Papers of the Gregory family of Aberdeen, Edinburgh, St Andrews and Oxford

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

This collection is extensive in its coverage of material relating to the extended Gregory family. It contains more than 30 volumes of bound lectures representing classes attended and taught by family members whilst studying and working at universities in Aberdeen, Edinburgh, St Andrews and Oxford between the early seventeenth and late nineteenth centuries. There are also 5 boxes of diplomas and other papers associated with the lives and careers of more than 20 family members, 1582 - 1890.

A separate folio contains a selection of personal papers belonging to James Gregory (1753 - 1821), M.D., covering the period 1784 - 1821. Contents include letters, accounts, verses and inscriptions, including epitaphs for family members and public figures. A volume entitled Physician's accounts, Dr Jas Gregorie, 1714 - 1733, which belonged to James Gregory (1674 - 1733), Professor of Medicine, King's College, is also of interest as it lists his patients' accounts, with a separate index of their names, and other misc. entries such as medical orders and accounts.

Other miscellaneous items include a volume of poems and 6 sketch books belonging to Georgina Gregory, 1833 - 1849; a volume of notes, ballads, songs, sonnets and other poems by Mrs Anne Hunter of Leicester Square, 17??, belonging to James Gregory (?1753 - 1821), M.D. of Edinburgh; an annotated copy of Sir Philip Spencer Gregory's Records of the Family of Gregory (London, 1886), belonging to Sir Philip, with MS appendix (23); letters received by Sir Philip Spencer Gregory, concerning the publication of his Records ..., and other family matters with some misc. papers collected by him, 1885 - 1912 (47); volume containing Reflections on the principles of agriculture , and other notes on agricultural topics, including A scheme of a farm by A. Wedderburn Esq. of St Germain's, 16 Jan 1768 , and copies of the minutes of Gordon's Mill Farming Club, mostly in the hand of John Gregory, but also several other unidentified authors, ?1760s (40).; bound volume of papers (including summaries of addresses given), and correspondence re. the Edinburgh Medico-Chirurgical Society, or Institution, 1821 - 1824, in various unknown hands (41); notes for Donald Gregory's History of the Western Highlands of Scotland, 1836 (42); and report books of Algernon Percy and George Percy, Lord Lovaine, by their tutors at Eton, Apr - Dec 1793 (32).

Administrative / Biographical History

The Gregory family papers deposited here relate to the distinguished family of academics, who descended from John Gregory (1598 - 1652), minister of Drumoak, Aberdeenshire, and his wife Janet Anderson. They had five children, Alexander (d 1664 ), David (c 1625 - c 1720), Margaret, Isobel and James (1638 - 1675). Their daughters, Margaret and Isobel, married Thomas Mercer, merchant in Aberdeen, and Thomas Thomson of Faithfield, respectively, and a small volume of papers relating to their families is present in this collection. The majority of the papers relate to the lives and descendants of sons, David and James.

Their eldest son, Alexander was murdered in 1664, without issue, and succeeded by his brother, David Gregory (c 1625 - c 1720), to whom he left the estate of Kinairdry. David married twice, and is reputed to have had 29 children, three of whom, David (1659 - 1708), James (1666 - 1742) and Charles (1681 - 1754) were educated at Marischal College, Aberdeen, and went on to hold distinguished academic careers at the Universities of Edinburgh, St Andrews and Oxford. David's (1659 - 1708) son, David Gregory (1696 - 1767) became Regius Professor of Modern History at Oxford, 1723 - 1736, and Charles's (1681 - 1754) son, also David Gregory (1712 - 1765), succeeded his father to the Chair of Mathematics at St Andrews, 1739 - 1763. Two daughters of David Gregory, Laird of Kinairdry (c 1625 - c 1720), are also of note. Margaret Gregory, who married Lewis Reid, minister of Strachan, was the mother of Thomas Reid (1710 - 1796), philosopher, Regent at King's College, Aberdeen, 1751 - 1796 and Professor of Moral Philosophy at Glasgow, 1764 - 1796. Isabel Gregory, who married Patrick Innes, was grandmother of Alexander Innes (1716 - 1742), Professor of Philosophy at Marischal College, 1739 - 1742.

John and Janet Gregory's third son, James Gregory (1638 - 1675), mathematician, is perhaps the best known of their children, being credited with the discovery of calculus, and a contemporary and friend of Sir Isaac Newton. He graduated from Marischal College, Aberdeen in 1657, and was Professor of Mathematics at St Andrews University from 1668 - 1674, and at Edinburgh from 1674 - 1675. His son, James Gregory (1674 - 1733), M.D., was Professor of Medicine at King's College, Aberdeen from 1725 - 1732, the first of several mediciners that descended from this side of the family. His sons, James Gregory (1707 - 1755), M.D., and John Gregory (1724 - 1773), M.D., succeeded him in the Chair of Medicine at King's College from 1732 - 1755, and 1756 - 1766, respectively. John's (1724 - 1773) son, James Gregory (1753 - 1821), M.D., Professor of Institutes of Medicine, 1776 - 1789, and Professor of the Practice of Medicine, 1790 - 1821 at Edinburgh, was the inventor of "Gregory's Mixture"; and his grandson, William Gregory (1803 - 1858), M.D. was Professor of Medicine at King's College, Aberdeen from 1839 - 1844, and then Professor of Chemistry at Edinburgh, 1844 - 1858.

Also of note, are two children from the marriage of Dorothea Gregory (daughter of John Gregory(1724 - 1773)), and the Rev Archibald Alison. William Pultney Alison (1790 - 1859), M.D., was Professor of Medical Jurisprudence at Edinburgh, 1820 - 1821, and Professor of the Institutes of Medicine there, 1821 - 1842, succeeding his uncle, James Gregory (1753 - 1821), who died in 1821. His brother, Sir Archibald Alison (1792 - 1876), author, published historical and legal works, most notably History of Europe during the French Revolution, from 1789 to the Restoration of the Bourbons in 1815, 10 vols (Edinburgh, 1833-1842), and its successor History of Europe from the Fall of Napoleon in 1815 to the Accession of Louis Napoleon in 1852 (Edinburgh, 1852-59).

For a fuller description of the family and its several branches see Walter R. Humphries, Paper on the Family of Gregory in Transactions of the Buchan Field Club 16, part 1 (1939-1940); Paul David Lawrence The Gregory Family: a Biographical and Bibliographical Study to which is annexed a Bibliography of the Scientific and Medical Books in the Gregory Library, Aberdeen University Library 2 vols and index (unpublished doctoral thesis, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen, 1971); and Philip S. Gregory Records of the Family of Gregory (Edinburgh, 1886) (not published, copy in Aberdeen University Library).

Arrangement

No obvious arrangement

Conditions Governing Access

Open, subject to signature accepting conditions of use at reader registration sheet

Acquisition Information

Deposited in the University before 1968 - date and source not recorded

Other Finding Aids

Interim descriptive list available in the Reading Room, Special Libraries and Archives, University of Aberdeen. Contents of this list are searchable on-line at http://www.abdn.ac.uk/diss/historic/collects/stiqcgi/prelim01.html, via the Historic Collections database.

Very brief collection level description available on Aberdeen University Library Catalogue, accessible online http://www.abdn.ac.uk/diss/library/

Alternative Form Available

No copies known

Conditions Governing Use

Subject to the condition of the original, copies may be supplied for private research use only on receipt of a signed undertaking to comply with current copyright legislation.

Permission to make any published use of material from the collection must be sought in advance from the Head of Special Libraries and Archives (e-mail: speclib@abdn.ac.uk) and, where appropriate, from the copyright owner. Where possible, assistance will be given in identifying copyright owners, but responsibility for ensuring copyright clearance rests with the user of the material.

Appraisal Information

This material has been appraised in line with normal procedures

Accruals

No accruals expected

Related Material

Clinical lectures of James Gregory (1732 - 1821) (GB 231 MS 129/ 2)Clinical lectures of James Gregory (1732 - 1821) (GB 231 MS 129/ 2)Lectures on trigonometry, astronomy, geometry and hydrostatics, David Gregory (1661 - 1708) (GB 231 MS 2171) Lectures on trigonometry, astronomy, geometry and hydrostatics, David Gregory (1661 - 1708) (GB 231 MS 2171) Course of lectures upon the practice of medicine, John Gregory (1724 - 1773), Professor of Medicine, University of Edinburgh, 1773 (GB 231 MS 2784) Course of lectures upon the practice of medicine, John Gregory (1724 - 1773), Professor of Medicine, University of Edinburgh, 1773 (GB 231 MS 2784) Lectures on the practice of medicine, James Gregory (1753 - 1821), Professor of Medicine, University of Edinburgh, c. 1790 (GB 231 MS 2789) Lectures on the practice of medicine, James Gregory (1753 - 1821), Professor of Medicine, University of Edinburgh, c. 1790 (GB 231 MS 2789) Michael Barfoot James Gregory and the Scottish scientific metaphysics, 1750 - 1800 (unpublished doctoral thesis, University of Edinburgh, 1987) (GB 231 MS 3258) Michael Barfoot James Gregory and the Scottish scientific metaphysics, 1750 - 1800 (unpublished doctoral thesis, University of Edinburgh, 1987) (GB 231 MS 3258) Papers relating to the history and genealogy of the Gregory family descended from John Gregory of Drumoak, Aberdeenshire, c. 1800 (GB 231 MS 995)

Bibliography

Paul David Lawrence made extensive use of the collection in his Ph.D. thesis The Gregory Family: a Biographical and Bibliographical Study to which is annexed a Bibliography of the Scientific and Medical Books in the Gregory Library, Aberdeen University Library 2 vols and index (unpublished doctoral thesis, University of Aberdeen, 1971). It seems likely that these records were also used by Philip S. Gregory in his unpublished work Records of the Family of Gregory (Edinburgh, 1886).

Additional Information

This material is original