It came to Nairn Museum from Boath House, a substantial mansion a few miles from Nairn. It was built in 1827 for the Dunbar family, to replace a previous dwelling on the land.
Sir James Dunbar was in the Navy during the Napoleonic War and was knighted in 1810, becoming a baronet in 1814. After returning to the Highlands, he acquired a number of properties in the area. His title passed first to his eldest surviving son Frederick, and then to another son, James, upon Frederick’s death in 1851. James retired from the Navy where he had served like his father.
Sir James was married to Miss Louisa Pemble, third daughter of Lieutenant-Colonel Parsons. Together, the couple settled into life in Nairn, playing leading roles in society. Lady Dunbar continued her husband’s charitable work after his death.