Diary of John Lamont, 1649-1671.

Scope and Content

Autograph diaries of John Lamont.

The first folio of Vol.I is damaged and lacks a date. The first datable entry is at the head of f.2 '1649. Mar 17'. Vol.I ends [f.141v] with the entry for 30 September 1663. The first datable entry in Vol. II [f.1r], is for 4 May 1664, the last [f.97r] for 16 August 1671, f.86 being damaged.

Volume I (1649-1663):

The diaries contain much every day information about the Lundin family of Lundin, as Lamont's brother Allan was factor and chaplain to the family. National events including execution of Charles I, attacks on Edinburgh, execution of lords eg Duke of Hamilton, return of ministers from Westminster Assembly, information from Edinburgh often, also Carse of Gowrie, deaths and marriages of local lairds and nobles in Fife, cess, coals and candles collected for the English (soldiers quartered?), preaching at church of Largo, discipline of schoolmaster, appointment of ministers to local churches, dissolution of General Assembly of 1653 by English soldiers.

Bookplates of Durham of Largo and Arniston Library.

Pasted into front free endpaper: autograph intimation, signed, Robert Dundas, advising that Vol.II of the diary which belonged to James Lumsdain of Lathallan was sold at Dodwell's auction rooms to Sir Archibald Hepburn of Smeaton for 15. Signed Robert Dundas. Headed notepaper, Arniston, Gorebridge, Midlothian 9 September 1895. (1p)

ff.143-144: Four pages of notes, in a different seventeenth century hand, on national events including execution of Mary Queen of Scots, gunpowder plot, with notes of local births, marriages and deaths in the county of Fife between 1566-1606. [Found by Mr Blackwood, bookseller in Edinburgh, part of waste paper of an old book, formerly in possession of family of Birnie of Broomhill. Copied in 1612 from diary entries of the laird of Carnbee, Moncrief of that ilk.

Volume II (1664-1671):

Dated notes on marriages and deaths of local people, purchase and sale of lands in Fife, local taxation, raising of seamen for war, accidents such as drownings, church news including synod of St Andrews and activities of Archbishop of St Andrews, sentence of excommunication for incest, memorial of the cess paid by Fife for each year, reports of assault and other crimes, storm damage, ship wreck, great fire of London, news on Anglo-Dutch war.

Bookplate of John Lumsdaine Esq of Lathallan

f.99: Copy of a letter [in a different hand] Colonel Robert Lumsden to General George Monk [later 1st duke of Albermarle], commander of the English army in Dundee requiring that he submit, with his army, to the authority of the king. August 1651.

Free endpaper: Licence, in the hand and with the signature of, William Lord Bellenden, Lord Deputy Treasurer of the Kingdom of Scotland, to Sir James Lumsden the younger of Invergelly [Innergellie, Fife] for himself, his family and servants to eat meat in the season of Lent. Edinburgh, 14 February 1665.

Administrative / Biographical History

John Lamont (fl.1649-1671) was probably the son of William Lamont, minister of Scoonie, Fife, from 1614. His nephew John bought the estate at Newton, Fife, causing some confusion over which John Lamont kept the diaries; Archibald Constable attributed them to John Lamont of Newton when he published them in 1830 but this is incorrect. His brother Allan was factor to the Lundin family of Lundin and possibly John also worked for the family.


In chronological order.

Access Information

By appointment with the Keeper of Manuscripts. Access to records containing confidential information may be restricted.

Acquisition Information

Volume I: deposited by the trustees of Lady Evelyn Henrietta Dundas, 18 June 1946.

Volume II: Purchased for 25 from Hopkins, 9 May 1946.


Call numbers used to be ms797, ms798

Other Finding Aids

Individual Manuscripts and Small Collections database available as part of Manuscripts Database.

Physical Characteristics and/or Technical Requirements

Binding: decorated calf.

Volume 1 has 'Lamont's Diarey 1649-1663' in gold on spine.

Volume 2 'Lamont's Diary 1664-1671'.

Paper: ms inlayed in gold-edged paper, 23x18.5cm

Archivist's Note

Description compiled by Maia Sheridan, Archives Hub project archivist, based on material from the Manuscripts Database.

Conditions Governing Use

Applications for permission to quote should be sent to the Keeper of Manuscripts. Reproduction subject to usual conditions: educational use and condition of documents.

Volume I: Property of the Trustees of Lady Evelyn Henrietta Dundas of Arniston. For conditions of deposit see Library Correspondence 1945-46.

Custodial History

Volume I: Presented by Dr John Lamont, surgeon of Largo, [Fife] to William Durham from whence it descended to Lt General James Durham of Largo (Bookplate of Durham of Largo). In 1810 it was in the hands of Thomas Thomson probably to permit transcription. In the hands of General Durham in 1830. Before 1895 it had passed to the library of Arniston House [Robert Dundas] where it remained to 1946.

Volume II: Passed in the 18th century to Lathallan House [Colinsburgh, Fife] where it was in the possession of James Lumisdaine in 1830.




An edition of this work was published by Archibald Constable under the title The Chronicle of Fife (1810). Some pages were known to Constable which are not now extant and were not available to the editor of the volume for the Maitland Club in 1830 (No.7) but the surmise by the editor that Constable lost folios while rebinding is contrary to an inscription in Volume I 'This manuscript was copied for The Chronicle of Fife by John Nelson, clerk to Thomas Thomson esq Deputy Clerk Register for Scotland [signed] Archibald Constable'.

A photocopy [boxed] is shelved adjacent to the original.