Open main menu

Sir Robert Blyth Greig MC FRSE (23 March 1874 – 29 November 1947) was a Scottish agriculturalist. He served as Chairman of the Scottish Board of Agriculture from 1921 to 1928 and was Secretary to the Department of Agriculture for all Great Britain from 1928 to 1934.


The Shaws, 10 Barnton Avenue West, Edinburgh

Robert Blyth Greig was born on 23 March 1874 in Balcurvie, Fife, the son of Helen Ann Martin and George Greig, a farmer.[1][2] He had two brothers: George Robert Greig and John Martin MacFie Greig.[3]

He studied at the University of Edinburgh and began lecturing at Marischal College at the University of Aberdeen in 1903 and continued here until 1910 (being succeeded by John Morrison Caie). During this period he lived at "The Croft" in Cults, a small village west of Aberdeen.[4]

In 1905 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. His proposers were Sir John Arthur Thomson, David James Hamilton, Robert Patrick Wright and Douglas Alston Gilchrist. He served as Vice President of the Society from 1924 to 1927.[5] He served as a Commissioner on the Scottish Board of Agriculture from 1912.[6] In 1921 he succeeded Sir Robert Wright as Chairman.[7][8]

In the First World War he served as a Staff Captain in the Royal Scots and saw action in France in 1916 and 1917, being awarded an MC in the 1917 New Year Honours. He was created a Knight Bachelor in 1919. He received honorary doctorates from St Andrews University (LLD) and South Africa (DSc).[9]

In 1937 he was appointed a Director of the London, Midland and Scottish Railway Company.[10] He was also a Director of the Dundalk, Newry and Greenore Railway Company, and the Scottish Motor Traction Company.[11]

In later life he lived at "The Shaws" (10) Barton Avenue West, in western Edinburgh.[12] The house is a large detached Arts and Crafts villa set in substantial gardens, and is now a category B listed building.[13]


Greig died on 29 November 1947, aged 73.[14]

Artistic RecognitionEdit

A photographic portrait of Greig by Alexander Bassano is held by the National Portrait Gallery in London.[15]


In 1903 he married Alice Maud Hunter. They had four children: George Marcus Greig (b.1904); Marion Greig (b.1906); and Robert Coventry Greig (b.1909) and John Martin Greig (b.1920)[2]


  1. ^ The Physics of the Universe, Sir James Hopwood Jeans, 1928
  2. ^ a b "Robert Blyth Greig, born 1859 -". Retrieved 27 November 2017.
  3. ^ "Robert Blyth Greig (b. 1874) - WikiTree FREE Family Tree". Retrieved 27 November 2017.
  4. ^ Aberdeen Post Office Directory 1909-10
  5. ^ Biographical Index of Former Fellows of the Royal Society of Edinburgh 1783–2002 (PDF). The Royal Society of Edinburgh. July 2006. ISBN 0 902 198 84 X.
  6. ^ Whittakers Peerage, 1922
  7. ^ Horticultural Trade Journal, 1921
  8. ^ Gardeners Chronicle and New Horticulturalist, (journal) 1921
  9. ^ Biographical Index of Former Fellows of the Royal Society of Edinburgh 1783–2002 (PDF). The Royal Society of Edinburgh. July 2006. ISBN 0 902 198 84 X.
  10. ^ Museum, Durham Mining. "Durham Mining Museum - Newspaper Articles". Retrieved 27 November 2017.
  11. ^ "Greig, Sir Robert Blyth, (23 March 1874 - 29 Nov. 1947), Director London Midland & Scottish Railway since 1937; Director Scottish Motor Traction Co. and David Macbrayne Ltd; Member of Carnegie Trust for Universities of Scotland | WHO'S WHO & WHO WAS WHO". doi:10.1093/ww/9780199540884.013.u226166. Retrieved 27 January 2019.
  12. ^ The Worlds Carriers and Carrying Trade Review (journal) 1938
  13. ^ Cirty of Edinburgh Council: Listed Building records
  14. ^ Railway Gazette International, December 1947
  15. ^ "Sir Robert Blyth Greig - Person - National Portrait Gallery". Retrieved 27 November 2017.