An Alphabetical Index to the first 76 volumes of the Council Register of the City of Aberdeen from 1398 - 1800

Scope and Content

An index of the City Council registers was compiled by order of the Lord Provost, Magistrates and Council in 1815. This volume is a copy of that index, and was made in 1826. The title page of the volume reads copied from the original which has been since arranged into a general alphabetical index for the use of the Magistrates in their Court of Session: Aberdeen, May 1926, J. Skene. It is arranged chronologically, with a brief note of every important decision ratified at each Council meeting, and contains information about persons, places and events affecting the history of the City during the period 1398 - 1800.

Administrative / Biographical History

Aberdeen was created a royal burgh by David I (1124 - 1153), when it had markets for wool, hides, meal and dried salted fish. Merchant burgesses, made wealthy by trade with Europe, ruled the town in the early 17th century, and by the 1680s it had a population of between 10,000 and 12,000: it increased by a third again in the next century. Nearby Old Aberdeen (the name derives from a corrupted form of Aulton or Alton) was created a burgh of barony in 1498, and both were created Police Burghs under the terms of the General Police and Improvement (Scotland) Act, 1862 (25 & 26 Vict c.101). Burgh administration was carried out by police commissioners who were responsible for the cleansing, lighting, policing and public health of the burghs. The two burghs were united in 1891. Thereafter Aberdeen's expansion, which had been to the north, began to move west, the main industries by then including paper-making, granite quarrying and ship building, though from the 1960s the production of oil and gas from the North Sea has dominated the city. Under the terms of the Town Councils (Scotland) Act, 1900 (63 & 64 Vict c.49) Aberdeen Town Council was established. This was abolished in 1975 under the terms of the Local Government (Scotland) Act, 1973 (c.65). Its powers were assumed by Grampian Regional Council and Aberdeen District Council. These in turn were replaced by Aberdeen City Council in 1996 under the terms of the Local Government (Scotland) Act, 1994 (c.39).


Single item.

Conditions Governing Access

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

Acquisition Information

Deposited in the University Library in 1928, by the Town Clerk.

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

Records created by Aberdeen City Council and its predecessors, including further copies of this index, and indexes to council meetings from 1800, are in the custody of Aberdeen City Archives, Town House, Broad Street, Aberdeen, AB10 1AQ. A catalogue of these records is available for consultation in the University Searchroom.

The following records created by the old administrative units covering the historic counties of Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire are deposited in this repository: Aberdeenshire land valuation books, 1634 - 1795 (transcripts for 7 years) (GB 231 MS 507) Aberdeenshire land valuation books, 1644, 1649, 1667 (GB 231 MS 1037) Aberdeenshire land valuation book, 1750 (GB 231 MS 1038) Stent roll for the Burgh of Aberdeen, 1748 - 1749 (GB 231 MS 57) Poll book of the Shire and Burgh of Aberdeen, 1696 (GB 231 MS 568) Testimonials granted by the Baillies of Aberdeen Burgh, 1589 - 1603 (GB 231 MS 1050) Abstract register of sasines for Aberdeenshire, 1599 - 1606 (transcript made early 19th c) (GB 231 MS 837)


See David and Wendy B. Stevenson, Scottish Texts and Calendars: An Analytical Guide to Serial Publications (London: Royal Historical Society; Edinburgh: Scottish Historical Society, 1987) for bibliography of printed transcripts of Aberdeen Burgh records.

Additional Information

This material is original

Geographical Names