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Extracts and copies of historical works, collected by Sir James Balfour, 17th century.

Identifier: Adv.MS.33.2.7

Scope and Contents

The contents of the manuscript are as follows:

(i) `Epitome Codicis Sconensis ... ex libro M.S. Magni Mackculloche` (folio 1). Material in Latin and English, taken from the `Scotichronicon` for 1057 to 1436, with a supplement (folio 34) for 1199-1263. This was the basis of the early part of Balfour`s ‘Annales of Scotland’. ‘The Scottish historical library’, pages 92-93, refers to this manuscript.

(ii) Extracts from ‘Scotorum historiae’ by Hector Boece (folio 39).

(iii) Names of those who attended Parliament, 1478-1546, with notes on some earlier parliaments (folio 53).

(iv) `Catalogus quorundam ministrorum regis et regni ex antiquis cartulis collectus` (folio 59). Lists of royal officials from 1126 to 1636.

(v) Copy of the bull of Pius II, confirming the foundation of St Salvator`s College, St Andrews, 1458 (folio 65). The last half of the copy is missing. The bull is printed in ‘Evidence ... taken before the Commissioners for visiting the Universities of Scotland’, iii, pages 269-273.

(vi) Devices and mottoes of the Scottish monarchs from John Balliol to Mary, Queen of Scots, with explanatory and biographical notes (folio 70).

(vii) Copy of the first part of `A further discourse on epitaphs` by William Camden (printed in ‘A Collection of curious discourses’, i, pages 310-354). There are some additions and omissions, and Balfour has replaced the examples quoted by Camden (pages 314-354) with a collection of Scottish epitaphs (folio 93).

(viii) Extracts by Sir Robert Sibbald from chartularies of Moray and Aberdeen (folio 111 verso). The material on Moray is printed in ‘Registrum episcopatus Moraviensis’, pages 205-206, 253-254 and 359-360; that on Aberdeen is in ‘Registrum episcopatus Aberdonensis’, ii, pages 246-251.

(ix) A list of knights created from 1629 to 1642. Each entry is signed by Balfour as Lord Lyon (folio 115).

Sections (i)-(ii), (vi)-(vii) and (ix) are in Balfour`s hand.


  • Creation: 1440-1642.

Language of Materials

English, Middle (1100-1500); Latin


0.00 Linear metres (131 folios. Folio.)

Immediate Source of Acquisition

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


Nicolson, William. ‘Scottish historical library’ (London, 1702).

Boece, Hector. ‘Scotorum historiae’ (Paris, 1527).

‘Evidence ... taken before the Commissioners for visiting the Universities of Scotland’ (Reports from Commissioners, Session 1837).

Hearne, Thomas. ‘Collection of curious discourses’ (London, 1771).

‘Registrum episcopatus Moraviensis’, edited by Cosmo Innes (Edinburgh: Bannatyne Club, 1837).

‘Registrum episcopatus Aberdonensis’, edited by Cosmo Innes (Edinburgh: Spalding Club, 1845).
National Library of Scotland Catalogue of Manuscripts
National Library of Scotland
20 07 2015
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Finding Aid Prepared Using Local Descriptive Rules
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Repository Details

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

Archives and Manuscript Division
National Library of Scotland
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Edinburgh EH1 1EJ
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