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Collection GB1/8 - William Macdonald, WS, Edinburgh

Identity area

Reference code

GB 234 GB1/8


William Macdonald, WS, Edinburgh


  • 1738-1816 (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium


Context area

Name of creator

William Macdonald, WS, Edinburgh (1738-1816)

Biographical history

William MacDonald was born in 1732, the eldest son of James Macdonald of Ranathan, Perthshire. He was apprenticed to Robert Grant and was admitted as a Writer to the Signet in 1762. He set up in business in or around 1760 in Edinburgh. He married Cecilia, daughter of David Kinloch of Kilry, Angus in 1772. He died in 1814

Archival history

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Scope and content

Accounting records, 1738(?)-1816; Common letter books, 1777-1781; Letter book containing letters to factors of Largie, Sleat, North Uist, Trotterness and Clanranald, 1774-1780; Court process books, 1771-1781; Household book for the Edinburgh house of William Macdonald, 1783-1811; Material relating specifically to families that Macdonald acted for including the MacDonalds of Clanranald, 1776-1781; the Robertson-Macdonald family of Kinlochmoidart, 1782; the Macdonnells of Glengarry, 1780-1781; Items relating to George Oliphant of Kinloch and Clashbenny, afterwards of Rosemount, Perthshire, including a trading account book of Grange Estate, Jamaica, 1770-1775, detailing transactions in connection with slave labour, rum and sugar production, and shipments to Glasgow, 1755 - 1775; Business books of Roderick McRaw, tailor in Edinburgh, including account books, 1757-1766, detailing the types and prices of clothing tailored for customers among whom were many important people of the period, 1757 - 1773; Items relating to the Balfours of Pilrig, Midlothian, including a ledger relating to James Balfour of Pilrig (1681-1737), 1704-1732, which details expenditure including the purchase of Pilrig in 1718 and interests in businesses including a soap work and glass work at Leith, 1767-1780, receipt for cess collected in name of Charles, Prince of Wales from James Balfour of Pilrig, (1705-1795), 1745, 1704 - 1780; Books of unidentified businesses including an Edinburgh general merchant’s account book, 1764-1774, and an Edinburgh whisky merchant’s ledger, 1767-1774.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling


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Language of material

  • English

Script of material

Physical characteristics and technical requirements

Paper records

Finding aids

Digital item level catalogue available through the National Records of Scotland catalogue reference beginning GD1/8

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