Inventory of writs of Auchnacant Farm, Foveran, Aberdeenshire

Scope and Content

This collection of writs provides an almost unbroken history of the ownership of Auchnacant Farm from 1589 - 1993. The series is complete, with the exception of two nineteenth century, and ten late twentieth deeds. Records dated within the period 1589 - 1902 are original; those from 1906 onwards are photocopies. In addition to property deeds, the will of James Alexander West, Major in Her Majesty's 84th Regiment of Foot, sometime resident of College Terrace, St Johns Wood, Hampstead, London, dated 1880, is also present.

Administrative / Biographical History

Auchnacant Farm lies in the coastal parish of Foveran, 13 miles north east of Aberdeen and 7 miles east of Ellon. The lands of Auchnacant were granted by William Lord Forbes, to his son James, by feu charter dated 2 March 1589 and charter of confirmation under the great seal, dated 2 August 1593. They remained in the Forbes family until 1621, when Patrick Forbes of Corss, Bishop of Aberdeen sold them to George Rickart (or Rickhart), Merchant in Aberdeen. In 1770 the land passed by inheritance from Margaret Rickart, wife of Thomas Mercer, Merchant in Aberdeen, to her son David Mercer. In 1855 they passed, again through inheritance, from the Mercer family to Admiral Sir James Gordon and John Morris West, both men being grandsons and nearest lawful heirs of James Mercer, brother of David, who had inherited the property in 1770. The death of Mrs Emma Day or West in 1883 placed the lands in the care of trustees until 1884, at which time they were transferred to Francis Lardner Dennys, sometime resident of Southport, Lancashire, England. In 1902 they were sold to Robert McLean, schoolmaster at Lumphanan, Kincardine O'Neil parish, south Aberdeenshire. Between 1948 and 1950 his son, also Robert, sold the land to James Ross, Farmer at Bridgend, Auchnacant and to William and Henry Ross, both farmers at Strathend, Hatton, Aberdeenshire. Parts of the land were sold to BP Oil Development Ltd in 1975, and to Yorsten and Sinclair, farmers at Kinknockie and Fiddesbeg, Udny, Aberdeenshire, in 1980.


The records have been arranged chronologically

Conditions Governing Access

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

Acquisition Information

Deposited in the University by Alistair Sinclair of Udny, in Mar 1993

Other Finding Aids

No physical characteristics affecting use of collection

Alternative Form Available

No copies known

Conditions Governing Use

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

Papers of John Rickart (1678 - 1749), merchant, of Auchnacant, Aberdeenshire (GB 231MS 2305)


No known publication using these records

Additional Information

Records dated within the period 1589 - 1902 are original; those from 1906 onwards are photocopies. Original records from 1906 onwards have been retained by the depositor.