Tuesday, 25 September 2018

Adam of Blair Adam

THE ADAMS WERE THE LARGEST LANDOWNERS IN KINROSS-SHIRE, WITH 2,896 ACRES

The surname of ADAM is of great antiquity in Scotland, as proved by many documents in the public record.

HENRY ADAM, a military man, living in the reign of WILLIAM THE LION, King of Scotland, was father of

ALEXANDER ADAM, Laird of Roscobie, near Forfar, in the reign of ALEXANDER III of Scotland, who was father of

DUNCAN ADAM, living in the reign of ROBERT THE BRUCE, who had four sons, the youngest of whom,

DUNCAN ADAM, accompanied James, Lord Douglas, in his expedition to Spain en route to the Holy Land, with the heart of King Robert of Scotland; from whom is stated to have descended,

JOHN ADAM, who accompanied JAMES IV of Scotland to Flodden Field, and there lost his life, 1513.

His son,

CHARLES ADAM, seated at Fanno, Forfarshire, ca 1549, married Margaret Ferguson, by whom he had issue,
CHARLES, his heir;
David, progenitor of Adams of Kingsbarns, Fife;
two daughters.
The elder son,

CHARLES ADAM, of Fanno, wedded Isabel Bisset, by whom he had several sons and daughters.

The second, but eldest surviving son,

ROBERT ADAM, about the end of the reign of Queen MARY, married Isabel, daughter of James Hunter, and was father of

DAVID ADAM, of Fanno, who wedded his cousin, Jean Hunter, by whom he had a son and successor, 

ARCHIBALD ADAM, of Fanno, who sold his patrimonial lands in the time of CHARLES I, and acquired those of Queensmanour in the same county.

He married Mary, daughter of John Hay, of Montrose, and died in the reign of CHARLES II, leaving issue,
CHARLES, his heir;
JOHN, successor to his nephew, of whom hereafter;
Alexander; Patrick; Phyllis; Mary.
The eldest son,

CHARLES ADAM, of Queensmanour, married Elizabeth, daughter of John Wishart, of Logie, Forfarshire; and had a son and successor,

JAMES ADAM, of Queenmanour, who sold the paternal estate.

He died unmarried and was succeeded in the representation of the family by his uncle,

JOHN ADAM, who married Helen, daughter of William, 3rd Lord Cranstoun, by whom he left a surviving son,

WILLIAM ADAM (1689-1748), an eminent architect who purchased several estates, particularly that of Blair, in the county of Kinross, where he built a house and village, which he named Maryburgh.

Mr Adam married Mary, daughter of William Robertson, of Gladney, and had, with other issue,
JOHN, of whom we treat;
Robert, architect to
GEORGE III; MP for Kinross-shire, 1768;
James;
William;
Janet; Helen;
Mary, m Dr John Drysdale, Dean of the Chapel Royal;
Susanna, m John Clerk;
Margaret.
Mr Adam was succeeded by his eldest son,

JOHN ADAM OF BLAIR ADAM (1721-92), of Maryburgh, who wedded, in 1750, Jean, daughter of John Ramsay; by whom he had, with other issue, a son and successor, 

THE RT HON WILLIAM ADAM OF BLAIR ADAM (1751-1839), Lord Chief Commissioner of the Jury Court in Scotland, Lord-Lieutenant of Kinross-shire, Baron of the Scottish Exchequer, MP, who wedded Eleanor, daughter of Charles, 10th Lord Elphinstone.

His second son,

ADMIRAL SIR CHARLES ADAM OF BLAIR ADAM KCB (1780-1853), a distinguished naval officer, married was succeeded by his son and heir,

THE RT HON WILLIAM PATRICK ADAM CIE DL (1823-81), colonial administrator, politician, Companion of the Most Eminent Order of the Indian Empire; whose eldest son,

CHARLES ELPHINSTONE ADAM (1859-1922), Barrister, military officer, was created a baronet in 1882, denominated of Blair Adam, Kinross-shire.

Sir Charles died childless in 1922, when the baronetcy became extinct.

His estate devolved upon his nephew,

CAPTAIN CHARLES KEITH ADAM DSO RN (1891-1971), Lord-Lieutenant of Kinross-shire, 1955-66.

Captain Adam was raised in Australia but returned to Scotland to manage the estate.

His son, Keith Robert Adam (b 1944), is the present owner.

The estate comprises 200 acres today.


BLAIR ADAM HOUSE, is located near Kelty, in Fife.

William Adam purchased the Blair Crambeth (subsequently Blair Adam) estate in 1731 and shortly afterwards built the modest five-bay two-storey house which forms the centre of the present building.

By 1736, Adam had enlarged the house by the addition of harled single-storey wings, originally of three bays, which continued the line of the original block.

Both were extended by John Adam in 1775, the south wing being heightened and given a bowed end.


The north wing was made an L-shape by the construction of a block across its end which stretches back to the west and joins it to the office range.

This range, originally very plain, was remodelled in 1815-16 and a low rubble-walled tower was built behind it.

First published in December, 2013.

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