Memorandum, dated 1760 and probably by James Douglas, 14th Earl of Morton, on a pamphlet [by the Reverend Thomas Hepburn, Minister of Bursay] entitled A letter to a gentleman from his friend in Orkney containing the true causes of the poverty of that country , [dated 4 March 1757], which had defended Morton against charges of illegally increasing rents and other duties brought against him by the lairds of Orkney. The writer had advised against publication, but the pamphlet was in fact published in 1760.
Memorandum on the administration of Orkney
- This material is held at
- ReferenceGB 96 MS 506
- Dates of Creation1760
- Name of Creator
- Language of MaterialEnglish
- Physical Description3 leaves
Scope and Content
Administrative / Biographical History
A royal grant of Orkney and Shetland was made to the Earls of Morton in 1643, and the earls became hereditary stewards and justiciaries of the islands. There was often conflict with the thirty-some Orkney lairds who ruled over Orkney on behalf (and sometimes contrary to the will) of the Earls, as this was a time of strong Jacobite sentiment which culminated in the last Orkney Jacobite uprising of 1745. The uprising was, in part, due to the great discontent with the Earls of Morton which was felt by the lairds and Orcadians.
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Enclosed with a copy of the pamphlet in question, a Goldsmiths' Library volume lettered 'A Letter from Orkney with MS', 1760, which also includes a copy of A letter to a gentleman from his friend in Orkney containing the true causes of the poverty of that country (1760; G.L. Cat. 9543).
Other Finding Aids
Collection level description.
Physical Characteristics and/or Technical Requirements
9" x 4¾"
Compiled by Sarah Aitchison as part of the RSLP AIM25 Project.
Further material relating to James Douglas, 14th Earl of Morton, may be found at Nottingham University Library, the British Library, and the national Archives of Scotland.
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Namer and Brooke, The House of Commons, 1754-90 (HMSO 1964).