|Administrative History||William Fraser was the son of William Fraser senior (1725-1788) and Rachel Kennedy. Following the death of his father Fraser became master of Fraserfield for a short time. The estate then passed to his brother Alexander and thereafter to Alexander's daughter, Margaret. Margaret Fraser married Henry David Forbes and the estate, renamed Balgownie (1), remained with the Forbes family (2). |
Fraser studied at Marischal College from 1765-1769 and graduated as A.M. (3). From the 1770s at least, he was a keen numismatist. He bought coins regularly from Henry Young, a coin-dealer in London, and, as his papers show, was in contact with other Scottish numismatists such as Adam Cardonnel, Gilbert Hamilton and George Paton. Other correspondents include James Cummyng, the antiquary, and the 11th Earl of Buchan who married Fraser's sister, Margaret (4). It was Buchan who founded the Society of the Antiquaries of Scotland in 1780 (5) and in February 1781 Fraser became a corresponding member (6). Four years later, he presented to the society a collection of 'marbles, ores ... and other mineral substances' (7). There is a reference to Fraser's collection of coins in Cardonnel's 'Numismata Scotiae' (1786) (8) and Fraser's notes on numismatic subjects also seem to have been used by the author. The present location of Fraser's coin collection has not been traced.
(1) 'Some Account of the Family of Fraserfield, or Balgownie ...' [1869-70], passim. (2) Post Office Directory, Aberdeen (1899-1900), 654. (3) P. J. Anderson, 'Fasti Academiae Mariscallanae ...', ii. 336 (4) 'Some Account of the Family of Fraserfield, or Balgownie', 24 n.5 (5) 'Transactions of the Society of the Antiquaries of Scotland', i. p.v. (6) Ibid. i. p. xxvii (7) Ibid. iii. List of donations, 36. (8) See p.14.