Papers relating to the Bennochy estate, Kirkcaldy, Fife.

Scope and Content

Papers relate to the administration of the estate of Whyte Melville family of Bennochy and Strathkinness, and include leases, titles, marriage settlements, papers relating to drainage, railways, purchase of burial plots in St Andrews Cathedral, Abbotshall School, Kirkcaldy, adjacent property including that of Viscountess Massereene and Ferrard, and Raith estate.Volume is ms37711: Rental of Bennochy estate and Strathkinness feus, 1916-1954.

Administrative / Biographical History

The Whyte family seem to have first been associated with Bennochy in 1580. Robert Whyte, a prominent merchant and first provost of Kirkcaldy purchased part of Abbotshall and the whole of Bennochy and was ancestor of the Whyte-Melvilles of Bennochy. John Whyte Melville of Bennochy and Strathkinness near St Andrews (d. 1883) married the youngest daughter of the 5th Duke of Leeds. He was a member of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club for 67 years. He joined in 1816 when he was 19, was captain in 1823 and was nominated for the captaincy again 60 years later but died before he could take office. He is the subject of a famous golfing painting by Sir Francis Grant PRA (1803-78). He was also Grand Master of the Order of the Temple, 1865-83. His son George John Whyte Melville (1821-1878) received his education at Eton, entered the army in 1839, became captain in the Coldstream Guards in 1846 and retired in 1849. He achieved fame as a novelist and poet, publishing his first novel in 1853, volunteered and served as a major of Turkish irregular cavalry during the Crimean war, after which he wrote a further twenty-one novels. He was himself captain of the R and A in 1851. He died on the hunting field in 1878.


Original bundles.

Access Information

By appointment with the Archivist. Access to unpublished records less than 30 years old and other records containing confidential information may be restricted.

Acquisition Information

The material was deposited as part of a solicitor's collection in 1981.


Description compiled by Rachel Hart, Archives Hub Project Archivist.

Other Finding Aids

Bundle listing available.

Conditions Governing Use

Applications for permission to quote should be sent to the University Archivist. Reproduction subject to usual conditions: educational use and condition of documents.

Related Material

GB 227 ms36998/32 copy engagement diary of JW Melville, 1820

Additional Information

This material is original.