Tag Archives: Agreement

Scotland trip – May 2017 – day 7

I’m aiming to write and post a little bit each day about the family history research I’m doing, and what I find, during a week staying​ in Edinburgh. But for personal privacy, the posting of these travels on AFamilyHistoryBlog will be delayed by a few days, and will not necessarily be in day by day order! Some of these posts may be given later tweaks, with added photos, etc.

Update; You can now see all the posts from my May 2017 Scotland trip, here;
Day 1day 2day 3day 4day 5day 6day 7 – & day 8 & the big family gathering.

Hopetoun House

I spent much of a day in the archives at Hopetoun House, South Queensferry, near Edinburgh. I was looking into my WALKER ancestors, who were tenant farmers on the Hopetoun Estate through from the mid 18th to the end of the 19th century, and into the farms where they lived and worked.

Among other things, there are bits in the Walker family history, originally written by my Grandfather in the 1950’s, which I don’t know any original sources for. So I was hoping that I might find some of those in the Hopetoun archive records.

The archive room at Hopetoun House

I had previously been in contact by email with the volunteer archivists at Hopetoun, so they knew that I planned to visit. I arrived at Hopetoun House at 10:30am, as it was opening to public visitors. I went in to the lower ground floor reception, to the right of the main staircase up to the front door (where most public visitors go into the house). I was soon met by one of the archivists, Richard, who took me up through service stairs and corridors, to an archive research room on an upper floor.

Document bundles in the Hopetoun Archives

I spent several hours there, looking through a number of bundles of old documents; lease agreements (tacks), etc, and was permitted to photograph anything I saw that looked to be of interest. Each bundle has a reference number, and is catalogued in the National Register of Archives for Scotland (NRAS). All the papers in the Hopetoun Archives appear to begin with the catalogue reference “NRAS888/”. In the archive room I was able to search this catalogue, on a computer, to identify the catalogue entries that looked to be of most interest.

(Unfortunately on the internet the full catalogue does not appear to be available! When I search the NRAS Register, it only gives the “top level record” for the papers of the Hopetoun Estate; NRAS888. The individual records, which I was able to search for in the archive room at Hopetoun House, do not appear to be available to search for online!)

Among the papers I saw, there were estate copies of two or three of the same documents that I’ve already posted copies of onto AFamilyHistoryBlog from among the WALKER family papers that I have.

My STAR FINDS from among the papers that I saw at Hopetoun House were plans of Hiddlefaulds (which was demolished in the 1890’s) and of the farm buildings at Kilpunt – both plans dated 1841, along with notes which confirmed that the WALKER family became tenants at Hiddlefaulds in (or slightly before) 1745.

A printed document about the rental income from the estates of “Pumpberston, Illieston, and Kilpunt”, (associated with the sale of these estates at the time that Lord Hope acquired them, circa 1760), details that William WALKER was the tenant in Hiddlefaulds in 1745, but a David KER was the tenant in 1740. A handwritten footnote on this page says that “when Will Walker took Hiddlefaulds he was promised a Tack [a lease agreement] but never got it.“! So the original paperwork was never done!

In total, I took over 170 photos of the documents I saw, that looked to be of interest to me in my family history. These came from the following NRAS catologue numbers (with partial descriptions);

  • NRAS 888/16/Bundle 4; miscellaneous papers – including “lease of Kilpunt – 1843”
  • NRAS 888/28/Bundle 8; “papers relative to lease of Newmains, Overtoun and Kilpunt” – 1834
  • NRAS 888/28/Bundle 10; Tacks and Papers as to Kilpunt and Illieston, 1760 – 1830″
  • NRAS 888/40/Bundle 3; “papers relating to the lease of Kilpunt – including sketches for farm buildings – 1842”
  • NRAS 888/1879; “sketch of lands (of Kilpunt) – 1757”.

Its worth noting that the NRAS catalogue descriptions tend to identify the titled estates (such as Kilpunt), but not individual farms (such as Hiddlefaulds).

Its going to take me some time to process all of this, and I know that if I ever get the time and opportunity to go back to the Hopetoun Archives, there is quite a lot more of interest to look at there.

From what I heard the archivist saying, I gather that they have had very few people, like me, visiting the Hopetoun archives to do family history research into the tenant farmers on the estate. But from what I’ve seen, the Hopetoun archives must be a great resource for anyone who is researching a family history with this kind of connection to the Hopetoun estate.

OLIPHANT papers – Agreement between the tutors of John Aitken, and Christian Barker

For some context, and an index to these documents, please SEE HERE.

If you can help with the transcription of these documents please get in touch.

Please click on the images to see the scans at full resolution.

Christian Barker [b.1741] (daughter of George Barker [b.1705]) was married 1st to Thomas Aitken [m.1763], then to Henry Oliphant [m.1766]. Her 1st son, John Aitken [b.1764] appears to have died prior to this document. Christian and Henry had 2 sons (who both died in childhood) and 2 daughters. After Christian Barker’s death in 1777, Henry Oliphant remarried and had another 8 children.

OLIPHANT papers; envelope 2; document 9;

Cover; coverTranscription of cover;

the tutors of John Aitken
Christian Barker
and her Husband
Dated – 1768
Reg’ – 17th Dec 1769

Page 1;


Transcription of page 1;

(True copy) (first Page)
At Kirkcaldy the Seventh day of December One thousand #
Seven hundred and Sixty nine years In presence of Thomas #
Dougall and David Robertson present Baillies of Kirkcaldy #
sitting in Judgment in an [fin..] court [Compeared] #
George Douglass and George Robb Writers their as #
Procurators for the parties after named and given in #
the agreement under written. Desiring the same #
might be [insert] and [registrat] in the [Burrow] Court Books #
of the said burgh therein to remain for preservation #
conform to the clause of registration therein contained #
Which Desire the said Baillies found reasonable and #
ordained the same to be done accordingly and whereof #
the [tenor] follows. The Parties underwritten […] #
Andrew Inglis of Easter Bouhill Merchant in #
Kirkcaldy, George Barker shipmaster there, James #
Beveridge weaver in Links, John Sleans junior weaver #
in Kirkcaldy, Andrew Alexander sometime Merchant in #
Falkland now in Kirkcaldy and William Aitken #
merchant there Tutors Nominated by the now deceased #
Thomas Aitken merchant in Kirkcaldy to John Aitken #
his only child also now deceased (any three of these tutors #
being a quorum) On the one part and Christian #
Barker sometime spouse to the said Thomas Aitken #
and mothor to the said John Aitken, now spouse to Henry #
Oliphant shipmaster in Kirkcaldy with consent of her #
sad Husband and the said Henry Oliphant for himself #
and as taking burden on him for his said spouse On the #
other part Have agreed in manner following that is #
to say Whereas the said Thomas Aitken by his Disposition #
dated the twelth day of July Seventeen hundred #
and Sixty five and [registrate] in the [Burrow] Court Books #
of Kirkcaldy the Sixteenth day of September year forsaid #
granted and Disponed to the said John Aitken his only Son #
and child his whole heritable ##### and moveable #
subjects with the burden of paying to the said #
Christian Barker his spouse One hundred pounds #
(signed) Will: Drysdale, clerk

Page 2; page-2_ed

Transcription of page 2;

(second page)
Sterling money out of the first and readiest of his moveable #
means and effects at the first term of Martinmass or Whitsunday #
after the death ot the said Thomas Aitken and also paying to #
her during all the days of her lifetime the legal interest of #
One third part of his whole moveable goods and [year] #
Debts and sums of money that should belong and be #
resting unto me at the time of his death, the above #
One hundred pounds Sterling being understood to make #
part thereof and the interest of that sum a part of #
her third and he hereby appointed the said persons #
Tutors and Curators for the said Child as the said #
Disposition more fully bears That the said Thomas #
Aitken having died in the month of September, Seventeen #
hundred and Sixty five several disputes arose betwext #
the said Tutors for behalf of their pupil and the said #
Christian Barker with [respect] to the extent of the #
said Thomas Aitken’s moveable effects and debts an #
to the [Commencement] of her life rent of the […] #
thereof and the [Baurd] wages to be paid her for [their] #
said pupil and the said Tutors having frequently #
met with the said Christian Barker and the said #
Henry Oliphant now her husband concerning #
these and other disputes did settle the [sum.] as #
underwritten In the first place it is hereby agreed #
that the sum of Six hundred pounds Sterling #
money inclusive of the said One hundred pounds #
Sterling payable to the said Christian Barker is #
the capital stock out of which her life rent is to #
be paid and of course that the sum of Two hundred #
pounds Sterling is the [ground] from which her #
life rent arises and that the legal interest of One #
hundred pounds is the sum to be paid her during #
her life. The One hundred pounds being her #
own property in terms of the said Thomas Aitken’s #
Disposition and already paid to her and discharged #
and it is hereby agreed that the said Christian #
Barker’s life rent of the said One hundred #
pounds Sterling should commence at the term of #
Will: Drysdale, clerk

Page 3; page-3_edTranscription of page 3;

(third page)
Whitsunday Seventeen hundred and Sixty seven and shall #
be paid to her or her Assignees at the term of Whitsunday #
yearly during her lifetime out of the moveable effects #
and debts which belonged to the said Thomas Aitken #
and it is hereby further agreed that their shall #
be paid out of the said Thomas Aitken’s effects to the #
said Christian Barker and her said Husband #
the sum of Sixteen pounds Sterling money in full of #
the pupil’s board [wages] during the space he lived with #
the said Christian Barker and the said parties having #
nothing further to claim of one another with respect #
to the affairs of the said Thomas Aitken. They therefore #
mutually discharge each other their heirs [.] of all #
intromissions which they or either of them had with #
the effects of the said Thomas Aitken or which the one #
can lay to the charge of the other bygone preceeding #
the […] hereof and the said parties consent to #
the registration hereof in the Books of Council #
and Session [Burrow] court Books of Kirkcaldy #
or others competent for preservation and if necessary #
to receive execution thereon in form as effects and #
thereto they constitute George Douglass and George #
Robb writers in Kirkcaldy their [Brors] [..] In #
witness whereof these presents wrote by George #
Douglass, apprentice to William Drysdale, town #
clerk of Kirkcaldy upon Stamped paper are #
Inscribed by the said parties at Kirkliston the Thirteenth #
day of June One Thousand seven hundred and #
Sixty eight years before these witnesses the #
said William Drysdale and George Douglass #
both before design[ed] (signed) A.Inglis, George #
Barker, Will.Aitken, And.Alexander, Henry #
Oliphant, James Beveridge, John [Sleans], #
Christian Barker, Will: Drysdale, witness #
George Dougall, witness, Extracted upon #
this and the two preceeding pages By #
Will Drysdale