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Two collections of writings of Allan Ramsay, in his hand.

Identifier: MS.2233

Scope and Contents

The contents are as follows.

(i) Drafts of poems, of a prose treatise in defence of the theatre (fragmentary, but not ‘Some Few Hints in Defence of Dramatic Entertainments’), and of a letter to a lady, containing a poem. Some of the poems appear to be unpublished; others differ greatly from the printed version. On folio 10 there are marginal references, apparently contemporary, to the pages of ‘Poems by Allan Ramsay’ (Edinburgh, 1728), volume ii. Some of the leaves are paginated, but the set is not complete. They have been arranged conjecturally. A list of contents has been placed at the beginning in which as many of the poems as possible are identified.

(ii) 'The Monk & the Millars Wife' and 'Advice to Mr. -- on his Mariage', a continuous portion of a manuscript, bearing references to pages and signatures which appear to be those of number 78 (1724) in Burns Martin, ‘Bibliography of Allan Ramsay’ (Glasgow, 1931).

Between the lines

'The parish priest of reverend fame In active courtship with the dame'


'To lengthen out description here Would but offend the modest ear'

is a gap, with the instruction, in Ramsay's hand, 'Leave room here for 8 lines'. These lines were never supplied in print, and this may account for the slight discrepancy in the pagination between Ramsay's manuscript and the printed version described by Martin.


  • Creation: Early 18th century.

Conditions Governing Access

Normal access conditions apply.

Conditions Governing Use

Normal reproduction conditions apply, subject to any copyright restrictions.


57 Leaves ; Folio.

Language of Materials



iii + 54 folios.

Custodial History

Section (i) was bought by the National Library of Scotland with the aid of the Reid Fund.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Bought, 1938. Section (ii) bought, Sotheby's, 30 June, lot 388.

National Library of Scotland Catalogue of Manuscripts
National Library of Scotland Archives and Manuscripts Division
Description rules
International Standard for Archival Description - General
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