Collection of material relating to the Royal Burgh of Montrose

  • This material is held at
  • Reference
      GB 237 Coll-442
  • Dates of Creation
  • Language of Material
  • Physical Description
      1 volume, 3 letters or documents
  • Location
      Dk.1.30, f.175; Dk.2.5; Dk.2.20/2; Gen.1966/51; Mic.M.694; Mic.M.896; Phot.1154

Scope and Content

The material is composed of: microfilm copies of burgh court books, 1455-1467, 1586-1587; microfilm copies, with transcripts, of burgh records 1617-1639; copies of the records of the head court and of the burgesses; a ledger book of John Doers, a merchant in Montrose, 1717-1746; mention of a scheme for building a bridge over the River South Esk in a letter of D. Carnegie, 1780; subscription of Pounds 21 towards the building of the New College, Edinburgh, 1792; and an article, typescript, entitled Seventy years on. A Montrose retrospect (1969).

Administrative / Biographical History

Montrose with a population of 11,467 (1997, mid-year estimates) is one of the main towns within Angus Council, in the east of Scotland. Its name is derived from the Gaelic, Alt-moine-ros, meaning 'the burn of the mossy point'. In 1296, in a long destroyed castle in the town - or at Stracathro near Montrose - John Balliol surrendered Scotland to Edward I of England. The castle was razed by William Wallace in 1297 and not rebuilt. As a Royal Burgh the harbour town prospered through trading links, and in the nineteenth century the principal economic activity was flax-spinning and linen manufacture, and most trade was with Canada and the Baltic. Latterly most maritime activity has been connected with the North Sea oil and gas industry.

Access Information

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

Acquisition Information

Letter mentioning bridge, acquired 1960, Accession no. E60.2. Article Seventy years on. A Montrose retrospect, Cruickshank papers, acquired 1974, Accession no. E74.40.


Note that when this record was created any associated photographic/illustrative was unseen.

The biographical/administrative history was compiled using the following material: (1) Keay, John. and Keay, Julia (eds.). Collins encyclopaedia of Scotland. London: Harper Collins Publishers, 1994. (2) Groome, Francis H. (ed.). Ordnance gazetteer of Scotland: a survey of Scottish topography, statistical, biographical, and historical. Vol.5. Edinburgh: Thomas C. Jack, Grange Publishing Works, 1884.

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 another reference to Montrose related material in the Laing Collection (check the Indexes for more details): accounts of T. Ruddiman for David Scott and John Watson, booksellers in Montrose, for the Weekly magazine, 1770-1773, at La.III.752. There is also a letter from W. Beattie, Secretary of the Natural History and Antiquarian Society, to J. O. Halliwell-Phillips, 22 April 1840, at L.O.A. 7/25.

Geographical Names