Letters of Alexander George Fraser, 16th Baron Saltoun (1785-1853), and material of other Barons Saltoun

Scope and Content

The material is composed of short manuscript letters: some to John Hughes, on subjects as varied as the Theatrical Fund and the Drury Lane Fund to dining with the Prince of Wales; letter to Messrs. Spottiswoode and Robertson, 1821, informing 'that he will be present at the Election of Peers in Edinburgh'; letter from Saltoun at Duns, to Messrs. Spottiswoode and Robertson, 1839, concerning the Harbour Bill; and, letter to 'My dear Oliphant', 1853, apologising for being out when he called etc.

Administrative / Biographical History

The soldier and accomplished musician Alexander George Fraser was born in London on 12 (or 22) April 1785 and became the 16th Baron Saltoun of Abernethy in 1793 when still a child. He entered the army, the 35th Regiment, in 1802, as an ensign, and was promoted to Lieutenant in 1803 and Captain in 1804. In 1806, with the 3rd Battalion of the 1st Grenadier Guards, Fraser served in Sicily, and then in 1808 at Corunna. In 1809 he took part in the Walcheren expedition, and in 1811 he was in Cadiz. With the 1st Battalion from 1812 through to 1814 he participated in the Peninsular Campaigns and was present at the Battle of Vittoria, the Battle of the Pyrenees, the Battle of Nivelle, and the Battle of Nive, and he was on the operations before Bayonne. He returned to England in 1814, but was again at the Battle of Quatre Bras, and at Waterloo. He was honoured with the C.B., and became a Knight of the Order of Maria Theresa of Austria, and of St. George of Russia, and then in 1818 he received the K.C.B. (Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath) and in 1821 G.C.H. (Knight Grand Cross of the Hanoverian Order). In 1825 he was promoted to Colonel, in 1827 Lieutenant-Colonel, and in 1837 Major-General. In 1841 he served in China during the Opium War, and in 1849 became Lieutenant-General. Fraser was made a Knight of the Thistle in 1852. Lieutenant-General Alexander George Fraser, 16th Baron Saltoun, died near Rothes in Scotland on 18 August 1853.

The 1st Lord Saltoun was the 15th century Laurence Abernethy who was created Lord Saltoun of Abernethy on 28 June 1445.

After the death in 1668 of Alexander, 9th Lord Saltoun, and after the death of his sister in 1669, the title was claimed by Alexander Fraser, 10th Lord of Philorth, who became 10th Lord Saltoun. He died on 11 August 1693.

William Fraser (1654-1715), 11th Lord Saltoun, married a daughter of Dr. James Sharp, Archbishop of St. Andrews, Primate of Scotland. He was succeeded by his eldest son, Alexander

Alexander Fraser (1684-1748), 12th Lord Saltoun, married a daughter of George, 1st Earl of Aberdeen, High Chancellor of Scotland.

Alexander Fraser, 15th Lord Saltoun, was born on 27 June 1758. He died on 13 September 1793.

Access Information

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


The biographical/administrative history was compiled using the following material: (1) Stephen, Leslie. and Lee, Sidney (eds.). Dictionary of national biography. Vol. 7. Finch-Gloucester. London: Smith, Elder and Co., 1908. (2) Burke, Sir Bernard. and Burke Ashworth P. A genealogical and heraldic history of the peerage and baronetage, the Privy Council, and knightage. 87th edition. London: Burke's Peerage Ltd., 1929.

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 various references to Barony of Saltoun related material (check the Indexes for more details): letter of Alexander Fraser, 12th Lord Saltoun, to 'Jeames Coak, Clark of Bamf' about the liberation from jail of Peter Matthews according to the late Act of Parliament. Philorth, January 1708, at Dk.7.47/39; note of Alexander Fraser, 15th Lord Saltoun, to James Cumming, 1782, at La.II.82; letters (6) from 15th Lord Saltoun to G. J. Thorkelin, 1788-1789 and undated, at La.III.379/717-722; letter of 15th Lord Saltoun to the Earl of Buchan about a contested election, 1788, at La.II.588; letter of 15th Lord Saltoun to W. Lumsdaine. Philorth, May 1792, at La.II.509; and, letter of Lady M. Saltoun (probably Margery, wife of Alexander Fraser, 15th Lord Saltoun) to her sister the Hon. Mrs. Campbell. Blackheath, June 1807, at La.II.511.

In addition, the UK National Register of Archives (NRA), updated by the Historical Manuscripts Commission, notes several locations of Saltoun related material: of Fraser, Alexander Arthur (1886-1979), 19th Baron Saltoun, letters to the Manchester Guardian, 1946-1951, at Manchester University, John Rylands Library, Ref. Guardian archives, NRA 18162 Guardian; and various locations for Fraser, Alexander George (1785-1853) 16th Baron Saltoun.