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Papers, mostly correspondence, of Rev Robert Brown, Cumnock, Ayrshire and the Brown family.

Identifier: Acc.12100/1-61

Scope and Contents

The archive contains the correspondence of the members of the Brown family from 1810-1899. The letters reflect the personal lives of the Brown family and provide a stark insight into the lives of early settlers who travelled to the Victorian colonies in Southern Australia to reap the benefits of the quartz mines and the gold fields. The collection also contains documents that complement the narrative portrayed within the family’s correspondence.


  • Creation: 1743-1899.

Conditions Governing Access

Normal access conditions apply.

Conditions Governing Use

Normal reproduction conditions apply, subject to any copyright restrictions.


1.31 Linear metres (61 files)

Language of Materials



Upon its accession, the collection arrived ordered and numbered with corresponding typed transcripts and notes for each of the letters completed by Agnes Mary Alison Walker Weir. To enable use of the transcripts and notes in tandem with the original correspondence the original order of the collection has largely been maintained. The correspondence has been divided into four series, each reflecting a distinct phase in Brown family life.

The initial series covers the Brown family’s time in Cumnock, Ayrshire prior to the death of Robert Brown. This deviates from the original order as correspondence relating to Robert Brown’s official duties as a minister have been separated from the more personal family correspondence. The second, 1850-1862, contains correspondence between the members of the Brown family who remained in Scotland following the death of their patriarch, a majority of whom had left Ayrshire and relocated to Glasgow. The third and largest of the series contains the correspondence of the family members that travelled to the Victorian colonies in Australia. In the original order, some of the correspondence had been separated into folders containing letters sent outbound from Australia to Scotland and those sent from Scotland to Australia. These have been rearranged to fit into chronological order; however to allow use of the transcriptions, this order has been maintained within the folders. Where this occurs, the entries will appear as one description with two corresponding folder numbers, a note has been made at file level to indicate the contents of the folders. The fourth series pertains to correspondence sent following Jane Hay Hamilton’s departure from the colonies and has been arranged chronologically, as it appeared upon accession. The final series contains documents relating to the Brown family correspondence. This series also deviates from the original order as the documents had originally been included with the Brown family letters. These documents have been arranged into four individual folders and each folder corresponds with a series of correspondence.

The transcriptions that were provided with the collection upon accession appear after the series containing the original correspondence and documents. These have been arranged to mirror the arrangement of the Brown family letters within their folders. Each individual transcription was assigned a number prior to accession and these numbers correspond with the numbers that appear on the letters and documents within the collection.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Bought, 2002, Alison Weir, London.

National Library of Scotland Catalogue of Manuscripts
National Library of Scotland
Description rules
Finding Aid Prepared Using Local Descriptive Rules
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