Skip to main content

Topographical and other works.

Identifier: Adv.MS.33.3.22

Scope and Contents

The contents of the manuscript are as follows:

(i) `Scotia illustrata sive Theatrum Urbium, Arcium, Monasteriorum et aedium quarundam illustrium in Scotia`, circa 1692. The Latin text by Sibbald intended for John Slezer`s ‘Theatrum Scotiae’. It is very different from the published text which Slezer had had translated without Sibbald`s authority. The preface is in Slezer`s hand, and each entry is signed by both Sibbald and Slezer. (Folio 1.)

(ii) Copy of William Harvey`s description of the Bass Rock. See his ‘Opera omnia’, pages 221-222. (Folio 43 verso.)

(iii) `Of Ancient Scotland`. Eight chapters in Slezer`s hand. Each page is signed by both Sibbald and Slezer. (Folio 44.)

(iv) Latin verses, copied from one of Sir Robert Cotton`s manuscripts, which were spoken at a feast in the time of Queen Mary. (Folio 48 verso.)

(v) `Dionisij Alexandrini Περιήγησεος seu orbis descriptiones versiones quatuor Latinae`, with extracts from printed works, 1709. Folios 53 verso-54 verso contain notes taken from ‘Thesaurus Geographicus’. (Folio 49.)

(vi) `Historia rerum in Scotia naturalium`, book 1. From the preface it appears that this work was intended to be very similar to Sibbald`s ‘Scotia Ilustrata sive prodromus historiae naturalis’, but book 1 consists of a survey of the different areas of Scotland with special reference to their natural resources. (Folio 57.)

(vii) `Notae in Antiquam Tabulam insularum Britannicarum`, a comparison of five editions of Ptolemy. The table of contents lists 30 chapters, but the text breaks off in chapter 3. (Folio 82 verso.)

(viii) `Exercitationes Historicae`. A list of chapters in the first of four books on Roman Britain. (Folio 94 verso.)

(ix) `Scotiae chorographia brevis` in three chapters. The text ends `haec pro brevi Regionum et Insularum Scotiae Chorographia sufficiunt, fusior explicatio in majore opere meo habetur`. (Folio 97.)


  • Creation: Circa 1692-1709, and undated.

Language of Materials



0.00 Linear metres (113 folios. Folio.)

Custodial History

The manuscript was bought by the Advocates’ Library in 1723 at the sale of Sir Robert Sibbald`s library.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

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


Slezer, John. ‘Theatrum Scotiae’ (London, 1693).

Harvey, William. ‘Opera omnia’ (London, 1766).

Ortelius, Abraham. ‘Thesaurus Geographicus’

Sibbald, Robert. ‘Scotia Ilustrata sive prodromus historiae naturalis’ (Edinburgh, 1684).
National Library of Scotland Catalogue of Manuscripts
National Library of Scotland
22 07 2015
Description rules
Finding Aid Prepared Using Local Descriptive Rules
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

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

Archives and Manuscript Division
National Library of Scotland
George IV Bridge
Edinburgh EH1 1EJ
0131 623 3700