Papers of Lady Marion Anne Fraser, 1932-2016, Lord High Commissioner to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland (1994-1995), Scotland

Scope and Content

  • Professional Correspondence of Lady Fraser, 1988-1995;
  • University of Glasgow Women's Centenary documents, 1992-1995.

Administrative / Biographical History

Lady Marion Anne Fraser was born Marion Anne Forbes in October 1932. She was the only daughter of Bobby Robert, a shopfloor electrical engineer with Weir’s Pumps in Cathcart and Bessie, nee Watt, a teacher. She was educated at the Hutcheson’s Girls’ Grammar School in Glasgow before going on to the University of Glasgow, where she studied music and secured a Master of Arts degree. Whilst she attended the University she was elected President of the Queen Margaret Union. She later also studied at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama.

Lady Marion Fraser worked as a music teacher, and became the Director for St Mary’s Music School in Edinburgh between 1989 and 1995. She also acted as the Founding Chair of the Friends of the Royal Scottish Academy from 1986 to 1989; a Governor of the Laurel Bank School for Girls from 1988 to 1995; and a Director of Scottish Opera from 1990 to 1994.

She was created a Lady Companion of the Thistle in 1996 and was made an Honorary Member of the Company of Merchants in the City of Edinburgh in 1998. Lady Marion Fraser was awarded an honorary LLD degree by the University of Glasgow in 1995, and also given an honorary DUniv degree by the University of Stirling in 1998.

Lady Marion Fraser has been a trustee of the Scottish Churches Architectural Heritage Trust since 1989, and President of Scotland's Churches Scheme since 1997. She was trustee of the Lamp of Lothian Collegiate Trust from 1996 to 2005, and Chairman of the Board of Christian Aid from 1990–1997, and of both the Scottish International Piano Competition and the Scottish Association for Mental Health from 1995 to 1999. She served as Lord High Commissioner to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland from 1994 to 1995.

Lady Marion Fraser married William Kerr Fraser in 1956, who had also studied at the University of Glasgow and was a former President of the Student’s Representative Council. He was also a civil servant at the Scottish Office. William Kerr Fraser had been created a Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath in 1979, which was subsequently elevated to Knight Grand Cross, entitling his wife to be addressed as Lady Fraser, however she became Lady Marion Fraser in her own right.

Sir William Kerr Fraser was Principal of the University of Glasgow from 1988 until 1995, and also acted as Chancellor between 1996 and 2006. He was also awarded an LLD by the University of Glasgow in 1982. Lady Marion Fraser died on 25th December 2016. At the time of her death, she had the distinction of being the only woman from outside the Royal Family appointed to become a member of the Order of the Thistle, Scotland’s highest chivalric order.


Listed by box. Items are generally listed in their original order.

Conditions Governing Access


Acquisition Information

Deposit : Lady Marion Fraser : 31 Aug 1995 : ACCN 1428

Other Finding Aids

File list available by request

Alternative Form Available

No known copies

Physical Characteristics and/or Technical Requirements

None which affect the use of this material

Conditions Governing Use

Applications for permission to quote should be sent to the  Duty Archivist

Reproduction subject to usual conditions: educational use and condition of documents

Appraisal Information

This material has been appraised in line with standard GB 248 procedures

Custodial History

The collection was transferrered internally from the Principal's Lodgings to Archive Services.


None expected

Related Material

GB 248 DC 154: Records of the Glasgow University Ladies 'Club, staff club, University of Glasgow, Scotland

GB 248 DC 022: Records of Glasgow University Queen Margaret Settlement Association: Glasgow University Settlement, student voluntary association

Location of Originals

This material is original


No known publications using this material

Additional Information

Description compiled in line with the following international standards: International Council on Archives, ISAD(G) Second Edition, September 1999and National Council on Archives, Rules for the construction of personal, place and corporate names

Scotland is the location of all place names in the administrative/biographical history element, unless otherwise stated.

Fonds level description compiled by Jennifer Turner, Archives Assistant, 23 Jan 2013; amended by Sam Maddra, Assistant Archivist, 16 February 2017 to reflect collection appraisal.

Geographical Names