Charles Blair senior

1743 - 1802


Father of Charles Blair (1776-1854) and great-great-grandfather of George Orwell. Son of John Blair (1712-1742) and Mary Ayscough. The will of Charles Blair of Down House, Dorset, was proved 27/07/1802, when he left his Jamaica estates in trust for life to his son Charles, and annuities of £300 p.a to his wife Lady Mary Blair and £800 p.a. to his son Charles.

  1. Charles Blair senior's grandson the Rev. Thomas Richard Arthur Blair (1803-1867) was the father of Richard Walmesley Blair (1857-1939), George Orwell's father. The ODNB entry for Orwell says: 'Richard Blair's great-grandfather Charles Blair (1743-1820 [sic]), a Scot, had been a rich man, a plantation and slave-owner in Jamaica who had married into the English aristocracy; the money had run out by Richard Blair's time.'

  2. Portrait by James Scott, after Joshua Reynolds, 1760s. Charles Blair is the man on the right.


PROB 11/1377/276.

  1. Oxford Dictionary of National Biography ( online, Bernard Crick, 'Blair, Eric Arthur [pseud. George Orwell] (1903-1950), political writer and essayist'. The death-date given by Crick for the first Charles Blair is erroneous: the will of Charles Blair of Down House Dorset was proved 27/07/1802, PROB 11/1377/276.

  2. NPG D36715.

Further Information

Lady Mary Fane

PROB 11/1377 The will of Charles Blair of Down House, Dorset - precis.

Executors and trustees to be Francis Fane of Spetisbury, Dorset, Esquire, and Charles Michel of Lyndhurst, County of Southampton, Esquire.

All my real property in trust for 200 years for the use of my son Charles Blair for life and then his heirs.

To my dear wife Lady Mary Blair, an annuity of £300 pa.

To my son Charles Blair an annuity of £800 pa. If his wife Charlotte shall survive him then an annuity of £500 pa to her.

To my servant Henry Collier an annuity of £25 pa.

To any other child of Charles Blair (not the only or eldest) an annuity of £100 pa.

Proved in London 27/07/1802 by Francis Fane and Charles Michell Esquires.


Associated Estates (4)

The dates listed below have different categories as denoted by the letters in the brackets following each date. Here is a key to explain those letter codes:

  • SD - Association Start Date
  • SY - Association Start Year
  • EA - Earliest Known Association
  • ED - Association End Date
  • EY - Association End Year
  • LA - Latest Known Association
1752 [EA] - 1753 [LA] → Trust beneficiary
1762 [EA] - 1802 [EY] → Owner
1817 [EA] - 1829 [LA] → Previous owner
1752 [EA] - 1802 [EY] → Owner

Relationships (4)

Father → Son
Son → Father
Testator → Trustee
Son-in-law → Father-in-law

Addresses (1)

Down House, Dorset, Wessex, England