Loch Papers

Scope and Content

The collection comprises letters to James Loch and other members of his family. Many of the letters concern the founding and early management of University College London, then known as London University, and matters relating to the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge. There are a few letters relating to personal and family matters.

Administrative / Biographical History

The economist James Loch was born of Scottish parents in May 1780. In 1801 he became an advocate in Scotland and was called to the bar in England at Lincoln's Inn in 1806. After a few years he decided to abandon the law and went into estate management, becoming auditor to many eminent people. He was responsible for much of the policy regarding agricultural labourers and land in England and Scotland. The Sutherlandshire clearances between 1811 and 1820, when 15,000 crofters were removed from the inland to the seacoast districts, were carried out under Loch's supervision. In 1827 Loch entered parliament as the member for St Germains in Cornwall. He published a pamphlet on the improvements on the Sutherland estates in 1820, and in 1834 printed privately a memoir of the first Duke of Sutherland. He was a fellow of the Geological, Statistical and Zoological Societies, and a member of the committee of the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge. He was also a member of the Council of University College London. He died in June 1855, at his house in London.

Access Information


The papers are available subject to the usual conditions of access to Archives and Manuscripts material, after the completion of a Reader's Undertaking.

Acquisition Information

Letters (72 items) to James Loch on the University of London and the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge were presented by the Hon Spencer Douglas Loch, James Loch's great-grandson, in 1971.

Other Finding Aids

Handlist and card index to correspondents available. Please contact Special Collections for more information

Conditions Governing Use

Normal copyright restrictions apply.