CollectionGB 0231 University of Aberdeen, Special Collections
Ref NoMS 3346
TitlePapers of Leith-Ross family of Arnage, Aberdeenshire
Date1387 - 1990
Extent25 boxes and 2 rolled items: 8.25 linear metres
Creator NameLeith Ross family of Arnage (fl 1489 - 1980)
Anderson family of Bourtie (fl 1387 - 1832)
Administrative HistoryThe immediate ancestor was William Leith, designed of Barnis who lived in the reign of King David Bruce. Leith was Provost of Aberdeen and proprietor of lands in Aberdeenshire. From this the Leiths branched out to own land in and around the districts of Premnay, Garioch, Culsalmond, Insch and Rayne. The Leiths are connected to other branches of Leiths: of Overhall, Harthill, Freefield and Glenkindie and Leith Hall.

Arnage Castle is 4 miles north of Ellon. The castle was probably the work of architect Thomas Leiper in the 16th century. The castle was built for the Cheyne family who held the lands from 1380 - 1643. In 1702 it was acquired by Baillie John Ross, later Provost of Aberdeen. It is a Z plan house with towers at the diagonal opposite corners while a modern wing was added in the 19th century to the designs of Aberdeen architect James Matthews. It was acquired in 1937 by Donald C Stewart who bought the castle and its policies from the 7th and last of the Leith-Ross lairds of Arnage, Lt. Col. William Leith-Ross.
SourceTransferred from the Scottish Record Office, Edinburgh, in June 1990, with permission of Mrs Leith Ross.
DescriptionFive boxes contain writs, 1489 - 1806, inventories, 1489 - 1806, wills and marriage contracts, 1641 - 1803, and associated papers of the lands and Baronies of Arnage and Auchlossin and other lands belonging to the families of Ross of Arnage and Ross of Clochan, viz. Clochan, Colp, Kinnermit, Foresterhill, etc. Related estate papers include Acts of Baron Court, 1702 - 1748; rentals, 1702 - 1798, 1810 - 1821; estate tenants' valuation book, 1685 - 1784; tacks and other estate papers, 1694 - 1843; estate ledger, 1768 - 1801; and meal accounts, 1764 - 1765.

Also relating principally to estate matters, are six boxes containing accounts, discharges and receipts (personal, household, legal and estate), 17th c - 19th c; correspondence, 18th c - 19th c; and "miscellaneous papers" , 17th c - 19th c. The correspondence is largely unsorted, and amongst it are photographs, family mementoes, and newspaper cuttings containing references to family members, 19th c. Topics of interest identified thus far include letters from Turnerhall re. marches, 1785; letters re. Martha Ross's marriage and death, 1776 - 1777; and business correspondence and papers of J. Leith Ross, W.S., 1799 - 1804. Miscellaneous items include an 18th c almanac, 'The Shepherd's Kalendar', or ,'The Citizen's and Country Man's Daily Companion'; note by John Ross of Clochan, burgess of Aberdeen, of his expenses of attendance as a member of the Scots Parliament, 1664; and map by A. Gibb, lithographer, Aberdeen, of the north eastern districts of Aberdeen, showing the lines of the Great North of Scotland Railway, Alford Valley Railway, Old Meldrum Railway, Banff, Macduff and Turriff Railway and proposed Formartine and Buchan Railway, with estates of proprietors supporting, opposing and neutral to the said proposed line, March 1858.

A variety of personal papers are included in this collection. Items of interest include account books kept by Christian Howieson, widow of John Ross of Clochan, during her son's minority, 1668 - 1686; and by Christina Ross, 1791 - 1803 (this volume also contains the accounts of Walter Robinson, 1686 - 1687 and of John Ross, 1714, some of which relate to trading in the Netherlands). The papers of George Ross of Clochan, merchant in Aberdeen, comprise book of tacks granted of town property, 1673 - 1714, with accounts, 1673 - 1699; account books, 1679 - 1705 (including entries relating to the Netherlands) and 1691 - 1697; and merchant's pocket reference book on weights, measures and coinage, entitled "Specie Boeck" , (Amsterdam, 1675). Also of interest are papers, correspondence and accounts of John Ross, of Arnage, relating to his residence in East Florida as plantation factor, and claim made against him (including land grant and manumission of a slave), 1775 - 1790. There are additionally some twentieth century papers belonging to Major Leith Ross and Mrs Leith Ross, including items relating to India and to the United States army.

A single box contains records of the lands and Barony of Bourtie, belonging to the family of Anderson of Bourtie, 1387 - 1832. This include writs, 1570 - 1825, inventories, 1387 - 1832, Acts of Baron Court (with Aberdeen fiars' prices, etc.), 1608 - 1702; and wills, marriage contracts, passports, etc., 1570 - 1832.
AccrualsNone expected.
Access StatusOpen
Access ConditionsThe records are available subject to the signed acceptance of the Department's access conditions.
LanguageEnglish and Latin
Physical DescriptionNo physical conditions affecting use of collection.
Related MaterialMS 848/6 Papers relating to history and genealogy of Ross family, Arnage, Aberdeenshire, ca 1845, 4 leaves.
Finding AidsInterim summary list available in the Reading Room, Special Libraries and Archives.
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