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The papers were bought by the National Library of Scotland with the aid of the Reid Fund.
Sir William Foulis, 8th Baronet, married in 1843 Henrietta Ramage Liston, the great niece and heiress of Sir Robert Liston, the diplomatist. He then assumed the additional name of Liston before his own.
The papers are divided into correspondence, volumes of legal and estate papers, and accounts.
The two account-books (MSS.6153-6154) are those that were missing from the series edited and printed by A W C Hallen in ‘The account book of Sir John Foulis of Ravelston, 1671-1707’ (Scottish History Society, 1894).