Papers of Agnes Hannah Tennant, nee Gairdner, 1864-1947, Glasgow and Essex

Scope and Content

  • Personal diaries of Agnes Tennant, nee Gairdner, with enclosures including correspondence, engagement cards and programmes, 1881-1924;
  • Short history of the Adam Smith Club, 1897;
  • Notes on the Dalrymple and Tennant Families, c1794-1900.

Administrative / Biographical History

Agnes Hannah Tennant was born Agnes Hannah Gairdner in  1864 . Daughter of  Charles Gairdner, the manager of the Union Bank of Scotland, her life spans the Victorian and Edwardian eras. Born in Glasgow, she attended Queen Margaret College with her sister Edith between 1878 and 1879, taking classes in English Literature and Music. She was based at her father's residence in Broom until marrying William Augustus Tennant of the chemical company Charles Tennant & Sons between 1885 and 1887. After her marriage she relocated to Hallmore, Broxbourne, Hertfordshire where she had three children before moving to Orford House, Ugley, Essex by 1924.

This collection predominantly contains detailed personal diaries created by Agnes at various points in her life. The earliest is from her eighteenth year, and the latest, her sixty-first. The early diaries (1881-1885) provide an insight into her life in Glasgow in the 1880s, featuring multiple dances, her finances and reading, as well as travel throughout the UK and Europe. The later diaries (1887-1896) depict a young wife and mother of the late Victorian era, featuring the birth of her son, her husband's illness and subsequent surgery, charitable donations, attending performances in London and further travel. The final diary, created in 1924, contains correspondence from her adult children and grandchildren and features her relationship with her husband and further European travel.

The diaries are not arranged in chronological order.


Arrangement reflects original catalogue, which is not chronological. This arrangement was preserved to retain original numbering

Conditions Governing Access


Acquisition Information

Received prior to the introduction of formal accessioning procedures.

Deposited by H. Tennant, Blairgowrie, 1974-1975.

Other Finding Aids


Alternative Form Available

No known copies

Physical Characteristics and/or Technical Requirements

None which affect the use of this material

Conditions Governing Use

Applications for permission to quote should be sent to the Archivist.

Reproduction subject to usual conditions: educational use and condition of documents

Appraisal Information

This material has been appraised in line with standard GB 0248 procedures.

Custodial History

The diaries came into the possession of the author's nephew H. Tennant, who deposted them with Glasgow University Archive Services between 1974 and 1975.


None expected

Related Material

GB 0248 UGD 132: Papers of Charles Gairdner, 1836-1892, banker, Glasgow, Scotland

GB 0248 DC 233/1: Records of Queen Margaret College, Glasgow, 1883-1935, higher education institution, Glasgow, Scotland: Glasgow Association for the Higher Education of Women (1874-1897)

Location of Originals

This material is original


No known publications using this material

Additional Information

Description compiled in line with the following international standards: International Council on Archives, ISAD(G) Second Edition, September 1999and National Council on Archives, Rules for the construction of personal, place and corporate names

Scotland is the location of all place names in the administrative/biographical history element, unless otherwise stated.

Fonds level description compiled by Alexandra Healey, volunteer, June 2014. Lower level description compiled by Alexandra Healey, volunteer, June 2014.