CollectionGB 0231 University of Aberdeen, Special Collections
Ref NoMS 3521
TitleLedingham Chalmers: papers relating to management and union of King's and Marischal Colleges
Date1685 - 1890
Extent13 boxes and 4 volumes (1.53 linear metres)
Creator NameLedingham Chalmers (1850- ); law firm, Aberdeen
Administrative HistoryThe firm Ledingham Chalmers, advocates Aberdeen, was originally known as Edmonds and McQueen and was founded in 1850. One of the founding partners was Francis Edmond of Kingswells. The firm became Edmonds and Ledingham around 1900: Robert Ledingham was a partner in it from 1920 and worked there until his death in 1969. They had an office in Golden Square. In 1991 there was no longer an Edmond partner and the firm became Ledingham Chalmers, which is still in existence today (2001). The property at 1-17 Golden Square was sold in 2001, but the firm retains other offices. They originally represented King’s College, Aberdeen, and are now the legal advisers to Aberdeen University.

The papers were collected by Francis Edmond, the Aberdeen lawyer who acted as clerk to the Royal Commissioners when they visited the two Universities of Aberdeen, following the Universities (Scotland) Bill. One of the matters that the Commissioners considered in their subsequent reports relative to the Aberdeen Universities was the proposal to unite King's and Marischal Colleges. This union eventually took place in 1860 [See 'The Fusion of 1860', edited by W. Douglas Simpson (1963) for further information].
SourceThe papers were donated by Graham C. Hunter, partner in the Aberdeen solicitors firm, Ledingham Chalmers, in March 1996.
DescriptionPapers relating to the evidence gathered by the Royal Commissioners for their reports, and also to the legal wrangles that ensued after the Colleges were accused of mismanaging their educational funds. Also includes material relating to the establishment of the new united University of Aberdeen and the administration and management of the Colleges.
AccrualsNone expected.
ArrangementWhen the collection was deposited at the University, the papers were lying loose in two metal chests. An attempt was made to gather together related papers into bundles while the handlist was being prepared. The material was then boxed and shelved in the University archives. For listing purposes, the papers have been divided into three categories: a) statutory papers b) letters and papers c) printed items. Within each category the bundles have been arranged in a roughly chronological order.
Access StatusOpen
Access ConditionsThe records are available subject to the signed acceptance of the Department's access conditions.
Physical DescriptionNo physical conditions affecting use of collection.
Related MaterialMARISCHAL/4/3/4: Plan of union of the colleges, 1830-39.

'The Fusion of 1860: A Record of the Centenary Celebrations and a History of the University of Aberdeen 1860-1960', edited by W. Douglas Simpson (1963).

Amongst the papers was also found a letter from Dr. James Beattie of Marischal College, the prominent 18th century philosopher and poet. The letter, dated 26 March 1761 in Aberdeen, was written to Roderick MacLeod at King's College, and concerns the recommendation of William Paterson, a recent MA graduate of Marischal College, as a private tutor. Beattie's letter has been placed under a separate accession number, MS 3522.
Finding AidsList in deposit file at the University of Aberdeen, Special Libraries and Archives.
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