The contents are as follows.
(i) Declaration by Sir John Smith about the expenses of the 1650 mission to Charles II at Breda, on which he and the 3rd Earl of Lothian were sent. (Folio 1.)
(ii) Two letters (one a draft, the second a copy) written by the 2nd Earl of Buckinghamshire to the 2nd Earl of Hardwicke, 1766, and to the Countess of Suffolk, undated, describing his experiences as ambassador at the Russian Court, 1762-1765. Part of the second letter is printed in ‘The despatches and correspondence of John, 2nd Earl of Buckinghamshire ...’, volume ii, page 283. (Folio 2.)
(iii) Eighteenth-century poems: an autograph manuscript of Horace Walpole's 'The magpie and her brood', 1764, published in 'The works of Horatio Walpole', volume i, pages 34-36; "Chanson de M De L'lsle, D'après La Lecture De L'Encyclopèdie", 1774; ‘Verses on bath... by Lady Millar', ?1783; 'The lamentation of the faithful wife of Asan Aga. From the Morlachian' (a copy, circa 1796, of Walter Scott's translation from Goethe, the manuscript of which is in Edinburgh University Library, Laing III.827. See D H Low ‘The first link between English and Serbo-Croat literature’; 'A prayer for indifference', undated (folio 16);
(iv) Eighteenth-century societies: copies in French and Italian of Freemason’s rules, found in one of their Lodges at Venice, 1785; an account of the Illuminati, 1775-1785; and rules, etc., of the Order of the 'Racaille', a social club apparently consisting of ten members, among them the 6th Earl of Lothian, circa 1786 (folio 28);
(v) Miscellaneous papers, 18th century: 'Disposition of fireworks to be burnt, 4th June 1761, at Woolwich'; ‘Information concerning Lisbon, 1778'; Memoirs of Miss Reed, an Irish girl shipwrecked in 1779 and detained in France against her will; copy of a letter from the Chevalier de Boufflers, 20 March 1791, to 'La D ... de B...', describing a visit to St Cyr; summary of events in France, 1792-1798, apparently meant to accompany a map of the war by Backler Dalbe (folio 47);
(vi) An apparently unpublished letter, 1849, from Jane Welsh Carlyle to Mr Lea. Mr Lea, an old Haddington friend, appears in descriptions of her visit to Haddington in 1849. See ‘Letters and memorials of Jane Welsh Carlyle’, volume ii, page 72, and ‘New letters and memorials of Jane Welsh Carlyle’, volume i, page 267 (folio 70);
(vii) Typescript of a speech by C Kingsley-Williams, ?1935, about the Reverend Alexander Garden Fraser, first Principal of Prince of Wales College, Achimota, Accra, later Warden of Newbattle Abbey College (folio 72);
(viii) Two drawings, undated, and a plan, 1844, of a farmhouse at Easterhouses (folio 76).