Letters of the Rt. Hon. Sir Mountstuart Elphinstone Grant Duff (1829-1906)

Scope and Content

The collection consists of: an undated letter in tribute to a dead mutual friend, from Duff at York House, Twickenham; a letter, 1874, to Miss Dempster informing her of his wife's successful confinement; and, a letter from York House which accompanied a carte de visite, 1878.

Administrative / Biographical History

Mountstuart Elphinstone Grant Duff was born in Eden, Aberdeenshire, on 21 February 1829. He was the son of James Cunninghame Grant Duff (1789-1858), author of the History of the Mahrattas. He was educated at Edinburgh Academy and at The Grange, Bishop Wearmouth, and then he studied at Balliol College, Oxford. He became a Barrister at the Inner Temple. Duff was a Liberal MP for Elgin Burghs, 1857-1881, and was Under-Secretary of State for India, 1868-1874, then Under-Secretary for the Colonies, 1880-1881. He became Governor of Madras in 1881, a post which he held until 1886. Duff published extensively and his work includes Studies in European politics (1866), Notes of an Indian journey (1876), Miscellanies, political and literary (1879), Ernest Renan (1893) and Notes from a diary (published over the period 1897 and 1905). The Rt. Hon. Sir Mountstuart Elphinstone Grant Duff died on 12 January 1906.

Access Information

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

Acquisition Information

Among miscellaneous letters, purchased from E. Hall, February 1976, and December 1976, Accession nos. E76.8 and E76.53.


The biographical/administrative history was compiled using the following material: (1) Who was who - 1897-1916. London: A. and C. Black, 1920.

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 Duff related material (check the Indexes for more details): letter to Sir W. Muir, 1882, at Dk.2.13, p.51; and, portrait photograph, at Dk. 2.13, p.51. In addition, the UK National Register of Archives (NRA), updated by the Historical Manuscripts Commission, notes several locations of Duff related material.