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!
It is common knowledge that Australia was originally treated as a penal colony by the British Empire. In May 1787 the first fleet of convict ships set sail from England and arrived in Botany Bay some 8 months later in January 1788. As a punishment for persistent offenders – most commonly crimes of housebreaking, theft … Continue reading Pastures New: Scottish Emigration to Australia
25 October - 1 December 2017 General Register House, Matheson Dome Free Thieves, confidence tricksters, pickpockets and more… Our new exhibition of photographs and criminal records from the Victorian and Edwardian eras will bring you face-to-face with Scotland’s criminal past. National Records of Scotland will display previously unseen mug shot albums alongside official trial records … Continue reading Rogues Gallery: Faces of Crime 1870-1917
Once again, that time of year is approaching when the National Records of Scotland throws open its doors and invites the public into the splendour of the General Register and New Register House, and offers a tantalising glimpse behind the scenes. General Register House Before records were officially stored in the archive, there was no … Continue reading Doors Open Day – General Register House and New Register House
“The daughter of debate that discord aye doth sow” Elizabeth I, from her sonnet ‘The Doubt of Future Foes’ referring to Mary Queen of Scots During her lifetime Mary Queen of Scots was a highly controversial monarch and she continues to divide opinion today. When we consider her reign, we often focus on the … Continue reading Mary, Queen of Scots (1542-1587)
A titan of engineering and construction, William Arrol established his company in the early 1870s, when Glasgow was developing as an industrial city and the revolutionary Siemens Martin process was enabling the mass production of cheap steel. Arrol made his name with the construction of the Forth Bridge (1890), and is also known for the … Continue reading Sir William Arrol (1839-1913) – The Engineer
On 30 June 1857 the trial of Madeleine Smith began. A young woman from a prosperous Glasgow family, Smith was charged with, on three separate occasions, administering arsenic or other poison to Pierre Emile L’Angelier with intent to kill, twice in February and once in March 1857. It was this accusation and the subsequent … Continue reading Madeleine Hamilton Smith (1835-1928) – The Accused