CollectionGB 0231 University of Aberdeen, Special Collections
Ref NoMS 3320
TitleRecords of the Scottish Episcopal Church, Diocese of Aberdeen and Orkney
Datec.1600 - current
Extentc 360 volumes, 71 boxes, 11 rolled plans: 41.5 linear metres
Creator NameScottish Episcopal Church, Diocese of Aberdeen and Orkney (1865 - )
Scottish Episcopal Church, Diocese of Aberdeen (fl 1783 - 1865)
Administrative HistoryThe Scottish Episcopal Church has common roots with the other Scottish churches going back to at least the 4th century AD. It became a non-established autonomous church in 1690, formed by those who refused to accept the Revolution Settlement, when the Church of Scotland was established as Presbyterian without bishops. In the North East episcoplianism retained considerable support, with one third of all Episcopal clergy in Scotland in the Diocese of Aberdeen in 1784. During the 18th century the Church suffered because of its continuing support for the Stuart dynasty. Nevertheless, it revised its Scottish liturgy and administration and retained a distinct spirituality. It is part of the world-wide Anglican Communion, and consecrated the first bishop for the United States of America in Aberdeen in 1784.

The Scottish Episcopal Dioceses of Aberdeen and Orkney were united in 1865 to form the United Diocese of Aberdeen and Orkney. Its geographic extent covers Orkney, Shetland, Aberdeen, and parts - though not all - of the old counties of Aberdeenshire, Banffshire and Kincardineshire.

Details extracted from David M. Bertie, 'Scottish Episcopal Clergy 1689-2000' (Edinburgh: Clarke, 2000). Further information about the history of the Diocese and individual churches is contained therein.
Custodial HistoryThe records of the diocese and its constituent churches were originally held locally. During the 20th century many - though not all - came to be deposited in the Diocesan Office and were listed in NRAS 2697. In 1989 a further survey was undertaken (NRAS 2698) of papers still in the hands of the Church.
SourceThe majority of the papers as listed in NRAS 2697 have been transferred to the University since 1983. Material continues to be deposited, mainly from parts of the NRAS 2698 survey.
DescriptionThis collection comprises records of the (pre-1865) Diocese of Aberdeen and the (post-1865) United Diocese of Aberdeen and Orkney. Records of the (pre-1865) Diocese of Orkney and its churches are not included in this collection.

The records contained within this collection relate to both the wider Diocese of Aberdeen and Orkney, and 48 individual church congregations throughout Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire, Banffshire and Kincardine. The extent of the material held for individual churches varies greatly, from single items to fairly comprehensive series. Commonly held items include sacramental registers, minute books, financial accounts, constitutions and plans. Registers of births, marriages and deaths are not held for every church with many remaining with the individual church's officials. The collection also contains registers, minute books and associated material for the wider Diocese, which record the activities of church at a higher operational level such as the Episcopal Synod and the Aberdeen Diocesan Association. In additional this collection contains records relating to: the various societies associated with the Episcopal Church including the Aberdeen Clerical Society; Trust and funds benefiting the church; Records relating to the Episcopal Church in America, particularly relating to the Seabury memorial.

A large 'deposited records' series has been created from many smaller series of documents collected by individuals. There are a number of sub-series relating to individuals, such as John Skinner and Canon Arthur Austin Foster. There are sub-series of Bishops' papers and correspondence and a good collection of manuscript sermons and liturgical works dating from the seventeenth to nineteenth centuries. This series is particularly rich in historical documents and related material, particularly relating to the many disputes and persecutions of the Episcopal Church. In addition the series includes some papers relating to Jacobite activities and a small piece of plaid said to have belonged to Bonnie Prince Charlie.

The individual church congregations also contain personal papers belonging to individuals associated with the specific church, for example the papers relating to St Peter's Church in Peterhead contain the common place book of Bishop Robert Kilgour and St George's Church in Mieklefolla has an 18th century manuscript written by William Leslie and Arthur Petrie. The personal papers held by individual churches are complementary to the material held in the 'deposited records' series of this collection.

Records of schools associated with individual churches and congregations are also held in this collection. The churches with associated schools are: St David's Mission in Boyndlie, St George's at Mieklefolla, St Johns in New Pitsligo, St Peter's in Peterhead and All Saint's in Strichen. The records are not comprehensive and are in the main reports and correspondence relating to the management of the schools rather than teaching or attendance registers
AccrualsYes. Under an agreement of 2013 - Aberdeen city congregation records (excluding St Andrew's Cathedral) will be deposited with Aberdeen City Archives whilst Aberdeenshire records and St Andrew's Cathedral records will be deposited with the University. This agreement is not retrospective so in locating records researchers may be required to search the catalogues of both archive services. For a list of the records held by Aberdeen City Archives see the 'Related Material' field below.
ArrangementArranged per NRAS Suvey 2697: by congregation, and by record type therein. Please note that the papers of St Andrew's Cathedral congregation have been separated and are found under reference MS 3499. In the catalogue, sections 1 - 53 were part of the original NRAS 2697 Survey and others added from 54 onwards have been deposited since 1983 and formed part of the NRAS 2698 survey. Please note that some records, although part of the surveys, have not been transferred and are therefore indicated in the catalogue as 'wanting'.

Arrangement by congregation:

1 - Diocesan records
2 - Aberdeen Clerical Society
3 - Various societies
4 - Trusts and funds
5 - Episcopal Church in America
6 - Deposited records
7 - St Andrew's Cathedral, Aberdeen (please see MS 3499)
8 - St Paul's Church, Aberdeen
9- All Saints' Mission, Hilton, Aberdeen
10 - House of Bethany, Aberdeen
11 - St Clement's, Aberdeen
12 - St Clement's Mission
13 - St Clement's-on-the-Quay, Aberdeen
14 - St Clement's Mastrick, Aberdeen
15 - East End Mission, Aberdeen
16 - King's College Chapel, Aberdeen
17 - St Luke's Chapel, Balgownie
18 - St Mark's Mission, Aberdeen
19 - St Margaret's, Gallowgate, Aberdeen
20 - Westerton School, Northfield, Aberdeen
21 - St Thomas', Aboyne
22 - St Kentigern's, Ballater
23 - St Saviour's, Ballater
24 - St Ternan's, Banchory
25 - St Andrew's Chapel, Banff
26 - Boyndlie School Mission
27 - St Margaret's, Braemar
28 - All Saints Buckie
29 - St Mary's church and school, Cove (Wanting)
30 -St James', Cruden
31 - St Mary's, Cullen
32 - St Margaret's, New Deer
33 - St Drostan's, Old Deer
34 - Dufftown
35 - St Margaret's, Forgue
36 - St Peter's, Fraserburgh
37 - St Drostan's, Insch
38 - St Mary's, Inverurie
39 - St John's, Longside
40 - St Columba's, Lonmay
41 - St George's, Mieklefolla (or Folla Rule)
42 - Monymusk
43 - St John's, New Pitsligo
44 - St Matthew's, Old Meldrum
45 - Oratory of St Columba
46 - Parkdargue Chapel
47 - St Peter's, Peterhead
48 - St John the Baptist's, Portsoy
49 - Strathdon and Glentanner
50 - Stuartfield Chapel
51 - St Thomas', Tillymorgan
52 - Turriff
53 - Woodhead, Fyvie
54 - All Saints, Whiterashes
56 - All Saints, Strichen

General arrangement by record type:

Meeting papers
Legal papers
Membership papers
Personal papers
Related bodies
Printed publications
Material arranged by form (plans, photographs and objects)

Whether listed as part of the original MS 2697 survey or not, where bundles had a bundle number attached these numbers have been maintained and the bundles have not been split to fit fit the arrangement. Where possible notes have been added to records to direct users to related documents listed in other series.
Access StatusOpen
Access ConditionsSome records contain personal information and may be closed for 75 (for adults) and 100 (for children 16 and under) years under the Data Protection Act (1998).
Related MaterialRecords of St. Andrew's Cathedral, Aberdeen, 1730-1974 (MS 3499)
Aberdeen Diocesan Library manuscript volumes, 1665-1907 (MS 3337).
Sermons preached at the Scottish Episcopal Churches at Meikelfolla, Macterry, Tillydesk, Chapelhall, Kinharrachy, Old Meldrum, Banff, Portsoy, Ellon, Turriff, Lonmay, Crichy, Parkdargue, 1774-1862 (MS 3504).

St Clement's, Aberdeen
St James', Aberdeen
St John's, Crown Terrace, Aberdeen
St Margaret's Episcopal Convent, Spital, Aberdeen
St Mary's, Carden Place, Aberdeen
St. Peter's, Torry, Aberdeen
St Andrew's, Banff
St Luke's, Cuminestown
St John's, Portsoy
St Congan's, Turriff

CH12/13 - 24: Records collected by Bishop Alexander Jolly, (The 'Jolly Kist')
CH12/30 - 32: Bishop Alexander Jolly, Jolly material from the diocese of Aberdeen and Orkney
CopiesMicrofilm copies of records listed in NRAS 2698, or other (available in the Reading Room, box 8):

Reel 1: RH4/179/1
1 - Longside, St John's, registers volumes 1 - 3: 1727 - 1892 (only a selection)

Reel 2: RH4/179/2
1 - Cruden Bay, St James', registers 1807 - 1934: burials, baptisms, marriages and confirmations
2 - Ellon: Register 1816 - 1871: baptisms, marriages and burials
3 - Ellon Episcopal Chapel 1819 - 1832: accounts or pew rents
4 - Ellon Episcopal Chapel: poors list 1827 - 1862
5 - Ellon Episcopal Chapel 1772 - 1836: miscellaneous
6 - Meikle Folla, St George's: 1717 - 1854: miscellaneous
7 - Meikle Folla, St George's: 1763 - 1860: registers

Reel 3: RH4/179/3
1-3 - Banff, St Andrew's
4-5 - Cuminestown, St Luke's
6-7 - Turriff, St Congan's

Reel 4: RH4/179/4
1-2 - Aberdeen, St John's
3-6 - Aberdeen, St Andrew's

Reel 5: RH4/179/5
1-5 - Aberdeen, St Andrew's
6-7 - Buckie, All Saints
Publication NoteBertie, David 'Scottish Episcopal Clergy, 1689 - 2000' (Edinburgh: Clarke, 2000)
Donald, Stuart 'The Incumbants of St Andrew's Chapel, & Church, Aberdeen 1723 - 1955', 3 volumes (Aberdeen: Diocese of Aberdeen & Orkney, 2007)
Finding AidsNational Register of Archives Scotland survey 2698 - completed in 1989, with later additions. The majority of these records are still in the care of the individual congregations. Some though have been deposited with the University (added under reference MS 3320) while others have been deposited with Aberdeen City Archives.
Related RecordMS 3499
MS 3337
MS 3504
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