Edward Theodore Salvesen (1857-1942) was the son of Christian Frederick Salvesen (1827-1911), the Norwegian born founder of the Salvesen shipping company of Leith. He was educated at Edinburgh University and called to the Scottish Bar in 1880, becoming a Queen’s Counsel in 1899. As a Liberal Unionist candidate, he unsuccessfully contested the parliamentary constituencies of Leith Burghs in 1900 and Bute in 1905. He was Sheriff of Roxburghshire, Berwickshire and Selkirkshire from 1901-1905 and held office as Solicitor General for Scotland from February-October 1905. In 1905 he was appointed a judge of the Court of Session, a post he held until 1922. He was appointed a Privy Council in 1922 and was also a member of the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council. He was the Lord Rector`s Assessor on the Courts of Edinburgh University from 1929-1933, and presided over numerous charitable organisations. He was a Commander of the Order of the White Rose of Finland and Order of St. Olav of Norway.
The manuscript diaries and journals provide an insight into Salvesen’s youth and early years in the Scottish bar. In addition, they document his frequent journeys to Norway, Finland and Germany, thus showing the strong links he maintained throughout his life with the land of his fore-bearers. Many of the volumes contain enclosures that have been described in the inventory and also sketches of buildings, animals and some unidentified human faces.