The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Lyon Playfair, 1818-1898

Nationality: English
Date of Birth: 1818
Place of Birth: Chunar, Bengal
Date of Death: 1898
Place of Death: London


He was the son of George Playfair, Chief Inspector-General of hospitals in Bengal, and Janet Ross of Edinburgh. He married three times: first, in 1846, to Margaret Eliza Oakes; secondly, in 1857, to Jean Ann Millington; thirdly, in 1878, to Edith Russell of Boston, MA. By his first wife he had an only son, George James Playfair, who succeeded him as second baron.


Playfair was a prominent scientist who was made Secretary of Science in 1853, and Postmaster General in Gladstone's first ministry. His first wife was a cousin of Francis Seymour Haden (AMW's son-in-law).


Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford, 2004; Wemyss Reid, Memoirs and Correspondence of Lyon Playfair: First Lord Playfair of St. Andrews, London, 1899.