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Correspondence and papers of the Mackenzies of Delvine and their clients.

Identifier: MSS.1101-1530

Scope and Contents

Contains correspondence and papers of John Mackenzie, Advocate and a Principal Clerk of Session, of Cramond and later of Delvine (died 1731), his sons Alexander, Writer to the Signet and a Principal Clerk of Session (died 1737), and John, Writer to the Signet, Deputy-Keeper of the Signet (died 1778), and Alexander's grandson Sir Alexander Muir Mackenzie, 1st Baronet, Writer to the Signet (died 1835); formed a distinguished line of lawyers who were active in the affairs of their day and included among their family connexions and clients a great number of Highland and Lowland families. The chief interest of the papers is the light which they throw on family history, for they give much information about some less-known Highland families and supply corrections to existing histories of those more famous. Public events are also mentioned. There is a considerable amount of correspondence about the Rising of 1715 and its consequences, but remarkably little about that of 1745.


  • Creation: Late 17th century-early19th century.

Conditions Governing Access

Normal access conditions apply.

Conditions Governing Use

Normal reproduction conditions apply, subject to any copyright restrictions.


430 Volumes ; In all volumes the sizes of the sheets are folio and under, except where the size is specially indicated.

Language of Materials



The papers have to a great extent been kept in their original bundles. These have been arranged in volumes as follows: MSS.1101-1228. Letters and papers of the Mackenzies of Delvine MSS.1229-14899. Letters and papers of families and individuals, the clients or correspondents of the Mackenzies of Delvine MSS.1490-1507. Papers relating to various subjects MSS.1508-1525. Account-books MSS.1526-1530. Large sheets and rolls unsuitable for binding with the earlier volumes. Miscellaneous papers

Letters in any one series are arranged in exact order of date, except in the case of ‘letters from various persons to’ an individual, which are placed in alphabetical order of the writers’ names. Deeds and papers other than letters are arranged by years only.

Other Finding Aids

A list of contents has been placed at the beginning of each volume.

Custodial History

The collection was bought in 1918 from the widow of Sir Alexander Muir Mackenzie, 3rd Baronet by the late Mr Reid of Lauriston Castle.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Bequeathed, along with their library of printed books, by Mr and Mrs W R Reid of Lauriston Castle and received in June 1926.

Separated Materials

MSS.149-277: Lauriston Castle collection.


For a history of the collection see William K Dickson, 'Letters to John Mackenzie of Delvine, Advocate . . . from the Revd. Alexander Monro, D-D. . . . 1690 to 1698' in 'Miscellany' of the 'Scottish History Society', volume v (1933).
National Library of Scotland Catalogue of Manuscripts
National Library of Scotland Archives and Manuscripts Division
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International Standard for Archival Description - General
Language of description
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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
George IV Bridge
Edinburgh EH1 1EJ
0131 623 3700