This collection consists chiefly of accounting records relating to activities on the Seggie and Monksholm estate in Fife, during the period that it was under the management of the Bank of Scotland. These include accounts relating to the estate farms, the brick and tile works, occasional references to the estate's distillery, plus inventories of stock and crops. Records include cash books, journals, ledgers and abstracts.
Seggie and Monksholm Estate Records
Scope and Content
Administrative / Biographical History
In 1810, William Haig, whose family had been producing whisky since the 1650s, established a distillery at Guardbridge in Fife. His two farms - Seggie and Monksholm - provided grain for whisky production.
Over the following two decades, the size and complexity of Haig's commercial activities increased. By 1833, his business accounted for 45 percent of the total lending at the Bank of Scotland branch in nearby St. Andrews.
But by the mid 1830s, Haig was in trouble. He had been speculating in grain when prices were rising between 1829 and 1831, and was caught out when prices subsequently fell. In addition, his London agent had been misappropriating funds. By April 1835, Haig's account with the Bank of Scotland was overdrawn by £1,388 and it was clear to the Bank's Treasurer, Alexander Blair, that action had to be taken to recover the debt. As a result, Haig's assets and books were poinded on behalf of his creditors, and the Bank took over direct management of the Seggie and Monksholm estates.
For nearly 30 years they were run by Mr Adam Ewan, a judicial manager appointed by the Bank. Ewan kept very detailed account books. These form the basis of the Seggie and Monksholm Estate collection. They include information on livestock, employees' wages and allowances, sums spent on building and maintaining farm buildings, the Seggie brick and tile works, rents paid by farm tenants, taxes, as well as many other items.
The Seggie and Monksholm farms were eventually sold. The distillery was taken over by William's son John, who continued running it until the 1860s. In 1873, it was converted into a paper mill by members of the Haig family.
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- Alan Cameron, Bank of Scotland 1695-1995: A Very Singular Institution (Mainstream Publishing, Edinburgh, 1995)
- Richard Saville, Bank of Scotland A History 1695-1995 (Edinburgh University Press, Edinburgh, 1996)