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Country code GB
Repository code 234
Repository National Records of Scotland
Reference RS
Title The General and Particular Registers of Sasines
Dates 1599-1871
Access status Open

RS1 First Series 1617 - 1652
RS2 Second Series 1652 - 1660
RS3 Third series 1660 - 1868


RS4 Secretary's Register 1599 - 1609
RS5 First Series 1617 - 1660

RS6 Secretary's Register 1600 - 1608
RS7 First Series 1617 - 1657

Aberdeen and Kincardine:
RS8 Second Series 1661 - 1869

Argyll, Dumbarton, Arran, Bute and Tarbert:
RS9 First Series 1617 - 1657
RS10 Second Series 1673 - 1871

Ayr and Bailiaries of Kyle, Carrick and Cunninghame:
RS11 Secretary's Register 1599 - 1609
RS12 First Series 1617 - 1653
RS13 Second Series 1653 - 1661
RS14 Third Series 1661 - 1869

RS15 Secretary's Register 1600 - 1609
RS16 First Series 1617 - 1661
RS17 Second Series 1661 - 1869

Berwick and Bailiary of Lauderdale:
RS18 First Series 1617 - 1661
RS19 Second Series 1662 - 1869

RS20 First Series 1646 - 1661
RS21 Second Series 1675 - 1869

Dumfries and Stewartries of Kirkcudbright and Annandale:
RS22 First Series 1617 - 1660
RS23 Second Series 1671 - 1869

Edinburgh and Haddington:
RS24 Secretary's Register 1599 - 1609

Linlithgow and Bathgate:
RS24 Secretary's Register 1599 - 1609

Edinburgh, Haddington, Linlithgow and Bathgate:
RS25 First Series 1617 - 1651
RS26 Second Series 1653 - 1660
RS27 Third Series 1660 - 1869

Elgin and Nairn:
RS28 First Series 1617- 1662
RS29 Second Series 1662 - 1869

Fife and Kinross:
RS30 Secretary's Register 1603 - 1609
RS31 First Series 1617 - 1660
RS32 Second Series 1660 - 1871

RS33 First Series 1620 - 1632
RS34 Second Series 1637 - 1658
RS35 Third Series 1660 - 1869

Inverness, Ross, Sutherland and Cromarty:
RS36 Secretary's Register 1606-1608
RS37 First Series 1617-1660
RS38 Second Series 1661-1869

Kinross [see also under Fife]:
RS39 1688-1871

RS40 First Series 1618-1653
RS41 Second Series 1654-1660
RS42 Third Series 1660-1869

RS43 First Series 1617-1656

RS44 First Series 1623-1672

Orkney and Shetland:
RS45 Second Series 1661-1752

RS46 1753-1869

RS47 1744-1869

RS48 Secretary's Register 1601-1609
RS49 First Series 1617-1621
RS50 Second Series 1624-1649
RS51 Third Series 1649-1660
RS52 Fourth Series 1660-1871

Renfrew and Barony of Glasgow:
RS53 First Series 1641-1657
RS54 Second Series 1661-1871

Roxburgh, Selkirk and Peebles:
RS55 Secretary's Register 1604-1608
RS56 First Series 1617-1658
RS57 Second Series 1661-1869

Stirling, Clackmannan and Stewartry of Menteith:
RS58 First Series 1617-1660
RS59 Second Series 1661-1871

RS60 First Series 1619-1657
RS61 Second Series 1658-1869


General Register of Sasines:
RS62 Minute Books 1617-1868
RS63 Presentment Books 1822-1868

Particular Register of Sasines:

Aberdeen and Kincardine:
RS64 Minute Books 1599-1869
RS85 Minute Books [unsigned duplicates] 1712-1869
RS86 Presentment Books 1843-1863

Argyll, Dumbarton, Bute and Arran:
RS65 Minute Books 1682-1871

RS66 Minute Books 1661-1869

RS67 Minute Books 1660-1869

RS68 Minute Books 1667-1869

RS69 Minute Books 1675-1869

Dumfries, Kirkcudbright and Annandale:
RS70 Minute Books 1671-1869
RS87 Minute Books [duplicates] 1671-1793

Edinburgh, Haddington, Linlithgow and Bathgate:
RS71 Minute Books 1617-1869

Elgin and Nairn:
RS72 Minute Books 1666-1869

Fife [and Kinross 1617-1688]:
RS73 Minute Books 1617-1871

RS74 Minute Books 1660-1869

Inverness, Ross, Sutherland and Cromarty:
RS75 Minute Books 1663-1869

RS76 Minute Books 1688-1871

RS77 Minute Books 1622-1869

RS78 Minute Books 1661-1869

RS79 Minute Books 1661-1869

RS80 Minute Books 1660-1871

Renfrew and Glasgow:
RS81 Minute Books 1661-1871

Roxburgh, Selkirk and Peebles:
RS82 Minute Books 1624-1869

Stirling, Clackmannan and Menteith:
RS83 Minute Books 1685-1871

RS84 Minute Books 1620-1869


RS88 Aberdeen
RS89 Angus
RS90 Argyll
RS91 Ayr
RS92 Banff
RS93 Berwick
RS94 Bute
RS95 Caithness
RS96 Clackmannan
RS97 Cromarty (to 1889)
RS98 Dunbarton
RS99 Dumfries
RS100 East Lothian
RS101 Fife
RS102 Glasgow
RS103 Inverness
RS104 Kincardine
RS105 Kinross
RS106 Kirkcudbright
RS107 Lanark
RS108 Midlothian
RS109 Moray
RS110 Nairn
RS111 Orkney and Shetland
RS112 Peebles
RS113 Perth
RS114 Renfrew
RS115 Ross (to 1889)
RS116 Ross and Cromarty (from 1889)
RS117 Roxburgh
RS118 Selkirk
RS119 Stirling
RS120 Sutherland
RS121 West Lothian
RS122 Wigtown


RS123 Aberdeen, 1869-1997
RS124 Angus, 1869-1994
RS125 Argyll, 1869-2001
RS126 Ayr, 1869-1994
RS127 Banff, 1869-1994
RS128 Berwick, 1869-2001
RS129 Bute, 1869-2001
RS130 Caithness, 1869-2001
RS131 Clackmannan, 1869-2001
RS132 Cromarty, 1869-1889
RS133 Dunbarton, 1869-1982
RS134 Dumfries, 1869-2001
RS135 East Lothian, 1869-2001
RS136 Fife, 1869-1994
RS137 Glasgow, 1869-1997
RS138 Inverness, 1869-1982
RS139 Kincardine, 1869-1994
RS140 Kinross, 1869-1994
RS141 Kirkcudbright, 1869-1994
RS142 Lanark, 1869-1993
RS143 Midlothian (Edinburgh), 1869-1994
RS144 Moray, 1869-1981
RS145 Nairn, 1869-1981
RS146 Orkney and Shetland, 1869-1981
RS147 Peebles, 1869-1981
RS148 Perth, 1869-1981
RS149 Renfrew, 1869-1981
RS150 Ross, 1869-1889
RS151 Ross and Cromarty, 1889-1981
RS152 Roxburgh, 1869-1981
RS153 Selkirk, 1869-1981
RS154 Stirling, 1869-1981
RS155 Sutherland, 1869-1981
RS156 West Lothian, 1869-1981
RS157 Wigtown, 1869-1981


RS193 Aberdeen, 1869-2001
RS194 Angus, 1869-2001
RS195 Argyll, 1869-2001
RS196 Ayr, 1869-2001
RS197 Banff, 1869-2001
RS198 Berwick, 1869-2002
RS199 Bute, 1869-2001
RS200 Caithness, 1869-2001
RS201 Clackmannan, 1869-2001
RS202 Cromarty, 1869-1889
RS203 Dunbarton, 1869-2001
RS204 Dumfries, 1869-2001
RS205 East Lothian, 1869-2001
RS206 Fife, 1869-2001
RS207 Glasgow, 1869-2001
RS208 Inverness, 1869-2001
RS209 Kincardine, 1869-2001
RS210 Kinross, 1869-2001
RS211 Kirkcudbright, 1869-2001
RS212 Lanark, 1869-2001
RS213 Midlothian, 1869-2001
RS214 Moray, 1869-2001
RS215 Nairn, 1869-2001
RS216 Orkney and Shetland, 1869-2001
RS217 Peebles, 1869-2001
RS218 Perth, 1869-2001
RS219 Renfrew, 1869-2001
RS220 Ross, 1869-1889
RS221 Ross and Cromarty, 1889-2001
RS222 Roxburgh, 1869-2001
RS223 Selkirk, 1869-2001
RS224 Stirling, 1869-2001
RS225 Sutherland, 1869-2001
RS226 West Lothian, 1869-2001
RS227 Wigtown, 1869-2001

RS228 Presentment Books, 2nd series, 1992-1993

RS229 Personal Presentment Books, 1992-1997

RS230 Duplicate Plans, 1925-Current
Level Fonds
Admin history An instrument of sasine is a formal record of the giving of possession of heritable property, consisting mainly of lands and buildings but also including mineral rights, local jurisdictions, teinds, church patronage, salmon fishings, ferries, and annualrents, redeemable rights and other burdens on any of these. The transfer of heritable property and the act of giving sasine or possession have always been considered of such importance as to require the utmost publicity in order that reliable evidence of the transaction might be preserved. Initially, the transaction could be proved by the evidence of witnesses and of continued possession, but a more formal method of proof was required and the instrument of sasine makes its appearance about the beginning of the 15th century.

The danger still existed of wilful concealment by a seller or borrower of previous alienation of property and several attempts were made in the 16th century to make evidence of rights in heritable property accessible to the public. These culminated in an Act of the Convention of Estates 31 July, 1599 [Acts of the Parliament of Scotland (APS) iv, 184], ratified in Parliament 15 Nov., 1600 [A.P.S. iv, 237], which proceeded on the narrative of the great prejudice suffered by the King's subjects by the forging of private writs, and established a register, called the Secretary's Register, under the superintendence of the Secretary of State, in which all writs of heritable property (excepting any recorded in the books of Council and Session and sasines of burgh lands) were to be recorded within 40 days of their date under pain of nullity. The Register, which was a local one, was kept in 17 specified places for the various counties or districts into which the country was divided. The 17 areas were not identical with the divisions of Scotland operative for the subsequent Particular Registers of Sasines but were sufficiently close to them to enable the volumes of the Secretary's Register so far as they have survived to be treated as the earlier series of the Particular Registers.

The Secretary's Register was suppressed in 1609 [A.P.S. iv, 407 and 449] but the present Register of Sasines was founded by Act of Parliament on 28 June, 1617 [A.P.S. iv, 545] which established a public register, under the control of the Lord Clerk Register, in which it was provided that all 'reversions, regresses, bonds, and writs for making of reversions or regresses, assignations thereto, discharges of the same, renunciations of wadsets and grants of redemption, and siclike all instruments of sasine, shall be registrat within three score days of after the date of the same'. Failure in due registration made the writ of no faith in judgment in prejudice of a third party acquiring a just and lawful title to the subjects. A particular register was assigned to each of the specified counties or districts into which the country was divided and a general register was kept in Edinburgh; writs might be recorded in the particular register appropriate to the locality in which the lands lay, or in the general register alone as applicable to all Scotland. The Lord Clerk Register appointed deputes to take charge of the particular registers, received custody of the completed volumes, and could and did amend the structure of the particular registers by amalgamation or separation.

Royal burghs were not included under the operation of this statute but Burgh Registers of Sasines for the recording of transactions in heritable property within Royal burghs were established in 1681 [A.P.S. viii, 248]. The Burgh Registers were discontinued by the Burgh Registers (Scotland) Act, 1926, and details of those in the custody of the National Records of Scotland are to be found in the repertory of burgh records.

Minute books for both the General and Particular Registers were already being compiled before the Act of 1693 [A.P.S. ix, 271] regulated these, making them perform the double task of minute book and presentment book. These minute books were generally well kept and provide a useful guide to the Register when no index exists.

Various modifications were made from time to time to extend and improve the utility of the registers e.g. leases of land and heritages for 31 years and over were made registrable by an act in 1857, but the existence of a general register alongside of local registers was found inconvenient. The question of consolidation into one central register was the subject of an inquiry by a Parliamentary Committee and as a result the Land Registers Act of 1868 was passed whereby it was enacted that the General Register should be kept in county divisions, and that the Particular Registers should be discontinued not later than 31 Dec., 1871. This catalogue lists only those registers which are prior to the new General Register set up by the 1868 Act.

Printed abridgments, in county arrangement, but combining in one chronological series brief abstracts of the writs recorded in both the General and Particular Registers, are available from 1781 onwards, and these have been indexed for both persons and places. An electronic search tool has been developed for sasines back to 1781. This incorporates the indexes and abridgements for these years and is available in the NRS search rooms in General Register House.

The Register of Sasines for 1905 onwards can also be searched on payment of a fee using the Registers of Scotland's Registers Direct service at http://www.ros.gov.uk
Format Text
Language English

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