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Loudoun Hall, Ayr

In 1666, what is now Ayr's oldest house (which had for a time been owned by the Earls of Loudoun) was purchased by John Muir (also Mure and Moore). John was at that time a member of a partnership of Ayr merchants trading across the Atlantic and importing West Indian tobacco on a ship disguised as being English-owned.

He became one of Ayr's most prosperous citizens, was provost 1673-75. He again became provost in 1688, and between then and 1721 he and then his sons Robert and Samuel held this post for 25 out of 33 years. During that time, they continued to be prominent in Ayr's tobacco trade, switching their focus from the West Indies to Virginia. (It was during John Muir's last term as provost that the Scottish parliament agreed to the 1707 Act of Union giving Scots free trade with English colonies, with John as MSP for Ayr voting in favour.) The Muir family continued to own Loudoun Hall until 1770.

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