Collection of Scottish folk-songs and ballads with music, Monquhitter, Aberdeenshire, c 1818

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

Manuscript of Scottish music composed and gathered by William Christie (c 1778 - 1849), dancing master, Cuminestown, Monquhitter, c 1818 (116 items); with correspondence of William Walker (1840 - 1931), Mary Anne Crichton and P.J. Anderson (1852 - 1926) about the manuscript; and further letters of William Walker, Dr Tocher and P.J. Anderson regarding publication of the Greig-Duncan folk song collection, 1918 - 1922 (11 items)

Much of the music contained in this collection was composed by William Christie, and a further, smaller volume, by a John Christie. The remaining tunes in the collection are described by William Walker (1840 - 1931) as old or very old (GB 231 MS 0793). An early catalogue description of this manuscript states that it contains the music of Dean Christie and father. It appears to form the basis of William Christie's A collection of strathspeys, reels, hornpipes, waltzes, etc., arranged as medleys for the harp, piano forte, violin and violoncello (Edinburgh: W. Christie, 1820)

Administrative / Biographical History

William Christie (c 1778 - 1849), dancing master at Cuminestown, Monquhitter, Aberdeenshire, was a son of James Christie, farmer, Montquhitter, and brother of Reverend Alexander Christie (d 1816), Scottish Episcopal minister, Keith, 1781 - 1800, and Old Deer, 1800 - 1812. His sons James Christie (1811 - 1891) and William Christie (1816 - 1885), by his wife, Mary Guthrie, were prominent members of the Scottish Episcopal clergy, James serving as minister of Turriff, 1837 - 1888, and William becoming Dean of Moray (from 1864, Moray, Ross and Caithness), 1860 - 1885.

He arranged and published A collection of strathspeys, reels, hornpipes, waltzes, etc., arranged as medleys for the harp, piano forte, violin and violoncello (Edinburgh: W. Christie, 1820); and with his son, William Christie (1816 - 1885), collected the ballads which were subsequently published in Traditional ballad airs, arranged and harmonised for the pianoforte and harmonium, from copies procured in the counties of Aberdeen, Banff, and Moray, edited by William Christie, 2 vols. (Edinburgh: Edmonston & Douglas, 1876-81).


Single volume with enclosures

Conditions Governing Access

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

Acquisition Information

Deposited in the University c 1922, by William Walker.

Other Finding Aids

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

Purchased by P.J. Anderson in, or before, 1918. Source not known.


No accruals expected

Related Material

Scotch MS tunes, 1730 - 60,associated with the Christie family, of Banff (GB 231 MS 2422). The association of this manuscript with the Christie family of Banff appears to relate to its ownership in the nineteenth century. It may have originated from the Christie family, Monquhitter, Aberdeenshire.

Collection of 168 compositions, including melodies from Italian opera and oratorio, 1735 (GB 231 MS 2423). Associated with the Christie family of Monquhitter, Aberdeenshire.

Miscellaneous and critical observations: especially upon the Hebrew tongue and the Bible, 1808 [believed to have been written by Reverend Alexander Christie (d 1816), of Keith and Old Deer] (GB 231 MS 0794)

Papers relating to the history and genealogy of Christie family, Bowers family, and Guthries family (GB 231 MS 1067)

Additional Information

This material is original