Correspondence and documents of Sir Walter Scott and of John Gibson Lockhart, formerly in the possession of Major-General Sir Walter Maxwell Scott, Baronet of Abbotsford, Companion of the Order of the Bath, Distinguished Service Order. Edit




  • 18th century-19th century. (Creation)


  • 88 Volumes (Whole)



  • Conditions Governing Access

    Normal access conditions apply.

  • Conditions Governing Use

    Normal reproduction conditions apply, subject to any copyright restrictions.

  • Immediate Source of Acquisition

    Bought, 1931-1932, from Sir Walter Maxwell Scott, Baronet, who facilitated the purchase by his generous terms. He also presented several documents, which are indicated under the relevant description.

  • Custodial History

    The collection was bought by the National Library of Scotland with the aid of the Reid Fund. With the exception of MSS.861-864 and some other papers relating to the Ballantynes, these had been preserved at Abbotsford, where they were found in Sir Walter Scott’s desk and cupboards.

  • Arrangement

    Those which were received loose have been bound. Others had already been bound, somewhat unmethodically in 1875 by Orrock & Son, Edinburgh (see MS.1762); it has not therefore been possible to arrange the collection quite logically. The papers are arranged as follows: MSS.851-860. Letters of Sir Walter Scott MSS.861-864. Papers relating to the partnership with the Ballantynes MSS.865-874. Letters to Sir Walter Scott MSS.875-876. Original compositions of Sir Walter Scott MSS.877-882. Materials for works written or edited by Sir Walter Scott. MSS.883-890. Material for 'Life of Napoleon Buonaparte' by Sir Walter Scott MSS.891-915. Miscellaneous material, chiefly collected by Sir Walter Scott: (MSS.891-900) Literary material, (MSS.901-908) Antiquarian material, (MS.909) Topical material, (MSS.910-915) Miscellaneous material MSS.916-922. Accounts of Sir Walter Scott and other documents relating to him MSS.923-936. Correspondence of John Gibson Lockhart MSS.937-938. Miscellaneous papers

  • Other Finding Aids

    Lists of contents have been inserted in many of the miscellaneous volumes.

  • Separated Materials

    See also MSS.1549-1634.

  • Bibliography

    The letters addressed to Sir Walter Scott form a supplement to the volumes of letters in the possession of Hugh Walpole, Esquire, selections from which have been printed in the ‘Private letter-books of Sir Walter Scott’ (London, 1930) and “Sir Walter’s post-bag” (London, 1932), both edited by W Partington; the last-named volume contains some letters from MSS.865-870. All the material in the Abbotsford Collection has been used in the ‘Letters of Sir Walter Scott’, Centenary Edition, edited by Sir Herbert J C Grierson (Edinburgh, 1932-1937).