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`Adversaria`, being miscellaneous notes and copies of correspondence of Sir Robert Sibbald, with scholars such as William Nicolson, Edward Lhuyd and John Smith of Durham on Scottish history and antiquities.

Identifier: Adv.MS.33.3.19

Scope and Contents

Smith`s letters (folios 47-61), some of which are originals, concern the records of Scottish history surviving at Durham. Other contents are as follows:

(i) Notes on historical manuscripts in Edinburgh University Library (folio 2).

(ii) The life of Robert Morison copied from his ‘Plantarum Historiae Universalis Oxoniensis’, part 3, with notes on the same volume (folio 4 verso).

(iii) `A list of Gold Scotch Coyns` (folios 13 verso, 18).

(iv) `The Shells disposed in Seven Classes according to Dr Grew his methode` (folio 14).

(v) `Ben Jonsoniana. Informations be Ben Johnston [sic] to W.D. when he came to Scotland upon foot in 1619` (folio 25 verso). These were edited by C H Herford and Percy Simpson in ‘Ben Jonson’, i, pages 128-178.

(vi) `Bibliotheca Scotica or Ane account of the Scotish Authors who by their writtings have improved all sort of learning`, 1700 (folio 32). The introduction and plan of the work, and draft of the first section. For Sibbald`s main collection of material on the subject, see Adv.MS.33.5.17.

(vii) Preface to a bibliography of writers on Scotland intended as a preliminary work for a general history of Scotland by several authors (folio 37). The main text may be that in Adv.MS.33.3.16.

(viii) `Albania sive Scotia Antiqua Illustrata libris tribus` (folio 39). A draft list of the contents of part of Sibbald`s `Atlas Scoticus`. For his final version, see ‘Nuncius Scoto-Britannus’, pages 4-6.

(ix) Excerpts from ‘H. Valesii rerum Francicarum libri VIII’ (folio 41).

(x) Description of Stirling in Latin probably intended for ‘Theatrum Scotiae’ (folio 43). For another version, see Adv.MS.33.3.22, folio 17 verso.

(xi) `The methode of the discourse about our Whales`, circa 1700 (folio 45). A summary of three essays on Scottish whales, and notes about a whale at Cramond.

(xii) `Elogia Jurisconsultorum Nostrorum per D. Georgius Mackenzius` (folio 64 verso).


  • Creation: Circa 1682-1706, and undated.

Language of Materials



0.00 Linear metres (65 folios. Folio and under.)

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Presented, 1925, by the Faculty of Advocates to the nation on the foundation of the National Library of Scotland.

Related Materials





Edward Lhuyd`s letters and parts of William Nicolson`s have been published by John L Campbell in ‘Celtica’, xi (1976), pages 33-42.

Morison, Robert. ‘Plantarum Historiae Universalis Oxoniensis’, part 3 (Oxford, 1699).

‘Ben Jonson’, edited by C H Herford and Percy Simpson (Oxford, 1925-1952).

Sibbald, Robert. ‘Nuncius Scoto-Britannus’ (Edinburgh, 1683).

‘H. Valesii rerum Francicarum libri VIII’ (Paris, 1646-1658).

Slezer, John. ‘Theatrum Scotiae’ (London, 1693).
National Library of Scotland Catalogue of Manuscripts
National Library of Scotland
20 07 2015
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Repository Details

Part of the National Library of Scotland Archives and Manuscripts Division Repository