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Early 17th-century manuscript of copies of various historical and legal papers made for Thomas Hamilton, 1st Earl of Haddington, with material covering the years 1400-1626.

Identifier: Adv.MS.34.2.16

Scope and Contents

Manuscript written in Scotland in the early 17th century, before 1637, for Thomas Hamilton, 1st Earl of Haddington. The volume consists of copies and extracts of various historical and legal works.

The full contents are listed below, primarily taken from Dolezalek's census and the 'Historical Catalogue' record. Any gaps in the foliation refer to blank sheets or sheets used for titles and headings.

Extracts of the rental book of the Abbey of Dunfermline. This is printed in the appendix of the Bannatyne Club edition. Folios 1r-13v.

Copies of proceedings and litigation papers from various dates of the second half of the 16th century. Folios 18r-107r. A more detailed breakdown of this material follows:

A process of perambulation in a justiciary court, between Hay Laird of Urie and Kay laird of Delgatie, 1575. Folios 18r-47v.

A process of stenting of common between Killeyth and Collington. Starting with a commission by king and Secret Council and continued in the Bailie Court of Saint Andrews, 1582. Folios 54r-83r.

Proceedings of apprysing, Reid of Colliestoun against the Earl of Errol, 1576. Folios 88r-107r

Criminal proceedings of various cases from the second half of the 16th century. Folios 108r-152v. A more detailed breakdown of this material follows:

Minutes of Justice Airs held at Elgin, Banff and Aberdeen 1556. Folios 108r-141v.

Information in criminal proceedings. What appears to be the first draft of a report to the process against the Lairds of Auchindrane Elder and Younger for the murder of Kennedy of Culzean, July 1611. Folios 142r-144r.

Information in criminal proceedings. Folios 146r-152v.

An alphabetical digest of criminal procedure. Quoting literature of Jus Commune. Dolezalek has identified the following references: references mainly to Corpus iuris canonici, with commentaries by Henricus Bohic, Pope Innocent IV, Abbas Panormitanus de Siculo, Johannes de Imola, Franciscus Zabarella; also frequently to Corpus iuris civilis, with commentaries by Bartolus de Saxoferrato, Baldus de Ubaldis, Angelus de Ubaldis, Ludovicus Romanus, Bartholomaeus Salycetus. Furthermore references to Guilielmus Durantis, Speculum iudiciale. Angelus (de Ubaldis de Perusio?), Consilia. Didacus (Covarruvias a Leyva?), Repetitiones ad Clementinas. Gomes, Tractatus de immunitate ecclesiae. Matthaeus de Afflictis, Commentarius super consuetudines Neapolitanas. Antonius Capycius, Decisiones Neapolitanae. Chassanaeus, Commentarius super consuetudines Burgundiae. Alexander Tartagnus de Imola, Consilia. Hippolytus de Marsiliis, Consilia. Folios 154r-156r.

Crimial proceedings, 1611. Folios 158r-159v.

Criminal proceedings: Court of Justiciary. Edinburgh, 1611. Folios 160r-178r.

Extracts of acts of Parliament from 1400, 1466, and 1471-1479. Folios 181r-199r.

Extracts of acts of Parliament, 1581. Folios 203r-205r.

Extracts of acts of Parliament, 1597. Folios 207r-212r.

Extracts of acts of Parliament, 1600-1607. Folios 213r-232v.

Registers of Acts and Decreets January 1531 – 23rd August 1538, repertory with interspersed Acts of the Secret Council. Contains many lists of senators present, Acts of Sederunt and also extracts which concern specific litigations before the Lords of Council and Session. Interspersed are acts of the Secret Council. The registers were not yet strictly separated in those early years. Title reads: Notes furth the Registers of Session 1531 et sequentia, comprehending also divers Acts of Secret Counsell. Folios 233r-244r.

Various registers of Secret Council 1603-1612. Folios 245r-340v.

Various registers of Exchequer 1538-1609, and 'Buikes of Responde'. Folios 341r-370r.

Registers of Exchequer: notes about the Crown’s revenue. Folio 373v.

Registers of Exchequer: various documents regarding the Crown’s revenue, mentioning the years 1591-1626. Folios 376r-395r.

The foliation is scribal. Occasionally there are two sets of foliation to differentiate between sections. This foliation runs inconsistently in the top right over of the recto sides.

The manuscript is in a mixture of Latin and Scots and is written by various contemporary hands.

The decoration of the volume consists of plain penwork initials.


  • Creation: Early 17th century, before 1637.


Language of Materials

The material is in Scots and Latin.

Conditions Governing Access

Normal access conditions apply.

Conditions Governing Use

Normal reproduction conditions apply, subject to any copyright restrictions.


1 Volumes ; 32.7cm x 22cm x 6cm


398 folios, inclusive of a duplication in the foliation of folios 143, 144, and 145.

There are 5 paper flyleaves to the front of the volume and 4 paper flyleaves to the rear.

Custodial History

The volume belonged to Thomas Hamilton, 1st Earl of Haddington, and according to the description given in the 'Histocal Catalogue', the section titles are in the Earl's own hand.

The manuscript was in the Library of the Faculty of Advocates by 1715 as attested to by a note in Patrick Abercromby's 'Martial Achievements...'. See volume II, page 230, note a.

There are ownership inscriptions for the Library on the recto of the fifth paper flyleaf and folio 1r.

The previous shelfmark assigned to the manuscript by the Library of the Faculty of Advocates is present on the recto of the fifth flyleaf to the front, 'A.4.22', since superseded.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

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


Abercromby, P. 'The Martial Achievements of the Scots Nation...', Volume II (Edinburgh, 1715), page 230, note a.

Borland, C. R. ‘Catalogue of Mediaeval Manuscripts in the Library of the Faculty of Advocates at Edinburgh’, 4 Volumes. (Unpublished manuscript, Edinburgh, 1906-1908). Volume II, folios 476-477. NLS Reference: FR.198a/3.

Innes, C. (ed.) 'Registrum de Dunfermelyn: Liber Cartarum Abbatie Benedictine S.S. Trinitatis et B. Margarete Regine de Dunfermelyn' Bannatyne Club (Edinburgh, 1842), appendix II, pages 425-462.

Dolezalek, G. 'Manuscripta Juridica', online resource provided by Max-Planck-Institut für europäische Rechtsgeschichte:

Dolezalek, G. 'Scotland Under Jus Commune: Census of manuscripts of legal literature in Scotland, mainly between 1500 and 1600', 3 Volumes, Stair Society (Edinburgh, 2010). Especially Volume 1, page 79; Volume 2, pages 382-383.

'Folio Catalogue of Manuscripts: Historical' (Unpublished manuscript, Edinburgh [18??]), folios 153-154. NLS Reference: FR.186.

'Miscellany One' (Stair Society, Edinburgh, 1971), page 128, note 6.

'Summary Catalogue of the Advocates' Manuscripts' (Edinburgh, 1971), page 59, number 712.

Thomas, J. M. (ed.) 'Registrum Magni Sigilli Regum Scotorum. The Register of the Great Seal of Scotland, A.D. 1306-1424', Volume 1 (Edinburgh, 1912), appendix I, pages 425-506.

Physical Description


The binding is of 19th-century brown leather covering cardboard. The front and back boards have a gold-tooled design of a floral medallion, within which reads 'ADVOCATORUM BIBLIOTHECA', surrounding a face within rays. The spine has raised bands and a gold-tooled library stamp, shelfmark and title which reads: 'MISCELLANEOUS COLLECTIONS'. The volume was rebacked in October 1931.

The paper throughout the volume has various watermarks. The two outermost flyleaves are more modern and have a watermark with a date, possibly '1813'. The remaining flyleaves are older and are watermarked with grapes. The paper leaves of the manuscript proper feature watermarks of various jugs.

Dolezalek has identified the watermarks as the following: A jug with broad leters 'PO', and on its base the letter 'I', similar to, but still quite distinct from the watermark in Adv.MS.34.2.2 (folios 15 and 86); a jug with letters 'PD' and beneath a 'B' (folios 49 and 52).

Towards the end of the volume the size of the paper begins to vary, with many insertions and interpolations. Folio 159 is a large foldout sheet.

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