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Family papers, chiefly of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, of the Robertsons (a branch of the Robertsons of Strowan), the Macdonalds of Kinlochmoidart, and, on the marriage in 1799 of Margaretta Macdonald of Kinlochmoidart with Lieutenant-Colonel David Robertson, son of Principal Robertson, the Robertson-Macdonalds of Kinlochmoidart.

Identifier: MSS.3942-3988

Scope and Contents

Among the papers of the Robertsons the chief correspondents are Principal William Robertson, the historian, and his son William, a Senator of the College of Justice. The correspondence of the Principal includes letters of scholars, British and foreign (Voltaire among others), about his works, information on the American Indians, 1774-1777, and threats regarding his attitude to Roman Catholics, 1778-1779. That of Lord Robertson deals with his legal and political activities and the publication of his father's works.

The papers of the Macdonalds and Robertson-Macdonalds deal chiefly with the estate of Kinlochmoidart, forfeited on account of the part played by the Chief in the rising of 1745 and restored in 1784, the farming and leasing of the lands, debts, relations with other land-owners, projects for roads, the building of an Episcopalian chapel, etc. They also include letters on the military experiences of successive Chiefs - of Alexander in America, 1775-1780, of Donald in the West Indies, where he became Governor of Tobago, 1800-1805, and of David Robertson, afterwards Robertson-Macdonald, in Ceylon, 1797-1803.


  • Creation: 1608-1913, undated.

Conditions Governing Access

Normal access conditions apply.

Conditions Governing Use

Normal reproduction conditions apply, subject to any copyright restrictions.


47 Volumes ; Folio and under, unless described otherwise.

Language of Materials


Other Finding Aids

A table of the Robertsons has been placed in MS.3942, folio i, and one of the Macdonalds and Robertson-Macdonald’s in MS.3945, folio i.

Custodial History

The papers were bought by the National Library of Scotland with the aid of the Reid Fund.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Bought, 1937.

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
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