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A Selection of Scottish Forfeited Estate Papers 1715; 1745
Edited from the Original Documents with Introduction and Appendices by A. H. Millar, LL.D., FSA Scot. (1909)


The materials from which this volume has been compiled have been selected from various repositories. The origin of the volume may be briefly indicated. In 1890 the Earl of Rosebery, President of the Scottish History Society, presented to the members of the Society a volume entitled A List of Persons concerned in the Rebellion (1745), founded upon a document in his Lordship's possession. With the purpose of providing illustrations of the condition of affairs at that period, the late Dr. T. G. Law, then Secretary of the Society, had caused transcripts to be made of certain papers in H. M. Register House relating to some of the principal "rebels" mentioned in Lord Rosebery's volume; but it was found that to include these would swell the volume to gigantic proportions, and the transcripts were laid aside. After many consultations. Dr. Law decided to ask the Council to submit these documents to me for a report as to how they could best be utilised. In May 1893 I reported that the documents would be of great value to students of the political and economic history of the period; but I pointed out that to begin with 1745 would make only a fragmentary story, as the earlier forfeitures in 1715 would complicate the sequence of events, and intensify the exaggerated importance given to the later Rising of 1745, which, in the popular mind, has dwarfed the earlier movement. Hence I suggested that some attention should also be given to the forfeitures in 1715, many of which were merely duplicated thirty years after. It so happened that in this year (1893) Dr. Law had ac(|uired for the Scottish History Society several volumes of documents relating to 1715, which were sold at the sale of Sir Thomas Phillips's books. Some of these bear the signature of George Chalmers (1742-1825), the antiquary, author of Caledonia and many other standard works. The volumes contain personal and official letters written to Christian Cole, who was secretary to the York Buildings Company, and purchased and administered the properties sold by the Forfeited Estates Commissioners of 1715. Incidentally the valuations of the principal estates are detailed among these documents, and afford absolute proof of the current value of land at the time, while they show why some of the schemes of the York Buildings Company proved abortive in Scotland. On my suggestion, Dr. Law consented to the proposal that a view of these papers dealing with 1715 should be included in this volume. To keep them distinct from the official documents relating to 1745, they have been utilised in the Introduction. Still further to show the unwritten history of 1715, I have quoted from the extremely rare Report from the Commissioners appointed to Enquire of the Estates of ceHain Traitors in that part of Great Britain called Scotland^ printed in 1717, and now in my possession. The documents connected with the Rising of 1745 have been made the chief text of the volume. These were transcribed from the originals in H. M. Register House in 1890 by Mr. Walter Macleod ; and the text has been carefully collated with the MSS. so as to ensure accuracy in the copies now printed. The nature and scope of the documents are indicated in the Introduction. The editor desires to express his obligations for valuable assistance rendered by W. Macleod, Esq.; Dr. D. Hay Fleming; W. B. Blaikie, Esq.; Rev. Robert Paul; A. Francis Steuart, Esq.; James Duncan, Esq., F.S.A. Scot.; and Dr. J. Maitland Thomson, for revising proofs and for advice in the arrangement of the contents of the volume.


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