Papers of Archibald John Primrose, 4th Earl of Rosebery (1783-1868)

  • This material is held at
  • Reference
      GB 237 Coll-476
  • Dates of Creation
      19th century
  • Language of Material
  • Physical Description
      4 letters or notes
  • Location
      Gen. 1790, no. 176; Gen. 1982/87; Gen. 1983/72-73

Scope and Content

The papers are composed of: a letter to Sir Patrick Walker; a sketch of coal marches on the land of the Earl, by R, Bald, 1817; and, letters to Sir Patrick Walker about the opening of Cramond Bridge, 1824, and to the Royal Academy, circa 1825.

Administrative / Biographical History

Archibald John Primrose was born at Dalmeny Castle, West Lothian, on 14 October 1783. He was educated at Pembroke College, Cambridge, and graduated in 1804. In the Commons he represented the burgh of Helston in 1805-1806, and Cashel in 1806-1807, and in 1814 he inherited the earldom of Rosebery from his father. In 1828 he became a Peer, taking the title Baron Rosebery of Rosebery, Midlothian. As a Liberal he took a keen interest in the Reform Bill 1832, and earlier, in 1831, he became a Privy Councillor. In 1840, Rosebery was made a Knight of the Order of the Thistle, and from 1843 to 1863 he was Lord-Lieutenant of West Lothian. Archibald John Primrose, 4th Earl of Rosebery, died on 4 March 1868. His grandson, Archibald Philip Primrose, Lord Dalmeny, 5th Earl of Rosebery, became a British Prime Minister.

Access Information

Generally open for consultation to bona fide researchers, but please contact repository for details in advance.


The biographical/administrative history was compiled using the following material: (1) Lee, Sidney (ed.). Dictionary of national biography. Vol. 16. Pocock-Robins. London: Smith, Elder and Co., 1909.

Compiled by Graeme D Eddie, Edinburgh University Library, Special Collections Division.

Other Finding Aids

Important finding aids generally are: the alphabetical Index to Manuscripts held at Edinburgh University Library, Special Collections and Archives, consisting of typed slips in sheaf binders and to which additions were made until 1987; and the Index to Accessions Since 1987.


Check the local Indexes for details of any additions.

Related Material

The local Indexes show other references to Roseberry (4th Earl of) related material in the Laing Collection (check the Indexes for more details): letter to Sir G. Warrender, at La.II.509. There are also references to material relating to the 5th and 6th Earls. In addition, for the 4th Earl, the UK National Register of Archives (NRA), updated by the Historical Manuscripts Commission, notes: correspondence and papers, 1803-1868, Private, Ref. NRA(S)0175 NRA 10461 Primrose; correspondence and papers relating to Trusts etc, 1808-1833, Surrey History Centre, Ref. 319 NRA 777 Goulburn; letters (28) to Duke of Richmond, 1831-1848, West Sussex Record Office, Ref. vol 3 NRA 850 Gordon Lennox; letters (19) to Charles, 2nd Earl Grey, 1831-1834, Durham University Library, Archives and Special Collections, Palace Green Section, Ref. Grey of Howick collection NRA 6228 Grey; correspondence with Sir Robert Peel, 1822-1844, British Library, Manuscript Collections, Ref. Add MSS 40345-605 passim; letters to James Loch, 1834-1853, National Archives of Scotland, Ref. GD2/117 NRA 21901 NAS misc, and correspondence with R. B. W. Ramsay, 1838-1853, Ref. GD143 NRA 10800 Wardlaw-Ramsay, and letters to 8th Earl of Stair, 1827-1848, Ref. GD135 NRA 10017 Dalrymple; and, letters to J. P. Wood, 1806-1836, National Library of Scotland, Manuscripts Division, Ref. MS 2252.