he strengthened the arguments in proof of the sexes of plants, by sound reasoning, and some new experiments. He published also, “Pharmaco-botanologia, or an alphabetical and classical dissertation on all the British indigenous and garden plants of the new dispensatory,” Lond. 1723 28, 4to, but this work extends only to the letter H. Dr. Blair wrote some papers in the Philosophical Transactions, particularly his anatomy and osteology of the elephant, &c. 1

1 Pulteney’s Sketches, vol. II.