ADAIR, JOHN (d. 1722), Scottish surveyor and map-maker of the 17th century. Nothing is known of his parentage, birthplace or early life. His name first came before the public in 1683, when a prospectus was published in Edinburgh entitled An Account of the Scottish Atlas, stating that "the Privy Council of Scotland has appointed John Adair, mathematician and skilfull mechanick, to survey the shires." In 1686 an act of tonnage was passed in Adair's favour. He was then employed on a survey of the Scottish coast and two years later was made a fellow of the Royal Society. Two other acts of tonnage were passed for Adair, one in 1695 and the other in 1705. In 1703 he published the first part of his Description of the Sea Coasts and Islands of Scotland, for the use of seamen. The second part never appeared. He is thought to have died in London about the end of 1722. He must have lost a considerable amount of money in the execution of his work, and in 1723 some remuneration was made to his widow by the government. Some of his work is preserved in the Advocates' Library at Edinburgh and in the King's Library of the British Museum, London.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)