The son of a small village businessman, John Blair’s uncle, Lambert Blair left his slave plantations in Berbice, Demerara and Surinam to John Blair and his cousin John MacEamon. He married Elizabeth Catherine before he left to his uncle’s estates in 1815.
He returned to Britain in 1818 and entered the Parliament from the Rotten Borough(a nominated borough where a person can buy his position to the Parliament by paying an amount to the owner of the borough) of Saltash, buying it from Michael George Prendergast. In the 1820 elections, he bought his seat, Aldeburgh from Samuel Walker. He was, expectedly, a  vocal opponent of any betterment in living conditions for the slaves after the Demerera Slave Rebellion of 1823. He became a member of the West India Committee and the ‘Committee of April 25, 1823’ formed to press the government for ameliorationist measures for the Crown colonies and to resist moves towards emancipation.
When slavery was abolished, he had the distinction of being paid one of the highest compensation for loss of his slaves. He maintained a minimum of 1598 slaves and got a compensation of £83530 8Schillings 11pence from the British government for loss of his slaves. The claim was settled on 23 Nov 1835. It is an interesting thing to note that he just lost his slaves and not his plantations.
He came to Parliament, buying his seat from Minehead in 1830 and Wigtownshire in 1837. He died shortly after his defeat in 1841. His will went for 46 pages totalling £300,000.
His legacy passed through his wife’s family,the Earls of Courtown who changed their name to Stopford-Blair from Stopford.