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The Thornton Collection of Manuscripts and Plans
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The Thornton Collection of Manuscripts and Plans

  • MS 17
  • Collection
  • 1518-1962
MS 17/1 Newport Railway Company: miscellaneous papers 1862-1891; MS 17/2 North British Railway Company: miscellaneous papers 1846-1902; MS 17/3 Dundee and Arbroath Joint Railway; Kirkcaldy District Railways: miscellaneous papers 1851-1903; MS 17/4 Grange estate, Monifieth, Kerr and Anderson families legal and estate papers 1821-1901; MS 17/5 Morphie Estate, Kincardineshire, Grahame family: legal and estate papers 1854-1891; MS 17/6 Thornton Castle, Laurencekirk: inventories and plans 1931; MS 17/7 Miscellaneous title deeds, chartularies and legal 1518-1877; MS 17/8 Records and papers of the Bannatyne Home of Rest, Newtyle 1892-1962; MS 17/9 Miscellaneous papers and correspondence of James Dalyell, with some papers and correspondence of John James Dalyell 1814-1883; MS 17/10 Correspondence and papers of John James Dalyell, with some of James Dalyell and Mrs Marie-Anne Dalyell 1839-1897; MS 17/11 Miscellaneous papers with no common factor 1847-1916; MS 17/12 Miscellaneous legal papers 1836-1912; MS 17/13 Miscellaneous loose papers originally with maps and plans 1843-1918; MS 17/14 Unidentified ledger of household accounts 1938-1957; MS 17P Maps and Plans

Thomas Thornton, Son & Co

Newport Railway Company: miscellaneous papers

Legal papers, mainly relating to dispute between John Berry, Tayfield, and the Newport Railway Company 1862-1874; Minutes of meetings of directors and shareholders 1866-1876; The Newport Railway Act 1867, bills and other Parliamentary papers relating to the Newport Railway, 1867-1873, The North British Railway, 1877-1878, The Caledonian Railway, 1878; papers relating to shareholders' meetings 1872-1877; correspondence relating to the purchase of land and legal papers 1873-1891; directors reports 1874-1876; statement of accounts 1874-1875; correspondence with the Board of Trade 1877.

Newport Railway Company

Railway Acts and Bills

The Newport Railway Act, 1867. [Printed copy] Bills and other Parliamentary papers relating to the Newport Railway, 1867-1873, The North British Railway, 1877-1878, The Caledonian Railway, 1878. Includes petitions by Dundee Harbour Trustees and by Perth Town Council, relating to the North British Railway Bill. 1888. Also includes: The Scottish Central Railway (stations) Act. 1864. "The Fifth Schedule", part of an agreement between North British Railway Company and Newport Railway Company. 1888.

Correspondence relating to the purchase of land by the Newport Railway Company

Correspondents are: Thornton, solicitor, John Waddell, John Walker. Also includes: (1) 14 December 1874, Edinburgh, John Walker to Messrs Pattullo and Thornton, Dundee. Intimates his resignation as a director of the Newport Railway Company. (2) 20 November 1876, Dundee, John Waddell, Railway Contractor, to the Newport Railway Company. Offers to construct the Newport Railway. (3) 14 May 1891, "D.A.S." to "Mr Thornton". Encloses 'Railway folly in Fife', an attack on Caledonian Railway extension into Fife.

Papers and Correspondence of John James Dalyell

Household and personal accounts of the Dalyell family 1856-1892; account books c.1860-1873; miscellaneous writings mid-1860s; various notebooks 1848-c.1858; miscellaneous correspondence and papers c.1852-1873; miscellaneous correspondence, mainly letters to John James Dalyell with a few letters to James Dalyell 1857-1885; miscellaneous correspondence and papers concerning the activities of local golf and cricket clubs 1859-1873; miscellaneous correspondence and papers mainly relating to the affairs of the 3rd Forfarshire Artillery Volunteers 1862-1872; miscellaneous correspondence and papers mainly relating to his work as commission agent and agent of the Royal Insurance Co 1860-1878; folder containing miscellaneous cartoons, drawings and pages from almanacs 1840-1862; miscellaneous papers, mainly relating to John James Dalyell and Mrs Marie Anne Dalyell; private letter books 1868-1873; letter books 1860-1873; business cash books, ledgers, journals order book and bill book relating to the Royal Insurance Co 1860-1873.

John James Dalyell

Folder containing miscellaneous cartoons, drawings and pages from almanacs, mainly from Punch magazine

Also includes: (1) Supplement to the Home and Foreign Record of the Free Church of Scotland. June 1853. (2) The Free Church of Scotland Monthly Record. January 1875. (3) Abstracts of the Public Accounts of the Free Church of Scotland. 1875-1876. (50) Engraving of G.R. Rodney, no details. (55-56)19th century prints (2) of harbour areas of Arbroath and Stonehaven. (72) Postcard of the battlefield of Killiecrankie. n.d.

Miscellaneous papers, mainly relating to John James Dalyell and Mrs Marie Anne Dalyell

Includes (1-2) Accounts from Dr Robert Dickson and Dr David Greig to James Dalyell for medical services. 1867-1868. (3) Pencilled list containing details of James Dalyell's naval career, ships on which he served, together with dates of service and appointments held; also some information regarding his discharge from HM Coast Guard Service due to ill-health. n.d. (4) Notes and correspondence relating to articles, sketches and stories by John James Dalyell, some intended for publication; including 'Preface', a draft introduction to an article on volunteer corps characters submitted to an unidentified journal, probably Punch. [See also MS 17/10/12]. (5-6) Statements of Account of Mrs Marie Anne Dalyell with the Union Bank of Scotland. 1872-1874. (7-8) Printed notices advertising stock of David Anderson, clothier, Dundee. 1872-1873. (9-10) Part of a letter or draft attaching a petition in respect of the system of rental assessment as it applies to firms in Dundee (probably in connection with Mr Baxter's Bill in the House of Commons). [1866-1867]. [See also MS 11/10/3(18) and MS 17/10/25]. (11) Draft letter from John James Dalyell concerning an application to raise the status of the Broughty Ferry Sub-division of the 3rd Forfarshire Artillery Volunteers to that of a Battery. n.d. (12) Notice of Inland Revenue Assessment for house and garden of Mrs Marie Anne Dalyell, at West Point House, Carnoustie. October 1875. (20) Memo of places visited in London by John James Dalyell in company with Mr and Mrs Anderson. [In 1872]. (22) Draft of "Tayville's Story". (23) Draft of incomplete story (untitled)

Private letter book of John James Dalyell. [Wet copy].

Contains correspondence relating to Dalyell's business interests, as well as letters concerned with his social activities. These primarily involve the Angus and Mearns Rifle Association, the 3rd Forfarshire Artillery Volunteers, in which Dalyell was a Lieutenant and later a Captain of B. Battery, the Caledonian Union Golf Club, of which Dalyell was Captain and then Honorary Secretary, and the affairs of Dundee Cricket Club. Dalyell also corresponded with former member of the Rock Ferry Scottish Brigade, in particular with Jack Cleghorn in Chicago. Other letters display Dalyell's interests in public affairs, and a number are concerned with securing a Navy pension for his father. [259pp] Includes: (p.3) 22 May 1868 to Jack Cleghorn, Chicago. Includes Dalyell's account of a description he had read on "the mode employed in Chicago of killing the pigs by machinery ... they are shunted wholesale into a drop and are killed, scolded, split and hung ... by a man simply turning a crank handle after the beautiful and mysterious manner employed by the organ grinders in the streets". He then goes on to comment on the current state of trade in Dundee. "This our town, comically called Bonnie Dundee, is feeling, and that severely, the now existing dullness prevailing in every branch of commerce, notably here but also abroad. During the American War, and the consequent scarcity of cotton, the people here and the manufacturers were literally coining money, all or most of which was invested in raising stupendous additions to their works, or building fresh ones, and now that over-production is established affairs are very bad. Strong intentions exist of going on short time, large Mills standing idle, and working people in misery". (p.5) 2 May 1868 to Norton Alexander, Belfast, on behalf of James Dalyell. John James mentions his having "discharged a facetious projectile at the head of that now re-organised swindle 'Order in Council 1860', as compared to its more recent one the '1864 Correction' ". He directs Alexander's attention to "an article in this month's [June] Naval Chronicle headed 'Justice in the Navy', the whole of which I wrote as it appears". He thanks Alexander and a Capt. Goslin for information and encouragement. (p.7) 25 June 1868 to Cleghorn. Amid talk of mutual acquaintances Dalyell mentions the "rage" for having photographic portraits made up. He later advises Cleghorn to look into the salt sack trade, "I know a great many find their way to Canada and the States from here during the year". (p.43) 26 November 1868 to Charles O'Byrne, 23 Pall Mall, London, editor of the Naval Chronicle. A covering letter for a piece called 'A New Grappling Iron for the Navy'. In the letter Dalyell writes, "We live in a progressive age and perhaps the 'new brooms' now going into Parliament [liberals] may sweep away many of those abominable abuses and hardships which have over-characterised the proceedings of our Admiralty Board". The article itself is reproduced on pp.36-42, and is a satirical attack on the rottenness of the Admiralty Board, the organisation responsible for awarding pensions. John James Dalyell signs himself 'The Eccentric Civilian Observer and Reformed Politician'. (p.51) 26 January 1869 to Cleghorn. Refers to the progression of a book he hopes to finish. "Unfortunately business interruptions do not favour its progression so well as I could desire. A fellow in his first noviciate requires to exercise inordinate care lest while unconsciously giving forth to the world a 'something' which in his own heart and mind he believes to be new, he may suddenly be deprived of sense and motion by a sudden and vindictive onslaught by the critics: wherein they take a devilish delight in carefully pointing out how, where, when, and in what way he has been poaching. I think, however, I am all right as I know my subject to be fresh. When it is completed you shall know". (p.52) 17 March 1869 to Charles Carnegie MP, House of Commons. Mainly concerns the game of golf which "is spreading very much in England now I believe ..." The new Dalhousie club at Carnoustie is swelling into large proportions, the number of members being upwards of 13". He complains of there being too many people on the course at the same time: "More especially as most of the new acquisitions are tyros who may generally be observed enveloped in a halo of clods or sand after each stroke, blindly and recklessly regardless in their simplicity of all order, rule, or observance. Numerous shinning casualties occur on the putting greens at very important junctures arising from impulsive novices behind, and it is confidently expected that rows will occur in future should the play not be better regulated. They will no doubt however settle down in time". (p.55) 24 March 1869 to Norton Alexander. Praises "Mr Childers and his worthy colleague Mr Baxter" for initial naval reforms. (p.57) 31 March 1869 to James Young, secretary of Perth Cricket Club. Bemoans the lack of interest in resuscitating Dundee Cricket Club. "I am afraid however that unless some spurt is given to Cricket here, in the way of obtaining a convenient spot of ground for practice, that the game will dwindle down to a miserable existence". [A team had been re-assembled by August]. (p.92) 4 September 1869 to W.G. Baxter on the subject of a Navy Pension for James; "I shall certainly not allow his claims to remain dormant as he himself has allowed them to do hitherto". (p.110) 28 December 1869 to A. Ellis. Mentions a local outbreak of Scarlatina: "It has been very fatal amongst children - many unfortunate households having been quite decimated. It would appear the disease attacks in very many cases the head ... when it generally proves fatal in a few hours". (p.153) 22 August 1870 to Francis Aubert, Paris. Writes to his cousin showing his support for the French in their war with Prussia. "I take a deep, a very deep, interest in the struggle, as my words will no doubt make manifest, and have even a personal wish to contribute practical assistance as a volunteer. But this would require a sacrifice on my part which romance alone could account for, even were the other obstacles removed, such as commercial interests and the imperative Government order preventing officers of either regular or reserve forces from serving in any capacity". (p.204) 15 June 1871 to Francis Aubert. Asks for news of his situation in Paris a month after the bloody destruction of the Paris Commune. "I will not even dwell for an instant on what has occurred in Paris within the last few months. It reads like one of the most horrible of the sensational romances ..." Dalyell goes on to ask Aubert for his opinions on the future of France. (p.209) 29 June 1871 to Francis Aubert, having received word of his escaping Paris. Gives his opinion of the communards: "It is to be hoped that Paris will be all the better [rid] of the thousands weeded out of her, and yet, nevertheless, we have in this country papers (Spectator and others) which permit their columns to be constituted with articles eulogising those scoundrels as akin to the highest patriotism and philosophy and thereby fostering and encouraging a slowly advancing republican feeling throughout the country among the lower classes. Judging of the slow and laborious efforts of our parliament to reform old abuses, re-organise and re-constitute the Army, with its numerous concomitant military and civil ramifications, it will be a long time before decided republican sentiment either obtains or exhibits any other than a contemptible ascendancy". Dalyell airs his support for Napoleon III, writing "Can you suggest a better ruler?" The letter ends with news that Dalyell has distinguished himself during recent examinations of the state of military in Britain: "But what is to use of this honour to a poor nigger who had to refuse a Field Officer's Commission because he knows only too well within himself he could not afford to keep a Rocinante". (pp.214-215) 8 and 15 July to J.C. Fyle, Liverpool. Concerns some effects on mineral transportation to be expected on the completion of "the Great Tay Bridge".

Private letter book of John James Dalyell, [wet copy].

Contains mainly personal correspondence, with some letters relating to Caledonian Union Golf Club, 3rd Forfarshire Artillery Volunteers and Dalyell's business interests, including his attempt at establishing himself as a wine agent for Wm. Shiels & Co, Leith. The personal correspondence becomes primarily concerned with the effects of a severe and ultimately incapacitating illness. [113pp] Includes (p.3) 24 February 1872, addressed to Dalhousie Golf Club. Continues the correspondence relating to an incident in which Dalyell punched one of the members there. Dalyell mentions that the Dalhousie Board has "a personal animosity to myself", which explains, to him, the continuing controversy. "They cannot, in future, exonerate themselves from virtually condoning the ... offence of one member of a club offering, within its precincts, a gratuitous and boorish insult to another, otherwise peaceably inclined, member; nor can it interfere if that latter individual in looking vainly around for redress, finds it at last necessary to protect himself by degenerating into the realms of boredom and adopting the muscular retaliative peculiar to that sect". (p.18) 9 April 1872 to Alexander Stoddard. Requests he nominate Dalyell for membership of Royal Liverpool Golf Club at Hoylake and commences arrangements for a visit to the course. (p.26) 6 May 1872 to Laurence Stoddard. Hopes "the visitation I was undergoing at intervals while under your kind and hospitable roof" did not upset his family. "I feel myself now quite relieved from that horrid sensation of tension across my head which I felt acutely on my return journey". (p.28) 7 May 1872 to A. Hay Miln. Comments on the course at Hoylake "I have little doubt that in the course of a few years the Liverpool club will rival in magnitude that of St. Andrews assuming ... they obtain a perpetual grant of the ground". (p.33) 10 May 1872 to Alex Stoddart. Mentions that he is trying to give up "that very pernicious habit of snuffing to excess. The habit has been increasing for years back[,] very possibly owning, as I have frequently and jocularly said, to it and golf being the only rational amusements one can procure at Carnoustie". The letter concludes with some age-old advice on hitting a golf ball: "... never take your eye off the ball". (p.40) 25 May 1872 to James Hunter, solicitor, Dundee. Concerns pressing for damages against the author of "calumnies ... as were so industriously sown broadcast at Hoylake ... That an honest man should be so malignantly and violently persecuted resembles a dark page of the blackest history". (p.41) 27 May 1872 to Alex Stoddard. Mentions the "vile and disgusting epithets" ranged against him. They include: "low thief"; "rascally thief"; "low Officer"; and "B____y thief". Dalyell comments: "I can only fall by false accusations". (p.46) 24 July 1872 to Alex Stoddard. Gives news of his illness. "I have been compelled to make sundry trips for the benefit of my health, which was in a rather a precarious state; so much so, indeed, that it almost completely incapacitated me for much head-work of any kind". (p.53) 27 September 1872 to James Wilkie. Recalls his trips to London and Dunkeld and speculates on his future in business. "... now that I have reached the end of an apparent 'cul de sac' possibly [Dame Fortune] may now demonstrate some mode of exit which may recoup me for the many years hitherto mis-spent in vain endeavours". He goes on to say he may soon "endeavour to procure that success abroad which I have ineffectually tried to achieve here". (p.64) 24 October 1872 to Thomas Anderson. Tells him "I have visions of being something or another in the Wine Trade". He later became an agent of Wm. Shiels & Co, Leith. (p.82) 15 March 1873 to Francis Aubert. Informs him his health is still deteriorating, so that "thinking on any particular subject has been almost continuously a positive torture to me ..." (p.88) 13 April 1873 to James Wilkie. Writes "I suffer principally from visitations in the head, heart and spine". (p.93) 13 May 1873 to Robert Waugh. "My health, I regret to say, has become very precarious. I never thoroughly recovered from my illness in the spring of last year. It has been a serious thought to me frequently since if I ever shall". (p.108) 4 July 1873. Resigns from the various Golf Clubs he has membership with. (p.113) 11 July 1873. Makes some plans to visit Francis Aubert in Paris

Letter book of John James Dalyell [Wet copy]

Contains correspondence mainly relating to Dalyell's work as commission agent, dealing particularly in salt sacks and other types of bagging, with index of addresses (particularly in Liverpool); also contains letters relating to business as agent for the Royal Insurance Co, and to affairs of the 3rd Forfarshire Artillery Volunteers. [496pp]
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