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Sir George Murray
Scottish Deeds: a cartulary of manuscripts from 1559 - 1787 with regard to the Lands of Tilligrieg, Aberdeenshire, Scotland

MSS 0192


Part of Sir George Murray’s bequest, the Scottish Deeds consist of a Cartulary, a legal course of succession, of manuscripts pertaining to the lands of Tilligeirg of Aberdeenshire in Scotland. The Deeds are dated from 1559 to 1787 and are written on parchment, which one exception, which is on paper. The majority of the deeds from the sixteenth century are written in Latin as it was during this period that the Church was active in recording the details of land distribution. The deeds from the seventeenth century are in Latin and English in a style of handwriting called ‘Secretary Hand’ often with the main part of the document in old English with the credentials of the notary or provost in Latin. Those deeds dated towards the end of the eighteenth century are in easily decipherable English.

The practise of registering deeds was widely recognised as it provided certain evidence of the terms of the deed. Deeds were recorded in books of the ‘Act of the Lords of Council’ from 1478 and were recognised by statute from 1584 whereafter they were recorded in the ‘Books of Council and Session.’ The 1695 Statute required officials to maintain a ‘minute book’ to enter the date and hour of presentation of all writs. The Act of 1681 required burgh registers of Sasines to be kept by the Town Clerk.

Some 18th century deeds concern the property of Sir Alexander Ramsay Irvine, a Parliamentarian, represented the constituency of Kincardinshire from 7th June 1765-1768.


  • Report written by Heather C. Cunningham, titled ‘Scottish Deeds: A cartulary of Manuscript from 1559-1787 with regard to the Lands of Tilligrieg, Aberdeenshire, Scotland.'
  • 110 deeds. A listing of the deeds from the 1500s can be found here.
  • Manuscript hand coloured map depicts the leases of "Tilligreig, surveyed 1806. Scale: Scotch chains 74 feet - 4 4/5 inches each". On Vellum with linen back

Physical Description of deeds:

The parchments are of different sizes and quality of vellum. They are mostly in good condition and there is evidence of some information having been scraped off with new details added. Some early deeds have wax or resin embossed seals of varying sizes attached by tags or narrow strips of vellum. Some of these have been recycled from other documents as there is some evidence of writing inside the folds. The deeds from the 1700’s, H.R.B.S.C.-2013 numbers 103 : 109 : 110, have blue paper duty stamps with a tiny square of metal (possibly tin) in the centre attached by glue with another white paper stamp of the crown pasted directly opposite on the reverse side of the parchment and these have then been embossed with an impression of a seal and the amount of duty paid in shillings and pence. This information has been recorded with both images and written descriptions.

Overview and physical description taken from Heather Cunningham's report.

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