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Papers of James Leigh Strachan-Davidson


A. Family legal documents, Sept. 1822-Nov. 1883.

A large collection of wills, trusteeship documents, marriage settlements, releases and indemnities relating to various members of the Strachan family. These also show the links of the Strachan family to other large Scottish families, including the Leighs and the Goldies.

Documents relate to the following members of the Strachan family:

  • Amelia Ann Strachan (JLSD's aunt).
  • Magdalene Strachan (JLSD's aunt).
  • James Strachan (JLSD's father) including: Settlement on his marriage to Mary Ann Richardson (JLSD's mother). November 1842. Settlement on his marriage to Emily Plues (JLSD's stepmother). April 1853. His will. April 1853. Probate of his will. April 1867.
  • Emily Strachan-Davidson (née Plues, JLSD's stepmother). Probate of her will. Nov. 1881.
  • George Strachan (JLSD's brother).
  • William Strachan (JLSD's brother).

B. Financial Affairs of the Ardgaith Estate.

This small estate in Scotland passed to James Strachan (JLSD's father) in 1861 on the death of the previous life-owner, J. Guthrie Davidson. Under the terms of the entail James Strachan and his eldest son had to adopt the name of Davidson. [The papers were orginally kept in a black metal box approx. 13" x 8"x 3", marked "Ardgaith Papers, J.L. Strachan Davidson, Balliol College, Oxford."]

1. Correspondence about the affairs of the Ardgaith Estate, April 1890-Nov. 1912. These letters refer to the financial running of the estate, and various problems including an accident on the Caledonian Railway 1890, choice of a new solicitor for the estate's affairs, etc. 84 items: 67 ALS, 14 AL copy, 3 TLS. Correspondents include: Lord Camperdown, Sir William Dalgleish, William Strachan (JLSD's brother), various lawyers and solicitors.

2. Financial Papers for the Ardgaith Estate, 1868-July 1906. These include a valuation of Ardgaith farm, various accounts for the Ardgaith estate, accounts between JLSD and Messrs Ogilvie, solicitors, etc.

C. The Mowbray Family Trust, 1891-1913.

JLSD was an executor of the Trust Fund which his half-sister, Jane Anne Seymour Mowbray (née Strachan) had set up for her children. [These papers, along with those decribed below in VII/D, VII/E and VII/F were originally kept in a black metal box approx. 15" x 10" x 4" marked "Mowbray Trust, J.L. Strachan Davidson, Balliol College, Oxford."]

1. Correspondence about the Mowbray Trust, Nov. 1891-Dec. 1913. These letters refer to the administration of the Trust and the eventual division of the funds between the children of George and Jane Anne Mowbray. 48 items: 37 ALS, 6 AL copy, 5 TLS. Correspondents include: James Mowbray (JLSD's nephew), Annette Mowbray, Patricia Mowbray (JLSD's nieces), various lawyers and solicitors.

2. Financial and legal papers relating to the Mowbray Family Trust. These include: a copy of George and Jane Anne Mowbray's marriage contract, a copy of Jane Anne's will, various accounts, AMS financial calculations by JLSD, etc.

D. The Mellin Family Trust, 1874-1915.

Frances Mellin was JLSD's cousin, and appointed him Trustee of her marriage settlement.

1. Correspondence about the Mellin Trust, Oct. 1874-Feb. 1915. These letters refer to the the administration of the Trust, stocks and shares held by the Trust, Frances Mellin's will etc. 40 items: 35 ALS, 3 TLS, 1 AL incomplete, 1 AL copy. (Also included are various lawyers' receipts and stock forms.)

2. Financial and legal papers relating to the Mellin Trust. These include a copy of Frances Mellin's will, AMS notes on the Trust by JLSD etc. Also included are various envelopes for Mellin Trust documents that are no longer present in the collection.

E. The Gardom Family Trust, 1876-1916.

Kate Gardom was JLSD's cousin, and her daughter Frances Emily Venables was JLSD's Godaughter. The family's trust fund was administered by JLSD and his brother George, and it also involved the finances of Mary S. Talbot, close friend of JLSD.

1. Correspondence about the Gardom Trust, Oct. 1876-Feb. 1916.These letters refer to various investments made with Trust money, Gardom family affairs etc. 66 items: 51 ALS, 9 TLS, 6 AL copy. (Also included are some legal receipts and a photo of Frances Emily Venables' children, 1915.)

2. Financial and legal papers relating to the Gardom Trust. These include: papers for William Gardom's life insurance, Danish Gas Co. stock and property in Manchester held by the Trust, etc. Some legal correspondence is also included.

F. The estate of Mr. and Mrs. Slack, 1893-1905.

Robert Slack was the Strachan family doctor and a close friend. JLSD was trustee of his will.

1. Correspondence on the deaths of Mr. and Mrs. Slack, Sept. 1893-June 1905. 17 items: 14 ALS, 3 TLS.

2. Legal documents relating to the death of Robert Slack. These include: his will, estate account, etc.

G. The closure of Leamington College, 1902-1905.

JLSD was on the board of governors of the school, which had to be closed in 1902.

1. Correspondence about the closure, the Memorial Organ and the sale of the sports field, July 1902-Dec. 1905. 20 items: 15 ALS, 2 APS, 3 TLS.

2. Other material relating to Leamington College. This includes: printed letters re the appointment of a liquidator, AMS notes by JLSD, etc.

H. Other Financial Papers.

1. Correspondence about Sarah Rogers' pension, July 1895-Aug. 1913. Sarah Rogers was JLSD's mother's old servant, and JLSD and George Strachan paid her a pension. 19 items: 18 ALS, 1 AL copy.

2. Miscellaneous other financial papers, including various shares documents, ALS from E. Hilliard to JLSD about making a will, etc.

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- Tim Procter, Modern MSS Asst, October - December 1992.

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Updated 27.xi.15
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