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Country code GB
Repository code 234
Repository National Records of Scotland
Reference GD124
Title Papers of the Erskine Family, Earls of Mar and Kellie
Dates 1189-1957
Access status Open
Location Off site
Description This collection is that of the family of Erskine, Earls of Mar and Kellie, and was placed in the Scottish Record Office by John Francis Hervey Erskine, 13th Earl of Mar and 15th Earl of Kellie, Claremont House, Alloa, Clackmannanshire. The records are largely those of the Mar branch of the family. Details of the history of this distinguished Scottish family may be found in the 'Scots Peerage' and in the introduction to the HMC report on these papers. In the 16th century, the family had a close connection with the royal family, being guardians successively to the infants James V, Queen Mary, James VI and Prince Henry. Among the many important public offices held by members of the family were those of Regent, 1571-72 (lst Earl of Mar), Treasurer of Scotland, 1616-30 (2nd Earl of Mar - see particularly section 10 in this catalogue), Secretary of State for Scotland, 1705-14 (6th Earl of Mar - see particularly section 15) and Lord Justice-Clerk, 1710-34 (Lord Grange, brother of the 6th Earl).
Level Fonds
Arrangement Although there have been several previous arrangements of this collection or parts of it and various old inventories of it survive, the papers had become so inadequately arranged or disorganised that it seemed simpler and more efficient to re-arrange the collection completely for this inventory, retaining only the occasional influence of former arrangements. For example, the manuscripts received from the legal agents included a set of papers relating to the Earls of Fife, which have only a tenuous connection with the Erskine family, and these papers have been kept as a separate section (section 21) whatever their content. The new arrangement of the collection is shown in the table of contents. The collection is divided into sections to set apart documents of different purpose and subject-matter. Some sections are divided into sub-sections, but the numbering of documents is consecutive within each section. Individual documents should be ordered by the reference number of the collection, section number and item number, eg GD124/15/940. The table of contents notes the covering dates of each sub-section. In the case of some documents, the allocation into sections may seem somewhat arbitrary and researchers should never take any section as being exclusive. This is particularly so with regard to section 15 - correspondence - which contains material relative to the subject-matter of all the other sections. For example, in the correspondence between the 6th Earl of Mar and his brother James Erskine, Lord Grange, who acted as the Earl's agent in Scotland in all matters, including of politics, patronage, law, estate and family, any one letter may deal with several such distinct subjects.
Finding aids Inventory
Publication note Substantial excerpts from this collection have been printed in two Historical Manuscripts Commission reports (HMC, series 60), the main report published in 1904 and a supplementary report in 1930. It should be noted that in these reports the editorial choice both of documents and extracts from documents to be printed was a very subjective one and is not as complete as it may appear to be, particularly in the case of some of the letters. In this inventory, cross references are made from the descriptions of individual items to the relevant pages of the HMC reports in which the items are copied or noted.
Format Manuscript
Language English

National Records of Scotland, H.M. General Register House, 2 Princes Street, Edinburgh, EH1 3YY; tel +44 (0) 131 535 1314; email: [email protected]