GB 231 MS 1160 and GB 231 MS 2757 Family and estate papers concerning the affairs of the Gordons of Buthlaw, Newtyle and Cairness, Aberdeenshire, dating from the mid-seventeenth century until the death of Charles Thomas Gordon, 4th laird of Cairness, in 1938. The collection comprises estate and family papers, accounts, correspondence, legal documents, plans, rentals, account books, ledgers, volumes of estate memoranda or genealogical notes, game books and letter books. Accounts, plans and correspondence relating to the building, furnishing and decoration of Cairness House, 1773 - 1890, include Designs for Cairness, by J. Playfair, 1790 - 1793, and additional loose plans, sketches and drawings of Cairness House and grounds by Playfair and others, 1790 and n.d.. Papers relating to the Loch of Strathbeg, 1862 - 1929, are of interest for the insight which they provide into the running and administration of the Victorian shooting estate. They contain details of fishing and other game rights in and around the loch, together with records relating to water management, observation of wildfowl and game, and details of trout caught, game shot, etc. Papers relating to the establishment of a light railway between Fraserburgh and the fishing village of St. Combs, c 1858 - 1911 and 1918 - 1937, contain general information on the expansion of the railway network in North East Scotland at this time, and details of its effect on the inhabitants and the development of the village of St Combs.
A large portion of the collection comprises personal papers of Thomas Gordon (1788 - 1841), relating principally to his involvement in the Greek cause. These include nearly 800 letters in English, French, Greek and Italian, and papers relating to the publication of his History of the Greek Revolution, 2 vols. (London and Edinburgh, 1832). Principal correspondents represented in his papers include Captain Edward Blaquiere, London and Greece; John Bowring, MP, London; Mary Burnett, Aberdeen and Crathes; General Count H. F[rederic] du Bourg [Dubourg-Butler], Paris; Colonel Charles Fabvier, Greece; Charles Gibbon, Aberdeen; William H. Humphreys, officer, Greece and England; Dr Koutzofskis, Paris; Alexandros Mavrokordatos [Mavrocordato], Greece; Rev. James Robertson, Cairness, Zante and Greece; Henry Robertson, merchant, Greece. There are also collections of transcriptions made in the eighteenth century from manuscript or printed sources, by, or for, John Gordon (1715 - 1755), 6th laird of Buthlaw, Professor of Civil Law at Edinburgh University, author and antiquarian, who was also probably responsible for the collection of a number of printed items relating to national, local or legal affairs.
A further small, but significant, section of the collection contains records relating to the Gordon and Barclay estates in Jamaica, in particular, their estate of Georgia, 1727 - 1899. This includes correspondence dealing with legal, administrative, business, financial, and trading matters, including accounts, reports on crops, lists of slaves, general news of events and weather, and some 1789 Jamaican publications. There are also 19th c estate plans and a diary kept by Charles T. Gordon, when visiting his estate in 1887.
GB 231 MS 3193 This collection supplements, and in some instances, duplicates, the Gordon family papers deposited in GB 231 MS 1160. It records the role of Edmonds and Ledingham, solicitors, Aberdeen, who acted as factors for the Cairness estate, particularly whilst the family were away from their Northeast estate. The deposit comprises trust papers of Thomas Gordon (1788 - 1841), 1849; trust papers of James Wilkinson Gordon, 1871 - 1902; accounts and correspondence re. financial position of Theodore J. Gordon, son of James Wilkinson Gordon, 1886 - 1899; papers re. Jamaican estates, 1876 - 1894; business accounts and other financial papers of Edmonds and Ledingham in their role as factors for the Cairness estate, 1881 - 1913; rentals of Cairness estate, 1868 - 1892 and 1902 - 1918; leases for properties on Cairness estate, 1871 - 1917; correspondence files re. Cairness estate business, 1859 - 1918; files re. management, maintenance, leasing, and general administration of individual farms and crofts on Cairness estate, c 1849 -1921; papers re. building work on Rathen manse, 1915 - 1919; plans of Cairness Estate, 1760 and 1785; misc. insurance policies on Cairness estate, buildings and contents, 1880 - 1910; papers re. sale of Cairness estate, 1920; papers re. improvements to Great Ness House, Shrewsbury, 1899 - 1902; correspondence re. proposed lease of property at 50 King Street, Edinburgh, 1908; and papers re. Fraserburgh and St Combs Light Railway, including draft Light Railways Act, 1896 - 1903.