Personal and estate papers of Barns-Graham and Grahame of Morphie families

Scope and Content

The collection includes papers relating to land tenure, estate administration, legal and financial matters and genealogy and has a run of correspondence from 1733-1952. It also includes 12 boxes of the papers of John Ewan from 1767-1821 including a daybook, 1767-1775.

Administrative / Biographical History

The Grahame family is an ancient one, which can trace its history back to the early 12th Century, and the family were styling themselves 'of Morphie' by 1398. By the mid 19th Century the estate had passed from the last male line of Morphie, to his cousin, a representative-male of Barclay of Balmiquuan, on the condition that he and his heirs bear the name and arms of Grahame of Morphie only. It appears that the family deeds were sold at that time. Folklore has it that Graham of Morphie once bridled a kelpie and used him to drag stones to build his new castle. When the castle was built he took off the bridle, and the poor, galled kelpie dashed into the river, but paused in the middle to say: 'Sair back and sair banes - Drivin' the Laird o' Morphie's stanes, - The Laird o' Morphie'll never thrive - Sae lang as the Kelpie is alive!' From then misfortune dogged the Grahams of Morphie until their lives ended.

Access Information

By appointment with the Archivist. Access to unpublished records less than 30 years old and other records containing confidential information may be restricted.


Description compiled by Rachel Hart, Archives Hub Project Archivist.

Other Finding Aids

The collection is unlisted.

Conditions Governing Use

Applications for permission to quote should be sent to the University Archivist. Reproduction subject to usual conditions: educational use and condition of documents.

Custodial History

Deposited in 1980 and 2001.

Related Material

GB 1254 ms17/5 Grahame of Morphie, Kincardineshire: Surveyors' reports, accounts and miscellaneous legal papers

Additional Information

This material is largely original.