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Country code GB
Repository code 234
Repository National Records of Scotland
Reference GD112
Title Papers of the Campbell Family, Earls of Breadalbane (Breadalbane Muniments)
Dates 1306-20th century
Access status Open
Location Off site

GD112/1. Mounted documents, 1374-1821

These are mainly but not exclusively titles to land. Though they appear to be the items selected by Lady Breadalbane for conservation by the Victoria and Albert Museum, there is no means of knowing how the selection was made. As their exact provenance within the collection is also unknown, it was impossible to replace them in their original context, and they have been listed as found. The numbering of the first series, comprising 825 items, has been retained. Thereafter two further series had been started, and these have been carried on, being now sub-numbered GD112/1/826-881 [a series of parchments with seals], and numbers GD112/1/882-915, a series with no apparent theme, possibly lumped together on grounds of the large size of the items.

Most of the documents are in good condition, with the exception of some of the early parchment deeds, which had been mounted onto paper; this has in some cases caused them to be stretched far too tightly; wherever possible the mounts have been removed, and they have all been repaired.

This section contains both Scottish and English writs, legal documents, tacks and various bonds [manrent, fosterage, defence, protection, friendship and maintenance]; privy seal letters in favour of Malice Doire [Dewar], keeper of the Coigrach of St Fillan, 6 July 1487; papers relative to families of McGregor of Glenstrae, Campbell of Turrerich, McNab of Bovane, the priory of Cupar and the Charterhouse of Perth; discharge by Patrick, earl of Orkney, for a brass cannon, 1595; inventory of the contents of the Castle of Glenorchy, 1619; claim by Gavin Hamilton, notary, to have forged various charters at direction of Sir Duncan Campbell of Glenorchy, bt., 1624; testament of Sir Duncan Campbell, 1631; copy papers relating to introduction of the Service Book into Scotland, 1640; peers' election of 1708; order, Mar to Breadalbane, to join the jacobite forces, 1715; estimate for building bridge of Kenmore, 1771; papers relating to march dykes, 1786-90; pipe tune, the Earl of Breadalbane's gathering, n.d.; estimate for building schoolhouse in Glenorchy, 1804.

GD112/2. Titles to particular lands, 1329-1869

These are arranged according to the old handlist, which placed the various lands in roughly alphabetical order. They related mainly to the Breadalbane lands in Argyll and Perthshire, extending not just 'from Ben More to Kenmore', but from Easdale to Perth, and include material concerning the families of McDougall of Phantilands and Menzies of Shian, and the suppression of the McGregors. The earliest documents [1329] are copies of extracts from the lost charter rolls of Robert I, of charters relating to Benderloch [see also Sections 62 and 75].

For other titles see Sections GD112/1, 3 and 75-77. A large number of the documents were copied or summarised in the Breadalbane cartularies (GD112/5).

GD112/3. Family papers, 1395-1907

An artificial grouping of early charters, remissions, legitimations, testaments, marriage contracts, entails, including bequests of silver and jewels, indentures, protections, as well as further papers on the Mcgregors, grants of the earldoms of Caithness and Breadalbane, investment of John, lord Glenorchy, in the Darien Scheme, copy letter from the Old Pretender to Breadalbane, 1707, accounts for the funerals of the 2nd and 3rd earls of Breadalbane, 1744-55 and 1782, and settlements of the 1st and 2nd marquesses, 1834 and 1864-9.

Many interesting items, often related to material in Section 1 and 2. There is a whole series of great seal remissions not included in the Register, listing the Glenorchy lairds and their followers with their patronymics; an apprising of 1547 which recites in detail the contents of the house of John Moncur of Ballumby, stolen in 1544; the testament of Sir Duncan Campbell, 1624, mentions many of the cherished heirlooms of the family, later sold in a not infrequent moment of financial stress in 1649; the great seal grant of the earldom of Caithness made in 1677, has the seal attached by a most attractive piece of ribbon, blue, black, yellow and grey or cream.

An unexpected light is shed upon the habits of the period in a letter from Harriot Villiers, lady Glenorchy, written in reply to what she obviously thought was a meddling letter from John, 1st earl of Breadalbane, her father in law; she writes very plainly, telling him that she disagrees with his suggestion that her shortly to be expected child should have a wet nurse as she cannot feed it herself. She asserts that it is safer to feed children otherwise, though she does not specify how, and declares that she has a very good woman, not a Scotswoman, who is accustomed to bring up children. The child, however, died. We do not learn what the first earl said at that point.

The question of his funeral was an engrossing one for the 2nd earl, and in his old age he expended a lot of thought and paper upon this topic, before the event took place at last in 1752. Thirty years later there is another interesting series of papers dealing with the funeral of his son, the third earl, in 1782.

GD112/4. Entails and related papers, 1704-1894

Including improvement vouchers of accounts for repairs to Taymouth and elsewhere on the entailed Breadalbane estate, some for building the new east wing of Taymouth to Mr Atkinson's plans, 1819.

GD112/5. Inventories of titles and cartularies, 1451-1901

This section includes the 16-17th century Breadalbane cartularies [one in its original leather binding] and the protocol book, 1569-1604, of Gavin Hamilton, notary, who was extensively employed by the Glenorchy Campbells in writing charters and cartularies, until they disagreed and after a good deal of spirited discussion managed to screw a pension out of the laird, probably by blackmail.

There is also a report on the conditions of the charter room at Taymouth, 1814. The compiler was distressed at its state, with damp three feet up the walls; he recommended drying off the papers carefully at a fire, and suggested that the charter room should be moved to the floor above.

GD112/6. Wadsets and related papers, 1614-1772

Wadsets over various Breadalbane lands, as well as many granted by the indigent Lord Neil Campbell, c.1630-92, who went to America at one point, but returned.

GD112/7. Fishings, 1610-1920

Papers relating to salmon fishing in Loch Etive; Glenlyon; Loch Tay; Loch Dochart; the west coast; Loch Awe. Also some papers concerning the British Fisheries Society, 1781-95.

GD112/8. Estate of Sugnall, Staffordshire, 1426-1772

The estate of Sugnall was inherited by Arabella Pearsall, second wife of John, 3rd earl of Breadalbane. It was sold by John, lord Glenorchy, their son, to finance the purchase of the estate of Barnton.

Mainly early charters, with legal, financial and estate papers.

GD112/9. Rentals, 1555-1868

Rentals and factors' accounts. Breadalbane and Glenorchy mainly; also Caithness, 1658-1718, and one for Langton, Berwickshire, 1797-1814.

A large and interesting section, giving much detailed information on the state of tenants, income and agricultural matters in general.

GD112/10. Tacks, 1551-1915

Tacks of many lands in Argyll and Perthshire, including the Charterhouse lands beside Perth, the chancellory of Lismore, teinds of Appin of Dull, lands in forest of Mamlorne, Castle Kilchurn, Edinample shootings, salmon fishing of Loch Etive, cotton manufactory at Aberfeldy, building leases of village of Aberfeldy, Kerrera and Oban.

GD112/11. Petitions from tenants and related papers, 1716-1862

This section consists of 10 boxes which had already been numbered individually. As a result they run by year but are not in chronological order within the year. All the documents are listed separately, with the exception of a few enclosures.

The petitions are mainly from tenants, and are addressed either to the earls themselves or to their factors and chamberlains. A petition was the recognised manner of drawing a felt injustice to the attention of the earl or his commissioners, and a livelihood was made out of drawing the petitions.

As a result, during the latter part of the 18th century and the early part of the 19th, most of the petitions are in the same hand. Tenants were rarely able or willing to draw up their own; some are signed, either with a signature or mark, but many are not.

Mainly from tenants to landlord or factor, for more land, less land, better land, different land: also mentioning sheep, cattle, fisheries, boats, bridges, trees, cottage industries, planned villages, mills, walls, fences, dykes, shootings, shielings, grazings, goats, boundaries, allowances of meal, cheese and money, thatch, smithies, lime and roads, building materials, garden and general repairs, complaints including assault and other difficulties with neighbouring tenants, emigration, quarries, militia services, schools, churches and peats.
Petitions also describe state of tenantry: deformed, ill, indigent, beggars, large families, orphans, disabled, fatuous, interest for disaffected tenants wishing jobs elsewhere, petitions for interest to obtain military or naval posts or on the civil establishment, from wounded and discharged soldiers. Tenants also defend themselves from accusations such as stealing of wood, smuggling, being a democrat and involvement in militia mobs.

Many of the petitions relate to the 4th earl's militia regiment, the Breadalbane Fencibles, and his efforts to gain recruits by promising land or favour to relatives of those enlisting. The earl did not scruple to use his position as landlord to force out 'volunteers'. Those tenants who had offered sons were sure of keeping their possessions, while those who had none, or were reluctant to offer them, were made to find a substitute.

The section is interesting as it shows the results of the agricultural revolution at grassroots level. It is a pity to have to record that the Breadalbane tenants showed a marked indifference to the march of agricultural science, and tended to clamour for things to remain as they were. The third and fourth earls were improvers, and the petitions show their progress: building dykes, farm steadings, roads and bridges, first wooden ones and then stone, mills of various kinds, and then latterly planned villages and introduction of tradesmen and manufacturies, Cheviot sheep and English cattle, and the division of hill pasture and of farms into lots. Also provided were churches, with manses and glebes, mainly established church but also dissenting bodies, and schools and schoolhouses, both parochial and those funded by the SSPCK.

Disputes between tenants are common and the earl or latterly his factors are applied to by the injured party for a solution. Charity is handed out to what were described as 'objects', that is, those in need either through age or weakness of body or mind. It is difficult to resist the conclusion that a great many people on the Breadalbane estates were either mentally or physically handicapped, extremely aged or forced to maintain very large families of their own as well as stepchildren.

On the whole the petitions follow a regular pattern, but there are a few more unusual items, such as those relating to the tack of a large tack of land to Dr Robert McNab of Bovane for sheep, which dispossessed many Breadalbane tenants of their shielings, much to their annoyance. Other petitions show the method used by the fourth earl of raising men for the militia; tacks were only granted to those families who had provided a recruit, either, when possible, from the family itself, or if not, by purchase. This naturally caused a lot of ill feeling among the tenants. The provision of service by the tenants was also resented: bringing coal, wine or letters, or providing horses and men to work on the roads.

Latterly the fashion of petitioning tends to decline, and the 19th century petitions here tend to illustrate Mr Boffin's experiences in 'Our Mutual Friend': passages to Australia, interest generally with government, jobs in Custom and Excise in particular, patronage for struggling authors, and applications by a diversity of charities.

GD112/12. Estate improvements, 1728-1918

Containing material similar to that in Section 4, on building dykes and fences, as well as bridges around Loch Tay, with a few accounts for Langton.

GD112/13. Papers concerning marches, 1600-1906

Disputes between the Glenorchy lairds and their neighbours, including the earls [later dukes] of Atholl, and the forfeited estate of Perth, and over boundaries of the forest of Mamlorn.

GD112/14. Factors' accounts and reports, 1617-1919

Mainly Argyll and Perthshire estates, with a few on Caithness, late 17th cent.

Includes rentals and instructions, tenants' rests, estimates for dykes, vouchers, undated and incomplete report on condition of the Breadalbane estates, report on improvements around Loch Tay, 1799; some letters, reports on livestock.

GD112/15. Vouchers of Factors' Accounts, 1643-1797

Note: This section is composed of 2 portions: first, the original sequence, consisting of accounts and related papers, 1657-1797, and an addition, containing further accounts, some damaged by damp, 1643-1700 and undated.

References to bundles in the second portion have been inserted in the first portion at the equivalent date. Some of the bundles in the second portion must have originally been united with the earlier sequence, as they bear the bundle numbers of a missing inventory made up about 1710. These have been given when stated, in addition to the modern references, as they are interesting because they show that the original cataloguer stored the papers in drawers, and gave the drawers letters as references, and bundled the documents within each drawer, as well as listing them in a paginated catalogue.

Other references indicate that some of the documents were bundled and stored in trunks, again labelled with letters of the alphabet.

This section shows very clearly the impact of modern civilisation on the Campbells of Glenorchy. In the middle of the 17th century, when the sequence of accounts starts, the family is almost self sufficient, only luxuries being imported from Perth and Dunkeld, and occasionally from Edinburgh. The family lived on the produce of its estate, and among its tenants. A century later, Lord Glenorchy lives mainly in England, and Breadalbane, his father, at the end of a very long life, remains in his apartments in Holyroodhouse, while the estate is administered by chamberlains, the rents being sent to the general receiver in Edinburgh.

As a result the nature of the vouchers changes too; the early ones are interesting for the social historian, containing many personal and household accounts for clothes, household goods, travel and foodstuffs, while the later ones deal almost entirely with estate matters.

Many show the preoccupation of the third earl with modernising his estate. Bridges are built over almost every burn into Loch Tay, as well as some larger scale ones, churches have been repaired or new ones built, manses, schools and schoolhouses provided, roads made, oakwoods cut and firwoods planted, dykes and fences built, some round woods as protection, some head dykes for farms; the gardens and park at Taymouth are laid out, the castle altered, and public houses, farms and steadings built, and the whole estate generally surveyed and mapped. Individual accounts include references to the Taymouth garden and its architecture and plants, innumerable trees for the parks, both at Taymouth and Finlarig; there are repair accounts for the chapel at Finlarig, the farmhouse there, the overseer's house at Tyndrum mines, publichouses at Killin and Amulree, accounts for the planned village of Aberfeldy; many legal accounts in the long drawn out wrangle with Menzies of Culdares over the forest of Mamlorn; repairs to the prison at Killin, and a series of accounts for bringing an Alderney bull and cow from Alderney to Taymouth. There are several minor accounts for work on the lodgings at Holyroodhouse, and a note on non payment of the teinds of Appin and Duror, crops 1744-5: 'the above are quite desperate, the men being killed, the widows herried and their houses mostly mostly burnt' 1747.

GD112/16. Miscellaneous estate papers, 1615-1908

This section may have come from the Breadalbane estate office rather than from Taymouth Castle, as it contains rather later material than in previous sections.

It deals with disputes among the Perthshire tenants, estate correspondence, reports and rentals, estimates for dykes, notes on sheep stock, with similar material for estate of Nether Lorne.

Also includes papers on the Black Mount deer forest, and on woods generally in Perthshire and Argyll, preservation of game and surveyors' accounts, due to Colin Foster, John Farquharson, Alexander Shepherd, Robert Robertson, Robert Reid and David Wilson.

There is an unusual little volume kept by Sir Colin Campbell of Glenorchy, bt., 1625-31, which he called his vade mecum, containing accounts and notes on tenants.

GD112/17. Local courts, 1498-1823

Court books of bailie court of Disher and Toyer, 1573-1748 [with gaps], and loose papers, mainly relating to thefts of animals, bonds of presentation, theft of a bag of gold on road to Edinburgh, 1741.

GD112/18. Mines and minerals, 1628-1915

Mining activities were widespread on the Breadalbane estates from the late 18th century.

Material in this section relates to Tyndrum lead mines, the Glenlochy and Tomnadashan mines, Barrs granite quarry and the various slate quarries at Easdale and Seil.

GD112/19. Langton, Berwickshire

A small section of papers relating to this estate, acquired by marriage of Mary Gavin, co-heiress of estate of Langton, to John, 4th earl of Breadalbane, in 1793.

GD112/20. Houses and buildings. See also Sections GD112/4 and 15

Papers relating to buildings at Taymouth and Kenmore. Those mentioned include Robert Mylne, 1789 and 1798, John Paterson, architect, John Gregor, mason at Bridge End of Perth, James Elliot, architect, Francis Bernasconi, plasterer, Archibald Elliot, architect; James Gillespie Graham, Frederick Crace, William Atkinson.

Garden at Taymouth, 1695-1807, including purchase of a sundial, 1710 and 1717. Plants for Taymouth gardens.

Furnishing accounts for Taymouth and the Park Lane house, 19 cent; London furnishing accounts for Taymouth, 19th cent.

Making Kenmore into an ornamental village.

Building at Achmore; repairs to the Breadalbane apartments in Holyroodhouse, 18-19th cent, the Glenorchy lodging in Perth, 17th cent, Balloch and Kilchurn, 17th cent; Ardmaddy 18-19th cent, Langton House, 1815-33, 68 Ennismore Gardens, London, 1904-10, Wigmore Street house formerly belonging to Lady Harriot Campbell, later to Mrs Campbell of Carwhin, mother of the 4th earl.

GD112/21. Accounts and account books 1582-1913

Includes Breadalbane diet books, 1582-1713 [with gaps]; consumption books 1784-1904, Taymouth, Black Mount and London; bills of fare, 1887-96; numbers at meals 1841-95, including those entertained while Breadalbane was commissioner to the General Assembly, 1894-5; cellar books, 1749-1914; household account and cash books 1841-1913; household and personal expenses, 1673-1914; vouchers and accounts 1619-1834.

GD112/22. Inventories of furniture, 1595-1886

Lists of furniture at Edinample; Finlarig; Balloch; Kilchurn; Achallader; Glenorchy; Barcaldine; Edinburgh; Shian; Thurso East; Holyroodhouse; Taymouth; Meikleour; Foley House, Cavendish Square, London; 21 Park Lane, London; Auchlyne; Langton; Bolfracks factor's office.

GD112/23. Bonds, discharges and related papers, 1548-1914

GD112/24. Bonds of manrent, fosterage and respite, 1538-1710

An outstanding collection of bonds of manrent, illustrating very well the methods the Campbells of Glenorchy used to acquire allies and territories. Cf. Jenny Wormald, 'Lords and men in Scotland: bonds of manrent, 1442-1603', Edinburgh 1985.

GD112/25. Marriage contracts and related papers, 1439-1863

GD112/26. Wills and related documents, 1541-1867; pensions and charity, 1662-1867

GD112/27. Law papers, 1579-1902; English law papers 1662-1814

The English papers include some accounts of profits of the seals of Kings Bench and Common Pleas, acquired by John Campbell, later 1st earl of Breadalbane, by his first marriage to Mary Rich, co-heiress of Henry, earl of Holland, 1662-7.

GD112/28. Papers relating to legal searches, 1681-1788

GD112/29. Miscellaneous receipts, 1545-1868

Estate matters, stipends, teinds, pensions, annualrent, feuduties, household and personal, factors, travel, jewellery and silver and wine.

GD112/30. First Breadalbane trust, 1770-78

GD112/31. Second Breadalbane trust, 1860-75

GD112/32. Breadalbane succession cases: J A G Campbell of Glenfalloch v C W Campbell, Bengal Cavalry, 1850-68; Gavin, earl of Breadalbane, v John MacCallum, Bengal Fusiliers, 1872.
Also contains productions in the cases, 1640-1871.

GD112/33. Recent securities 1775-1921

GD112/34. Banking, insurance and stocks, 1702-1905

GD112/35. Accounts of special interest, 1590-1893

Mainly 17th cent tailoring accounts, with later apothecaries bills, repairs to houses, bricks from William Adam, 1740, funeral charges for the earl of Aberdeen, 1745, Wedgwood accounts, jewellery and a series of general 19th century accounts due to tradesmen in Edinburgh and London.

GD112/36. Law accounts, 1605-1920

This section begins with the Glenorchy Campbells extirpating the MacGregors, and ends with a long series of accounts due to Davidson and Syme.

GD112/37. Crown revenues and taxation, 1541-1899

These are mainly concerned with payments to the Crown, eg discharges of land tax, and include eques (copies of accounts rendered in Exchequer) for the lordship of Disher and Toyer.
See also Section 43.

GD112/38. Lists of debts and payments, 1617-1815

Mainly relates to debts of John, 1st earl of Breadalbane, some as a result of the purchase of estate of Nether Lorne from Lord Neil Campbell.

GD112/39. Correspondence, c.1550-1915

The two former series of mounted and unmounted letters have been amalgamated as a single chronological series, the old reference [where known] being shown in square brackets at the end of the entry.

Reference is also made to a volume of transcripts of early letters relating to the MacGregors, made by John MacGregor, and now forming part of the John MacGregor collection [see GD50/116], which can be of use in deciphering some of the less legible passages.

This is the most interesting and important section of the whole collection. The early letters are particularly good. On the whole these deal with 2 main themes - the always uneasy relationship between the Glenorchy and the Argyll Campbells, and the one point on which they were united, the destruction of the MacGregors. To illustrate the first there is a good series of letters from Archibald, 5th earl of Argyll, to Colin Campbell of Glenorchy, his cousin, 1559-72. As might be expected they display a tendency to carp in times of peace, turning to a united front in the face of outside interference. Their not always co-ordinated efforts to extirpate the MacGregors meet with only limited success, which caused further friction between them.

Other correspondence of this period includes letters from Patrick, 3rd lord Ruthven, a series of earls of Atholl and Perth, the various Regents (Mar, Morton, Lennox and Moray), William Maitland of Lethington, Tullibardine the Comptroller, Annabella, countess of Mar, George, 6th earl of Huntly, Lady Jane Drummond, lady of the bedchamber to Anne of Denmark, who writes a series of increasingly exasperated letters to Sir Duncan Campbell of Glenorchy, urging him to stop trying to act as a marriage broker between herself and the widowed Archibald, 7th earl of Argyll; and Gavin Hamilton, former servant and tame notary to Sir Duncan, who makes a reasonably successful attempt at blackmail by threatening to swear that he had forged some of the Glenorchy charters, and ends up with a pension as a result.

Other minor characters include Mr William Bowie, sent as tutor with the Glenorchy children when at school in Haddington, c.1619-20, the letters used by Sir James Fergusson in his book, 'The White Hind and other discoveries' (1963), letters on proposal to turn Glenalmond into a deer forest, writers including Sir Patrick Murray, letters from Sir George Hay, Chancellor, 1st earl of Kinnoull, Sir William Alexander later earl of Stirling, Anna Cornwallis, second wife of Archibald, 7th earl of Argyll, the Roman Catholic lady responsible for exiling her husband as a general fighting for the King of Spain in the Netherlands, much to the disgust of Sir Duncan Campbell, and a large number of instructive letters from Archibald Campbell of Glencarradale, mostly on legal topics but containing both foreign and domestic news, the progress of the Thirty Years War and the situation in France, as well as the resistance at home to the introduction of the Prayer Book, and the unfortunate affair of the ill-advised Earl of Airth and Menteith who endeavoured to claim the earldom of Strathearn, with disastrous results, one of them being the failure of the Glenorchy Campbells to obtain the expected viscountcy.

There are also schoolboy letters from Alexander Campbell of Auchinrire, sent to school in Dundee, with his refractory brother, Duncan, permanently in debt and clamouring for money, venison and clothes; letters on the quarrel between Lord Reay and David Ramsay in the matter of Ochiltree's treasonable speeches in favour of the Marquess of Hamilton as future king of Scotland, and letters from two dyers or litsters, Nicolas Herman in Perth and Thomas Wilsone in Edinburgh.

By the mid 17th century the letters have become more domestic in character. There is a further series from Glencarradale, covering the opening of the civil war, and conveying well the feeling of righteousness and determination among the covenanters in Edinburgh at this time. Glencarradale himself, as servant of Archibald, 8th earl, 1st marquess of Argyll, is involved in the negotiations, and accompanies the army as far as Coldstream to see it ford the Tweed, with Montrose on foot encouraging the troops to enter the water.

Sir Colin Campbell of Glenorchy plays no part in all this, being detailed at home by illness. However he sends Glenfalloch, his brother, and John, the latter's son, a henpecked and worried young man, caught in the crossfire between his wife and mother, and desirous of escaping his domestic difficulties by going to France. Sir Colin, though inactive, has a voracious appetite for news, and Glencarradale does his best to satisfy this for him, and, inadvertently, for us. Otherwise Sir Colin is occupied in annotating his papers and caring for Archie, lord Lorne, later 2nd marquess of Argyll, his foster son. Archie, at this period of his life, is an engaging child, referring in his letters to his parents as 'lord daddie' and 'lady minnie', and there is no trace of the later discord between father and son, though the child does show a tactless preference for life at Balloch rather than Inveraray, in spite of the tutor got for him at Balloch to instruct him in the gaelic tongue, but as the latter was later dismissed as drunk and indolent, Archie's mother may have been right when she complained that the tutor was not strict enough with her son.

Other correspondents include Anna, marchioness of Hamilton, a formidable and martial lady, seen in Leith urging on the covenanting troops in person, while James, her son, later 1st duke of Hamilton, commanded the royalist troops cruising in the Forth; her letters relate to peaceful topics, mainly Sir Colin's desire for a peerage, and the supply of deer to stock the parks of Kinneil and Hamilton; on the domestic front, Sir Colin employs George Jameson, the painter, to provide portraits for Glenorchy, at 20 merks each and other 10 merks for materials (1634).

Threat of war causes Sir Colin to stockpile armaments - powder, lead, bullets, cannon and bows and arrows, and to discuss the fortification of various islands, much in demand among his friends and relations as suitable refuges in time of trouble. Margaret Douglas, countess of Argyll, attended the Glasgow Assembly of 1638. and writes of its proceedings in an enthusiastic style, very unlike her usual maternal enquiries as to the health of her son. Popular disturbances in Edinburgh are also related, including a graphic description of the ill usage suffered by the Treasurer and Kinnoull in July 1639, and the reaction of the king to this story; General Leslie, later earl of Leven, is another correspondent, and there is the unexpected tale of the deerhound which found its way back home from Fife to Glenorchy, and the odd affair of the Spanish fleet in the Downs being defeated by the Dutch navy, also in autumn 1639.

Letters in the second half of the 17th century are less full or interesting, due to death of the invalid Sir Colin in 1640. Robert, his brother and successor, is a rather feeble character, and so is his son, John, who seems remarkable for nothing except siring 27 children, John, 1st earl of Breadalbane, among them. With the latter, the letters pick up again and become more detailed. Breadalbane lived a long and interesting life, and combined an illegible hand with a very individual prose style, and his comments on affairs, while often lacking Christian charity, are definitely riveting. His career was not one to induce his contemporaries to trust him if they could help it, but it was certainly varied: a jacobite at the restoration, in favour sufficiently with William III to be sent on a mission to bribe the highland clans into loyalty, and then imprisoned in Edinburgh Castle as scapegoat after the massacre of Glencoe, and forcibly retired to his estate thereafter. He remained a jacobite and was engaged in efforts to further the cause in 1715 when he was taken ill and died in 1717. At this point his son, a hanoverian, had a frenzied clear out of incriminating papers, which means that a great deal of interesting correspondence is lost.

However, the period to 1710 is well documented, topics including Breadalbane's first marriage to Mary Rich, the Holland heiress, in 1657, his annexation of the earldom of Caithness and its subsequent retraction, 1676-82, letters on education of his children at Ormiston school, 1673, letters from the Duke and Duchess of Lauderdale, Argyll's campaign against the Macleans on Mull and his efforts to raise the Armada wreck, 1677, foreign travel of Duncan, lord Ormelie, 1678-80, trouble between Argyll and Lord McDonell, arrival of James, duke of York, in Scotland, 1679, process of treason against Breadalbane on account of his invasion of Caithness, 1682-3, Argyll's rebellion, 1685, letters from Claverhouse, Alexander Robertson of Strowan, William, 1st duke of Queensberry, William, 1st viscount Strathallan, Colonel Cannon, and General Hugh Mackay; the long drawn out affair of the acquisition of the estate of Nether Lorne from Lord Neil Campbell, including some very peevish letters from Archibald Campbell, his son, later bishop of Edinburgh, the massacre of Glencoe [though the letters have all been used already, and there are many disappointing gaps]. Writers including Lochiel, Torcastle and Keppoch; Breadalbane's journey to see William III in London in 1691-2, to discuss methods of pacifying the clans, and Glenorchy's hasty journey to Namur to get a warrant from William III for Breadalbane's release from prison in 1695, writers including Stair, Leven, Colonel J Hill, Tarbat, Cameron of Callart, Rob Roy MacGregor, Seafield, Brigadier A Maitland, Sir William Bruce, John Campbell, goldsmith in London, and Duncan Forster, Breadalbane's gardener, with a detailed account of the gardens at Versailles.

After this Breadalbane is forcibly repatriated and the letters revert to the usual tenor of legal, estate and financial affairs. The Caithness lands continue to give trouble, with the incoming Campbells being hotly resisted by the native Sinclairs, and there are also difficulties with the lands of Nether Lorne.

There is a sad sequence of letters on the illness and death of Colin Campbell of Ardmaddy, Breadalbane's youngest son, of consumption in London in 1708, leaving one illegitimate son, John Campbell, later of the Royal Bank.

With the Union the importance of Edinburgh dwindles: the letters of 1708 relate to the first election of representative peers, and the threatened jacobite invasion. Writers include James, 4th duke of Hamilton, who persists in addressing Breadalbane as 'Donald', and William, lord Nairne.

Many of the letters are between Breadalbane and Colin Campbell of Carwhin, his cousin and lawyer. Both men had bad tempers and the letters lead one to suppose that they were both liable to take umbrage without difficulty.

On the death of Breadalbane in 1717, the interest of the correspondence fades dramatically, and the decline of the family is shown clearly on the failure of the succession of the first earl on the death of the third earl, his grandson, in 1782. Topics touched on include highland troubles after the '15, John, lord Glenorchy, later 3rd earl of Breadalbane, as minister to Copenhagen, 1720-9, improvements on the Breadalbane estates under his regime, youthful letters from John, 4th earl, and Carwhin, his brother, while at Morges in Switzerland, 1776-82, local politics, with letters from Henry Dundas, and the fencible regiment raised by the 4th earl, 1792-9.

Later letters relate to alterations at Taymouth and other estate and personal matters. Writers include: Lords Lynedoch, Holland, Grey, Melbourne, Aberdeen [1842], and Palmerston, Dr Thomas Chalmers, Henry Brougham, Sir Robert Peel, Lord John Russell, Francis Jeffrey, Hugh Miller, Clara Novello, Metternich, W E Gladstone, the Rev Duncan MacGregor, president of the Scottish Land League of America, and E P Clinton, master of the royal household.

GD112/40. Royal letters 1566-1863

Writers include Mary, queen of Scots, James VI, Charles I and II, William III, Victoria and Albert and several of their children.

GD112/41. Letterbooks 1705-1856

Including letters from John, 1st earl of Breadalbane, which fill some of the gaps in section 39; wet letterbooks kept by Sir Alexander Campbell of Barcaldine, on Breadalbane's affairs, including one volume relating to Breadalbane's work as Lord Chamberlain, 1845-52.

GD112/42. Miscellaneous items removed from sections 39-40.

Some relate to death and funeral of Colin Campbell of Ardmaddy in 1708; personal and military accounts due by Gavin Campbell of Glenfalloch, later 6th earl of Breadalbane, 1838-53.

GD112/43. State papers 1542-c.1820

An artificial collection of material of varied provenance, including eques of Disher and Toyer, 1542-1643 (see also Section 37), and papers relating to the civil war, 1637-48; invasion of Caithness, 1679-83; garrison of Dumbarton Castle, 1688-91; jacobite attempts at invasion; Breadalbane's imprisonment in Edinburgh Castle, 1695-6; his involvement in the '15; damage done by garrison in Finlarig, 1716-17; thefts of animals in Perthshire in 1717.

GD112/44. Glenorchy as ambassador to Denmark, 1719-31

Includes letters from Carteret, Townshend and Horatio Walpole the elder; letterbooks kept by Glenorchy.

GD112/45. Peers' elections 1708-1858

GD112/46. Local politics, elections and freeholders, 1622-1855

GD112/47. Roads and bridges, c.1733-1920

GD112/48. Canals, bridges and navigation, 1701-1896

Includes: Kenmore bridge, 1771-4; Crinan Canal, 1792-1861; bridge at Comrie Castle, 1784-1830; bazaar at Aberfeldy to raise money for a bridge over the Lyon at Comrie ferry, 1896; proposed canal from Perth to Lochearn, 1793-1809; yacht 'Dream', 1850-7; sale of the 'Galley of Lorn', 1862-3.

GD112/49. General Prison, Perth, 1839-57; Oban prison 1856-61

GD112/50. Queen Victoria's visit to Taymouth in September 1842

Writers include John S Crace, 14 Wigmore St, London; J P Nichol, astronomer; Lewis D W Gordon; J W Mackenzie, 19 Scotland St, Edinburgh; and Alexander Currie, 43 Heriot Row, Edinburgh.

GD112/51. Churches, teinds, schools, and general ecclesiastical papers, 1456-1912

Containing material relative to eighteen parishes in Perthshire and Argyll, of variable interest.

Includes accounts for building church at Glenorchy, 1807-9; disputed translation of John Douglas from Kenmore to Jedburgh, 1756-9; Kilbrandon case, 1844; benefices of chantor (precentor) and chancellor of Lismore, 16-18th cent.

There are also papers relative to establishment of the Free Church of Scotland in 1843, and petitions to parliament presented by John, 2nd marquess of Breadalbane, the most influential and richest member of the Scots nobility to join the Free Church, on such subjects as patronage, desecration of the sabbath, the Maynooth grant and sites for Free churches.

Other Free Church papers relative to individual parishes, and the building of New College, Edinburgh, as well as the proposal to establish a training college at Oban for ministers and teachers of the Free Church.

GD112/52. Military papers

Mainly relating to the Breadalbane fencibles, 1792-9, and including a great deal of correspondence, mainly minor matters, but including the dispute over the 62 men discharged from the fencibles to enable them to enter the regular army in 1794, resulting in some very spirited letters from Henry Dundas and Lord Adam Gordon. There is also the mutiny of 1795, which ended with one man being shot on the sands at Leith in view of his fellows, and others being given the choice of service in the West Indies or flogging. Other records relating to the fencibles include muster rolls, records of court martials, returns and states, both weekly and monthly.

Other military bodies include the Breadalbane volunteers, 1799-1811, and the Argyll and Bute militia, 1840-62. There are also some muster rolls of the 40th or 2nd Somerset Foot, 1775-85.

GD112/53. Railways

Most of this section is concerned with the establishment of the Scottish Central railway, with smaller quantities, mostly legal papers, concerning the Callander and Oban, the West Highland and the Lochearnhead St Fillans and Comrie railways, and some projected lines which did not materialise, such as the Glenfalloch, the Strathtay and Breadalbane extension, the Easdale light railway and the Scottish Grand Junction.

Rather oddly, there is no material on the Killin Railway, largely promoted by the Marquess of Breadalbane.

GD112/54. European travel, 1678-1863

Mainly French and German accounts.

GD112/55. Societies and bursaries; advertisements, etc. 1745-1861

Topics include: the University of London, 1826; the female industrial school at Oban, 1849-62; the Great Exhibition, 1849-51; subscription lists of those who contributed towards sword of honour presented to Sir Colin Campbell, later lord Clyde, 1855-6.

GD112/56. Patents, diplomas, commissions and related papers, 1488-1914.

GD112/57. Genealogical papers, 16-19 cent.

Includes one genealogical table which is 18 inches longer than the Conference Room, door to door.

GD112/58. Documents relating to Caithness, 1503-1843

Nearly all papers relating to efforts of John, 1st earl of Breadalbane, to annex earldom of Caithness on which he had a tenuous claim due to his financial involvement in affairs of deceased George, 6th earl of Caithness, first husband of Breadalbane's second wife, Lady Mary Campbell. There are also a few earlier papers relating to the Sinclair earls of Caithness, including an instrument following on a brieve of furche.

GD112/59. Papers in process, Breadalbane v Menzies of Culdares and MacDonald of Kenknock, over bounds of forest of Mamlorn in Glenlyon, 1502-1748

GD112/60. Maxwell of Preston, 1740-60

Executry papers of William Maxwell of Preston, father of Wilielma Maxwell, lady Glenorchy.

GD112/61. Colonial papers, [1625], 1739-1857

Minor importance, mainly settlement in Canada.

GD112/62. Transactions with family of Argyll, [1329], 1607-1753

Includes an extract from the lost great seal rolls of a Campbell charter, 1329.

GD112/63. Lord Neil Campbell and family, 1654-1747

Some relate to Lord Neil as governor of Dumbarton Castle. Mainly regarding dispute over settlement of lands of Nether Lorne.

GD112/64. Campbell of Carwhin, 1652-1788

Includes personal accounts of Colin Campbell of Carwhin, WS, Breadalbane's Edinburgh lawyer.

GD112/65. Campbell of Lawers, 1544-1723

GD112/66. Various Campbell families: Inveraw, Aberuchill, Inneryeldies, Kintrae, Tofts, John Campbell, cashier of the Royal Bank of Scotland, and John Campbell, WS, his son. 1633-1818.

GD112/67. Stewart of Appin, 1633-1841

Mainly relating to teinds of Appin and Duror.

GD112/68. Other non Campbell families, 1466-1861

Atholl, Drummond, Glencairn, Kinross of Kippenross, McCorquodale of Phantilands, Menteith, Reidheuch, Robertson of Strowan, Shaw, Spittal of Leuchat, Stewart lord of Lorne, Wallace of Mainholm, and Wemyss.

GD112/69. Sederunt book of commissioners of late George, 3rd earl of Aberdeen, 1801-10

GD112/70. Papers relating to John, 3rd earl of Breadalbane, as warden of the royal forests south of Trent, 1757-65

GD112/71. Volumes, printed books and pamphlets, 15-19th cents.

Various legal treatises, a chronicle printed by Julyan Notary in London in 1515, the book of King Alexander the Conqueror with Duncan Laideus alias MacGregor's testament, and a small collection of 18 and 19th cent pamphlets.

GD112/72. Mercer of Aldie, 1757-80

Includes some papers concerning Pitkeathly Wells.

GD112/73. Miscellaneous misplaced papers, 1597-1907

Found during the rearrangement of the collection, too late for insertion into the correct section.

GD112/74. Additional papers from the Taymouth estate office

Includes: personal correspondence, with letters from Gavin Hamilton, notary, endeavouring to blackmail Sir Duncan Campbell of Glenorchy, 1608; John Jamisone, a descendent of George Jamieson, the painter, 1762; John Paterson, architect, 1798; Henry Dundas, 1798; Sir Ralph Abercromby, 1798; Archibald, 9th earl of Dundonald, 1805; Elizabeth Macquarrie, wife of Governor Lachlan Macquarrie, 1809; James Elliot, architect, 1810; Newton and co., 1810; Francis Bernasconi, 1811; Henry Westmacott, 1811; P Turnerelli, 1812; Sir Thomas Graham, 1812; William Atkinson, architect, 1820-31; John Galt, 1834; Dr Robert Knox, 1838; James Gillespie Graham, 1840; Sir Thomas Dick Lauder, 1843; Dr Thomas Chalmers, 1845; Professor G S Patterson, New York, 1848; W H Lizars, on publication of the 'Black Book of Taymouth', 1853; D O Hill, 1861; letters relating to Queen Victoria's journey to Inveraray via Tyndrum, 1876; Sir J Balfour Paul, 1895.

Factors' correspondence: John Kennedy, 1794-1811, Robert Reid, 1813-14, Robert McGillewie, 1814-32, J F Wyllie, 1831-66.

Secretaries' correspondence. John Ferguson, 1827-38, J M de Satrusegui, 1842-4, Sir Alexander Campbell of Barcaldine, 1843-56. Writers include: hon Fox Maule, Sir Edwin Landseer, Sir Francis Sykes, Francis Meynell, Macleod of Macleod, David Laing, Cosmo Innes and W H Lizars [on printing the 'Black Book of Taymouth'], Dr Joseph Watson.

General estate correspondence, memoranda, reports and returns, miscellaneous accounts.

Argyll estate papers.
Factors' correspondence: John Campbell of Lochend, 1791-8, John Campbell of Craignure, 1801-10, Duncan Campbell of Rockhill, 1818-41, James Robertson, Easdale factor, 1834-44, J H Mudie, 1833-50, Alexander Pitcairn, 1849-60.
Accounts, many for Easdale quarry, reports and miscellaneous papers.

Estate and household accounts, 1662-1891. Including: work at Taymouth Castle, outbuildings, park and policies, churches and manses, boats, dykes, roads and bridges, schools and schoolmasters, gardens and planting, outfitting Breadalbane's fencibles.

London accounts, 1690-1894. Including: house in Wigmore St., stained glass from William Collins for the window at Taymouth, 1812, J C Nattes for five finished sketches of Taymouth, 1814, earl's robes for coronation of George IV, repairs to rented house at Harlesdon Green, house at 21 Park Lane, antiquities and other objects for collection of the second marquess, house bills at Brighton, 1849-50, Stud House at Hampton Court.

Edinburgh accounts, 1723-1861. Including: expenses of John, 2nd earl of Breadalbane, living at the Abbey, Holyrood, 1739-50, minor repairs to apartments there, including accounts due to Young and Trotter [later Young Trotter and Hamilton], accounts of Breadalbane's expenses in Edinburgh during visit of George IV in 1822.

Travel accounts, 1719-1861, mainly between Taymouth and London, with some later French, Swiss, Italian and German bills due by John, 2nd marquess, 1846-61.

Petitions from tenants, 1791-1856.

Railways: Grand Junction, Scottish Central, Glenfalloch branch of the Callander and Oban.

Langton estate papers. Correspondence, 1796-1856. Writers include: Alexander Low, Rev John Brown, Douglas Ainslie, John Paterson, architect. Accounts, 1795-1819.

John Campbell, cashier of the Royal Bank, and John Campbell, WS, his son, 1739-1819. Mainly estate and legal correspondence and accounts paid for the Breadalbanes.

Legal correspondence and accounts due to Davidson and Syme, 1804-93. Containing much detailed information particularly on the Argyllshire estate; also the 'Black Book of Taymouth'.

Legal papers, 1428-1871. Including copy inquest concerning authority and privileges of the Coigrach of St Fillan, 1428.

Letters accompanying petitions to parliament, 1833-54. Topics: church patronage, desecration of the sabbath, University tests, Unitarian bill, Irish presbyterian marriage bill, Maynooth grant, sites for Free Churches, Post Office labour on Sundays, marriage affinity bill, slave trade.

Fencibles and other military papers, 1793-1842. Includes letters from Henry Dundas, Lord Adam Gordon, and Patrick Campbell of Achallader, the agent.

Miscellaneous papers, c.1656-1871. Including: letter from Sir John Sinclair on printing 'Ossian', 1805, papers relating to visit of Queen Victoria to Taymouth, 1842, purchase of a silvergilt shield attributed to Cellini, 1846. Printed catalogue of goods and pictures of Verrio, the artist, ?1707, and a variety of blue books and white papers.

GD112/75. Additional papers relating to Campbell of Glenorchy and Menzies of Weem, 1449-1830

Mainly writs and legal and estate papers of these families.

GD112/76. Additional papers from Dundas and Wilson, 1473-1923.

Mainly writs, with some rentals and estate papers.

GD112/77. Additional mss. received in 1976 from Dundas and Wilson, Davidson and Syme, 1617-1905

Writs and miscellaneous papers, including Lady Harriot Campbell's directions for her funeral, 1766, and papers relating to death of Eliza, marchioness of Breadalbane, 1861.

GD112/78. Purchased items (1977/1997)

Letter from Rob Roy to John, 1st earl of Breadalbane, 1707.
Ms. original of 'Black Book of Taymouth'.
Taymouth Castle Estate: printed sale brochure, 1922

GD112/79. Metal plates used for printing the illustrations in the 'Black Book of Taymouth', published by the Bannatyne Club in 1855

GD112/80. Additional Papers from Murray Beith and Murray WS, 1575-1799
Level Fonds
Arrangement The arrangement of the collection appears to reflect that which existed when they were at Taymouth Castle. Unfortunately the detailed inventory which is known to have been made was not transmitted and its present whereabouts is unknown. A handlist of the main part of the collection was compiled shortly after the original deposit, probably by H M Paton, later Curator of Historical Records. During the 1950s, Sir James Fergusson, Keeper of the Records, made a detailed calendar of some of the correspondence, but this only extended to those letters which had been mounted by the Victoria and Albert Museum. As late as 1956 a large part of the collection still remained in boxes only identified as 'Breadalbane Sacks' in the basement of the Register House. Despite the lack of detailed finding aids the collection was extensively used by researchers. During the 1960s and 1970s detailed lists were compiled of some sections, but it was not until 1988-93 that a serious effort was made to deal with the collection as a whole.

The present inventory represents a compromise in that it had to respect the existing arrangement, given the impracticability of re-sorting the entire collection and the fact that existing section numbers had been extensively cited. Neither the section titles, nor the selection of material within them are necessarily those which would have been chosen had it been possible to start again from scratch. All searchers for material on a particular subject should bear in mind the probability that there will be similar items in other sections.
Publication note The article on 'Campbell, Earls of Breadalbane' in the 'Scots Peerage' vol.ii, provides the best account of the family and its estates, based partly on muniments. Selected documents were printed in 'The Black Book of Taymouth' with other papers from the Breadalbane Charter Room (Bannatyne Club, 1855, reprinted as 'Kilchurn Heritage: The Black Book of Taymouth', c.1985). These are noted at the appropriate places in the inventory, except for one item, the 16th century 'Chronicle of Fortingall' which was not deposited in the NRS and which has not been located. Other documents are printed in W A Gillies 'In Famed Breadalbane' (1938), and Duncan Campbell, 'The Lairds of Glenlyon' (2nd ed. 1984). The letters in GD112/39/1-15 have been published by Jane E Dawson, 'Clan Campbell Letters 1559-1583', (Scottish History Society, 5th series, Edinburgh, 1997) and her transcripts may also be seen at www.div.ed.ac.uk/research/Breadalbane/index.htm.
Format Text
Language English
Related material GD1/641: Papers relating to James MacDonald, ground officer on Breadalbane estate, 1818-1944. GD1/1004
Papers relating to Auchmore House, Killin, 1910-12. GD13 Campbell of Balliveolan
Includes correspondence relating to the Breadalbane Fencibles. GD50 John MacGregor collection
Contains a variety of miscellaneous Campbell papers, including Glenorchy rentals and the Breadalbane Fencibles, along with a volume of transcripts from a Glenorchy household book, 1659-71, originally part of the Breadalbane collection, sold at the beginning of this century, and another volume of transcripts of some of the correspondence. This latter item is useful as some of the transcripts are now a lot easier to read than the rather battered originals. CH2/129/25 Edinburgh Lady Glenorchy's chapel, later kirk session Diary kept by Willielma Maxwell, lady Glenorchy, [daughter in law of John, 3rd earl of Breadalbane,] founder of the chapel, 1768-83, with other papers relating to her life and chapel. NRAS176 Wrest Park MSS presently [1993] held by the Bedfordshire Record Office
Grey and Grantham papers, the families being related to the Breadalbanes by first marriage of John, 3rd earl of Breadalbane, to Amabel, co-heir of Henry Grey, duke of Kent, in 1718, and Jemima, their daughter, sui jure marchioness Grey, wife of Philip Yorke, later 2nd earl of Hardwicke. NRAS1522 Papers of Mrs Kirkland, Edinburgh
Bundles 1-3 contained material relative to the Campbells of Glenorchy, mainly 17th century correspondence, 1428-1914. These papers have been sold at Sothebys and their current location is unknown. NRAS2238 Papers of Mrs A Francis, Lady Ironside and Mrs Aliaga-Kelly Papers inherited by the owners through their descent from Lady Mary Campbell, younger daughter of John, 1st marquess of Breadalbane, wife of Richard Plantagent, marquess of Chandos, later 2nd duke of Buckingham.
Some of these papers originally formed part of the Breadalbane collection, and relate to estates of Breadalbane, Langton and Buckingham, 18th-19th century. Application for access to these papers should be made to the National Register of Archives for Scotland.
Archival history The Breadalbane muniments were first deposited in HM General Register House in 1926. Previously they had been housed in Taymouth Castle, which had been sold on the death of Gavin, 1st marquess (second creation) and 7th earl of Breadalbane. The depositors were the Breadalbane Trustees, in whom ownership was vested during the lifetime of his widow, Alma, marchioness of Breadalbane. Because of the exceptional interest of the collection, G A J Lee, Deputy Keeper of the Records, agreed to accept custody without the then usual commitment for a formal and final deposit, which the Trustees were unable to give. The collection was then contained in 104 deed boxes, apart from what had been considered to be the most valuable and interesting documents. These had been sent by Lady Breadalbane to the South Kensington (Victoria and Albert) Museum, where they had been conserved and placed in 'large blue folio boxes similar to what are used in the British Museum'.

On the death of Lady Breadalbane in 1932, ownership of the collection passed to the Marquess' nephew, the 8th earl. He and the estate factor deposited further papers and additional material was discovered by Register House staff during the 1939-45 War, when the public records were stored in one of the estate houses, Morenish Lodge. After the War additional deposits were received, mainly from Dundas & Wilson CS, long-time agents for the family and for the Breadalbane Trustees. Ownership of the collection finally passed to Armorer, countess of Breadalbane, widow of the 9th earl, who gifted it in its entirety to the Scottish Record Office in 1973. Further deposits thereafter from Dundas & Wilson were treated as part of the gift. The 'Black Book of Taymouth' was excluded from the gift, but the countess, who insisted that it should stay in Scotland, sold this to the National Archives of Scotland in 1976-7, along with a letter of Rob Roy.

Perhaps owing to the progressive break-up of the Breadalbane estates after 1922, the collection is known to be incomplete. Some papers relating to Ardtallnaig were discovered in an Edinburgh antique shop in 1989 by a member of the NRS staff, who purchased them for deposit with the rest of the collection. The NRS has also acquired photocopies of two estate plans now in private hands.

National Records of Scotland, H.M. General Register House, 2 Princes Street, Edinburgh, EH1 3YY; email: [email protected]