Records of the Merchant Society of Old Aberdeen

Scope and Content

This deposit consists of sederunt books, 1700 - 1729, 1796 - 1901, annual payment book, 1841 - 1899, and rules of the Society, 1813. Despite gaps in the series, the sederunt books provide a detailed record of the Society's activities, containing minutes, accounts, subscription lists and indigent lists (recipients' names and occupations given, with separate lists for widows and orphans). The rules provide a brief summary of the early history of the Society and contain a list of members for the period 1757 - 1834.

Administrative / Biographical History

The Merchant Society of Old Aberdeen was founded in 1686. It was established "chiefly for relieving the necessities of the poor and decayed Members, together with some occasional subscriptions for public charitable purposes, in which the Society thought itself interested" (GB 231 MS 46: Merchant Society of Old Aberdeen, Rules, 1813). In 1794 the Rules were amended and the Society's funds restricted solely for the relief of members and their families. Admission was restricted to merchant burgesses of Old Aberdeen, and sons and sons-in-law of existing members. An admission fee and annual subscription was due from each member, with a proviso that failure to meet these dues would result in expulsion from the Society. A motion to wind up the Society was passed at the Annual General Meeting of 15 Nov 1897, and sale of its properties and disbursement of funds was completed by Dec 1901.


The records are arranged by record type, and chronologically therein.

Conditions Governing Access

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

Acquisition Information

Gifted to the University in 1904, by John Kynoch. John Kynoch was a member of the Society.

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


No accruals expected

Related Material

Constitution, rules and regulations of the Merchant Society of Old Aberdeen, 1794 and 1813 are held in the University's Local Collection. The 1794 edition contains a list of members for the period 1794 - 97. Full reference details can be found in the University Library Catalogue


No publications known using this material

Additional Information

This material is original

Geographical Names