Papers of Hugh Cleghorn of Stravithie and Cleghorn family

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

Papers relating to Hugh Cleghorn and other members of the Cleghorn family. The main significance of the collection is the material relating to Cleghorn's business activities, 18th century lectures notes, diaries, and in particular a wealth of material relating to India and Ceylon in the late 18th century.

There are early family papers from 1718-1758; estate papers and titles from 1721; correspondence from 1786-1862 relating to family affairs, Ceylon, St Andrews Volunteer Corps, co-partnery of Campbell and Mack and banking matters in Madras; notes of lectures given by William Cleghorn Professor of Moral Philosophy at Edinburgh University, 1750s, Adam Ferguson LL.D. at Edinburgh, 1760s, John Millar at Glasgow, 1771 and Hugh Cleghorn, Professor of Civil History in the University of St Andrews, 1786-7; Diaries of Hugh Cleghorn on tour of France, Switzerland and Italy with Alexander, 10th Earl of Home, 1788-90; Diaries and correspondence relating to 1795 expedition to India and Ceylon by Hugh Cleghorn and the Comte de Meuron, 1795-99; Copies of correspondence from Hugh Cleghorn's second Ceylon venture, 1798-99; Hugh Cleghorn Accounts, 1806-27.

Papers of HFC Cleghorn include volumes relating to Madras, India, 1849-1858, and Madras Exhibition 1855, diary relating to HFC Cleghorn's journey through Northern India setting up Forestry Commission, ca. 1861; Personal papers and correspondence; Accounts of Peter Cleghorn and HFC Cleghorn, 1853-74; Papers relating to rebuilding of Stravithy, 1865-68 and plans for additions to Stravithie House, 1896.

Administrative / Biographical History

Hugh Cleghorn LLD of Stravithie, Dunino, by St Andrews (1752-1837), Professor of Civil and Natural History in the United College of the University of St. Andrews. He has a reputation as a gentleman spy and is said to have worked with Charles Daniel de Meuron to facilitate the British conquest of Ceylon.

In 1796 the capture of Ceylon's maritime regions was completed by the British who drove the Dutch out of the country. Initially, the captured region was administered by the British East India Company but when the British Government took over the government under a secretary of state, Frederic North was appointed as the first king's governor, with Hugh Cleghorn as first colonial secretary. Cleghorn, who had been present at the time of the siege and capture of Colombo, toured the island and returned to England to report. He wrote a memorandum on the Dutch system of administration of justice in the maritime regions which the British had just conquered. On January 1, 1802, Ceylon became a British Crown Colony. Cleghorn's work remains of significance in that he minuted the area constituting the traditional homeland of the Tamils.

Hugh Francis Clarke Cleghorn MD (1820-1895) was grandson of Hugh Cleghorn. A physician and forester, he was appointed to Madras Medical Service, Mysore, India in 1842. He became professor of botany at Madras in 1852, and first conservator of forests in Madras in 1856 and inspector-general in 1867. Cleghorn taught forestry at the University of St Andrews in the late 1860s.

He was active with William Carmichael McIntosh and John Hardie Wilson between 1887-1890 in the introduction of modern botanical teaching at the University and also the establishment of the University Botanic Garden which opened in the summer of 1889. In 1890 an anonymous benefaction (which would later prove to originate with Cleghorn) allowed the appointment of a full time lecturer in botany in 1892.

Arrangement

Chronological.

Conditions Governing Access

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

Note

Description compiled by Rachel Hart, Archives Hub Project Archivist.

Other Finding Aids

Hard copy list 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.

Custodial History

Deposited in 1985 and 1987 for use by a researcher.

Related Material

GB 227 Botany Department deposit and correspondence within the papers of WC McIntosh.GB 227 Botany Department deposit and correspondence within the papers of WC McIntosh.GB 058 BLAddnl ms69097 Letters of Cleghorn to Lord Melville, 1796-97GB 058 BLAddnl ms69097 Letters of Cleghorn to Lord Melville, 1796-97GB 234 GD51/17/71,73 Correspondence of Cleghorn as Colonial Secretary with Lord Melville regarding Ceylon, 1795-1800GB 234 GD51/17/71,73 Correspondence of Cleghorn as Colonial Secretary with Lord Melville regarding Ceylon, 1795-1800Hugh FC Cleghorn Bequest, 300 printed items on forestry, land use and botany were bequeathed to the Library of the University of Edinburgh in 1895.

Bibliography

Clark, A, An Enlightened Scot: Hugh Cleghorn, 1752-1837 (Duns, 1992)

Additional Information

This material is original.