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Country code GB
Repository code 234
Repository National Records of Scotland
Reference GD40
Title Papers of the Kerr Family, Marquises of Lothian (Lothian Muniments)
Dates 12th century-20th century
Access status Open
Location Off site
Description GD40/1 Monastic charters, papal bulls, titles to land (Roxburghshire, Newbattle and others)
GD40/2 Correspondence and legal papers
GD40/3 Titles to land
GD40/4 Somerville writs
GD40/5 Miscellaneous legal papers
GD40/6 Bonds, assignations, discharges etc.
GD40/7 Patents, commissions, remissions, burgess tickets, passports etc.
GD40/8 Estate and household papers
GD40/9 General Correspondence
GD40/10 Military papers
GD40/11 Financial papers
GD40/12 Public affairs, 1638-1895 (including papers of William, earl of Lothian as secretary to Charles II)
GD40/13 Local and Borders administration and affairs (including local courts, railways and roads), 1529-[late 19 cent.] See also GD40/7
GD40/14 Ecclesiastical papers, heritors etc. 1439-1940
GD40/15 Miscellaneous papers, 1364-20 cent
GD40/16 Political and official papers, 1877-92, of Schomberg Henry, 9th marquess of Lothian (1833-1900), Secretary of State for Scotland, (1887-92)
GD40/17 Papers of Philip Kerr, 11th marquess of Lothian, 1882-1940
GD40/18 Papers received from Tods Murray and Jamieson WS, 1551-1882

The muniments are a very varied selection of a family's history, ranging from pre reformation charters from 1140 to the papers of Philip Kerr, 11th marquess of Lothian, died 1940. Like most collections there is a very large selection of titles to land, mainly in Midlothian and Roxburghshire, as well as estate and household papers, correspondence, and papers relating to local, public and international affairs.

Because the collection was catalogued in sections as it was deposited, there is much overlapping between the sections. GD40/1 and 3 in particular relate to titles to lands and while on the whole the earlier items are in GD40/1, from the mid 15th century, titles appear in both sections. It is essential to check both sections when pursuing the history of any piece of land in the collection.

GD40/2 contains 19 portfolios of items thought of particular importance by earlier cataloguers. There is a contents list to GD40/2 divided up into 9 parts; details appear at the front of the catalogue for this section.

GD40/3 contains similar material to GD40/1, but slightly later in date.

GD40/4 contains writs and papers of the Lords Somerville of the Drum, both English and Scottish documents. They do not relate to the rest of the collection, and were presumably acquired at some time prior to the arrival of the collection in the SRO. For a history of the family, see 'Scots Peerage', vol. viii, pp. 1-45. It is important to remember that similar material may be found in most of the other unbound sections of this inventory.

GD40/5-15, follow the normal pattern of large family collections: legal, bonds, estate and household, correspondence, financial papers, public affairs, local affairs and miscellaneous. Section GD40/15 is followed by the list of plans now in the RHP series.

GD40/16 contains the political and official papers of Schomberg Henry, 9th marquess of Lothian, (1833-1900), Secretary of State for Scotland, 1887-92. These include various files on the topics of the day - the Universities (Scotland) Bill of 1887, disturbances in the highlands, 1887-8, the Salmon Fisheries (Scotland) Bill of 1888, and on crofter emigration, as well as letters to and from Lothian as Secretary of State for Scotland, 1887-92.

GD40/17 is composed of the papers of Philip Kerr, 11th marquess of Lothian, 1882-1940, journalist and statesman, whose career begins as one of Milner's young men and ends as ambassador to the United States of America, taking in on the way the editorship of the 'Round Table', 1910-21, work as private secretary to Lloyd George from 1916, work on the Treaty of Versailles, secretaryship to the Rhodes Trustees from 1925, membership of Ramsay MacDonald's cabinet, 1931, and under secretaryship for India in 1931-2.

Plans relating to the collection can be found at: RHP37883-37937, RHP42433, RHP42642, RHP44019-44024, RHP47938-47960, RHP81344.
Level Fonds
Admin history For the history of the family in general see the entries in 'The Scots Peerage' for Ker, marquess of Lothian (vol. v, pp 452-87), and Ker, lord Jedburgh, (vol. v, pp 49-79).

'The Scots Peerage' shows that the marquesses of Lothian are descended from the Kerrs of Ferniehirst and Cessford, and hold three of the Kerr peerages - Lothian, Ancram and Jedburgh. Tradition reckons their descent from Ralph and John Kerr, brothers, who settled near Jedburgh about 1330. However the first to be included in the genealogical table of descent is Thomas Ker of Smailholm and Ferniehirst, mentioned in a great seal charter of 5 April 1474.

Mark Kerr, eldest son of Mark Kerr, commendator of Newbattle, (died c.1584), was created Lord Newbattle, 15 October 1591, and earl of Lothian, 10 July 1606. Robert, the fourth earl, was created marquess of Lothian, 23 June 1701.
Format Text
Language English
Related material In addition to the muniments deposited in the Scottish Record Office some items were presented by the special trustees of Newbattle Abbey and Park to the National Library of Scotland. These are listed in the Library's printed catalogue, vol iv, 5730-5841.
Archival history The Lothian (Newbattle) muniments were deposited in the Scottish Record Office in instalments from 1932 to 1972, and came from Newbattle Abbey, Dalkeith, Monteviot, Jedburgh and the family lawyers. Among the earliest records received were the land titles which form section 1 of the collection, and the portfolios which form section 2. The last deposit was of further papers of Philip Kerr, 11th marquess of Lothian, now incorporated into section 17. The collection was purchased from the family in 1991 with the generous support of the National Heritage Memorial Fund.

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