Papers of Dr Hugh MacPherson's family

Scope and Content

Typed transcripts of correspondence between members of Dr Hugh MacPherson's family in Aberdeen, London and Germany, 1838. The letters, addressed to John MacPherson (1817 - 1890), Hugh MacPherson (1820 - 1902) and William MacPherson (1812 - 1893), whilst studying away from home in London and Germany, are mainly written by their sisters, Anne Maria MacPherson (1814 - 1900), Isabella MacPherson (1811 - 1899), and Christina MacPherson (1819 - 1882), though there is also some correspondence between the three brothers. They are almost exclusively concerned with home news of friends and relatives, and reports of their studies. A list of persons mentioned in the letters, with brief biographical notes is deposited with the collection.

Administrative / Biographical History

This collection relates to the family of Dr Hugh MacPherson (1767 - 1854), professor of Greek Literature and sub-principal of King's College, Aberdeen, 1817 - 1854. His second wife, Christina Macleod, whom he married in 1809, was the daughter of Roderick Macleod of Talisker, Principal of King's College, 1800 - 1815, and together they had 13 children. Their elder sons, William (1812 - 1893), John (1817 - 1890), Hugh (1820 - 1902) and Roderick (1824 - 1900) studied in Aberdeen, London and Germany, before settling abroad. William (1812 - 1893), barrister, moved to India c 1846 and in 1848 was appointed to the Supreme Court of Calcutta. He married his cousin Diana Macleod Johnston, in Calcutta, c 1854. Their second son, John (1817 - 1890), MRCS, worked for the East India Company in Bengal, 1839 - 1864, where he rose to the position of Inspector-General of Hospitals. Hugh (1820 - 1902) and Roderick (1824 - 1900) followed John to India, c 1842 - 1843. The main family home during this period was in Old Aberdeen, but after Hugh MacPherson's (1767 - 1854) death, in 1854, his widow and younger children moved to Edinburgh.

Further details on the family are contained in typescript notes deposited with the collection. See also Officers and Graduates of University and King's College, Aberdeen, 1495 - 1860 ed. by Peter John Anderson, MA, LLB, (Aberdeen: New Spalding Club, 1893), pp 43 - 44.


None observed - listing in progress

Conditions Governing Access

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

Acquisition Information

Date and source not recorded - probably deposited in the University in 1991 by Mrs S. L. Smithson, of Buckinghamshire.

Other Finding Aids

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

Alternative Form Available

Not 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


Correspondence associated with the deposit suggests that the letters described above formed part of a larger collection of correspondence, covering the period 1837 - 1846, and that this complete collection should have been deposited as a single unit. Additional deposits are therefore, anticipated.


Colin A. McLaren, The College and the Community 1600-1860, inOld Aberdeen: Bishops, Burghers and Buildings (Aberdeen: Aberdeen University Press, 1991) makes use of correspondence 1837-1846.

Additional Information

Original correspondence retained by depositor