Correspondence and Work of Helen D'Arcy Stewart (1765-1838)

  • This material is held at
  • Reference
      GB 237 Coll-506
  • Dates of Creation
      18th century-19th century
  • Name of Creator
  • Language of Material
  • Physical Description
      8 letters, 2 poems, 1 manuscript criticism, 1 volume manuscript Access to records in a fragile condition may be restricted.
  • Location
      Dc.1.100/2, ff.1-4; Dc.6.111, ff.53-54, 92, 128-131; Dc.8.177; Gen. 1732 Stewart; E2006.35; E2008.32

Scope and Content

The material includes: a manuscript by Helen D'Arcy Stewart; a poem written at the age of 15 as Helen D'Arcy Cranstoun, On lang Newton; a poem in praise of punch, 1811; criticism of verses written after a funeral; letter to J. Stark, 1817; letters to Dr. W. Drennan, circa 1807, and 1813; and, letters to Marguerite Madeleine Gautier, 1814-1823. There is also a manuscript volume (a scrapbook) of songs, poems, letters and various jottings.

Administrative / Biographical History

Helen D'Arcy Cranstoun was born in 1765 and was the daughter of the Hon. George Cranstoun. She was the sister of Sir Walter Scott's friend, the Countess Purgstall, and daughter of Thomas Brisbane, Ayrshire. Cranstoun was an intellectual and socialite and Dugald Stewart submitted his writing to her for her judgement. On 26 July 1790 she married Stewart, his first wife (Helen Bannatyne) having died in 1787. They had two children - George who died in 1809, and Maria D'Arcy who died in 1846. Helen D'Arcy Stewart died on 28 July 1838.

Access Information

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

Acquisition Information

Letter to Stark, acquired February 1979, Accession no. E79.14. Scrapbook volume acquired September 2006, Accession no. E2006.35. Letters to Gautier acquired June 2008, Accession no. E2008.32.


The biographical/administrative history was compiled using the following material: (1) Lee, Sidney (ed.). Dictionary of national biography. Vol. 18. Shearman-Stovin. 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 Helen D'Arcy Stewart related material (check the Indexes for more details): letter to Professor J. Gregory, at Dc.3.99/13, f.6; letter to Stewart from Elizabeth Bell, 1829, at Dc.6.111, ff.145-147; part of a letter to Stewart from Thomas Campbell, poet, 1802, at Dc.6.111, f.108; letter from Lord Craig, at Dc.6.111, f.33; letter from J. W. Mackie, circa 1831, at Dc.6.111, f.137; letter from Sidney Smith, at Dc.6.111, f.35; a poem on Stewart possibly, at Dc.6.111, f.12; poem addressed to Stewart, at Dc.6.111, ff.43-44; poem addressed to Stewart, 1790, at Dc.6.111, ff.13-14; and, mention in aletter of Maria D. Stewart to J. Stark, 1826, at Gen.1730-1732.