The movie Mary, Queen of Scots starring Saoirse Ronan and Margot Robbie premieres today in Edinburgh, so we asked NRS archivist Dr Alison Rosie to look at the real Mary I and at what our records reveal about the Kingdom of Scotland’s most famous and (spoilers!) tragic Queen. National Records of Scotland holds many documents which … Continue reading From the NRS Archives: Mary, Queen of Scots (1542-1587)
Court papers and a striking crime scene map reveal how an everyday argument between neighbours culminated in a terrifying explosion and the arrest of a wounded war veteran for the murder of three people. NRS project cataloguers working on records of the Military Pensions Appeal Tribunal recently discovered the case of a former soldier who had … Continue reading From the NRS Archives: The Crime That Shook Glasgow, 1916
Now released after 100 years, asylum admission records shed light on the treatment of civilians and soldiers suffering from mental health conditions. Shell shock – a contemporary term used to describe the psychological trauma experienced by soldiers who fought on the battlefields of the First World War – is familiar from documentaries, movies and novels. … Continue reading From the NRS Archives: Servicemen in Scotland’s Asylums, August 1918
The Admirality yacht HMY Iolaire under the name "Amalthaea", Ness Historical Society, via Wikimedia CommonsThe first day of the New Year of 1919 brought tragedy to the Island of Lewis, when the naval yacht ‘Iolaire’ crashed onto rocks in the approaches to the harbour of Stornoway. Of the official total of 284 naval crew and … Continue reading The ‘Iolaire’ Disaster 1 January 1919
Throughout December our office has been blessed with a veritable stream of sweets and treats as colleagues bring in baked goods and sweeties, in the festive spirit of giving and sharing (and the winter spirit of needing sugar to burn!). As I prepare to leave work for the Christmas break, my mind invariably goes to … Continue reading “Your confection is perfection” Henry Lauder
There are times when the conservator’s bench can be blessed by an object capable of tickling one’s imagination. That is what happened to me when a single section booklet from a Gift and Deposit collection in the National Records of Scotland materialised on my table: an 18th century recipe book from the papers of the … Continue reading A Lovely Gift
Christmas is now well established in Scotland as a time for giving, enjoying the company of loved ones, decorating the Christmas tree and of course, indulging in some Christmas feasting! But until relatively recently, Scotland did not celebrate Christmas, at least, not openly. For over 400 years, Christmas was frowned upon in Scotland and its … Continue reading Christmas: Banned in Scotland!
Have you ever asked to be excused from jury service? Well you're not alone! For centuries potential jurors have sought to escape their civic duty on grounds of health, work or simple inconvenience. Here are some such requests which survive within the High Court of Justiciary held by the National Records of Scotland. Ill Health … Continue reading Please Sir, may I be excused?
From today until the end of November, a facsimile of the 500-year-old Halyburton Ledger will be on display and free to view at General Register House. Ahead of his free talk about the Ledger this Friday, NRS Conservator Peter Dickson tells us how he made a facsimile of the volume and what he learned about … Continue reading Conservation – A Volume 500 Years In The Making
In the last of our three World War One podcasts, NRS Head of Outreach Dr Tristram Clarke looks at the forgotten stories of the men who exchanged their pens and desks in Edinburgh's Register Houses for rifles and helmets in France, Flanders and the Dardanelles, some never to return. He also explores the contribution of those who … Continue reading A Very Arduous Period – The Register Houses During WWI, with Dr Tristram Clarke