Papers of the Seton family of Pitmedden, Aberdeenshire

Scope and Content

The collection is comprised mainly of deeds and associated papers relating to the ownership and inheritance of Pitmedden estate, Aberdeenshire, 1421 - 1918. The earliest record is an instrument of sasine granting the lands of Pitmedden and Torries by William Earl of Errol, Lord Hay, to Alexander Panton of Pitmedden and his son, John, 12 Jun 1421. Of particular interest are a rental for the estate, dated 1633 (GB 231 MS 3531/ 4/1); a gift from Charles II to George Earle of Kintore, Lord Seton, of the lands of Barra, Bourtie, Allathine, and Torrie, in the parishes of Udny and Bourtie, Aberdeenshire, 30 Jun 1639 (GB 231 MS 3531/4/4); an extract of the blazoning of the Coat Armorial appertaining to Sir Alexander Seton of Pitmedden, Baronet, 1684, with a description of the descent of Alexander Seton and a description of the coat of arms (GB 231 MS 3531/6/18); information about the rights of the moss, which formerly belonged to the Lordship of Fyvie, but now belongs to Sir Alexander Seton of Pitmedden, 1687 (GB 231 MS 3531/ 6/20); marriage contract between Lieutenant Archibald Seton, son of Sir William Seton of Pitmedden and Elizabeth Innes, eldest daughter of Rev Robert Innes, minister at Udny, Aberdeenshire, 8 Apr 1752 (GB 231 MS 3531/ 8/1); and tacks for several farms on the Pitmedden estate (Northside of Ythsie, 1793, Torrie, 1794 and the town of Quarry and croft of Mosshead, 1798) (GB 231 MS 3531/9/3 - 6).

Administrative / Biographical History

The Setons of Pitmedden are descended from James Seton of Bourtie (1553 - 1626), second son from the marriage of William Seton of Meldrum and Margaret Innes of Leuchars. This was William Seton's second marriage. His eldest son, Alexander (d 1597/8), from his first marriage to Janet Gordon of Terpersie, succeeded him to the lands of Meldrum, which had been in the Seton family since the fifteenth century.

In the fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries, the lands of Pitmedden belonged to the Pantons. James Seton of Bourtie appears to have acquired the estate in the mid-sixteenth century, and it remained in the family until the twentieth century, when it was bequeathed to the National Trust for Scotland.

Alexander Stein, 1st Baronet, received his knighthood in 1684. The honour was conferred in memory of his father, John, who was killed at the Bridge of Dee in 1639, while defending the Royal standard against the rebels, and his brother, [?James ], who died in the navy in 1665 fighting against the States General of the United Provinces.

For further details see Sir Bruce Gordon Seton, The House of Seton: a study of lost causes (Edinburgh: Lindsay&MacLeod, 1941) vol. 2, chapter 18, pp. 602 - 616


Arranged chronologically

Access Information

Open, subject to signature accepting conditions of use at reader registration sheet

Acquisition Information

Deposited in the University in Sept 1996, by the National Trust for Scotland

Other Finding Aids

Descriptive list available in the Reading Room, Special Libraries and Archives, University of Aberdeen (e-mail:

Very brief collection level description available on Aberdeen University Library Catalogue, accessible online

Alternative Form Available

No copies known

Conditions Governing Use

Subject to the condition of the original, copies may be supplied for private research use only on receipt of a signed undertaking to comply with current copyright legislation.

Permission to make any published use of material from the collection must be sought in advance from the Head of Special Libraries and Archives (e-mail: and, where appropriate, from the copyright owner. Where possible, assistance will be given in identifying copyright owners, but responsibility for ensuring copyright clearance rests with the user of the material.

Appraisal Information

This material has been appraised in line with normal procedures

Custodial History

The records were given by the family on temporary loan to the National Trust for Scotland, after they took over the administration of the estate in the twentieth century. They were subsequently placed on temporary deposit in the University.


No accruals expected

Related Material

Notes on the Seton family (ref. GB 231 MS 848/8) Notes on the Seton family (ref. GB 231 MS 848/8) Pitmedden manuscript, 1687 (ref. GB 231 MS 2463)Pitmedden manuscript, 1687 (ref. GB 231 MS 2463)Printed plans of Pitmedden estate, 1874 (ref. GB 231 MS 3482)


No known publications using this material

Additional Information

This material is original