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Papers of Thomas Davidson of Muirhouse, palaeontologist and genealogist, Edinburgh, Scotland

551 44

Description Papers of Thomas Davidson of Muirhouse, palaeontologist and genealogist, Edinburgh, Scotland

Date 1790 to 1939

Collection Papers of Thomas Davidson of Muirhouse, palaeontologist and genealogist, Edinburgh, Scotland

Catalogue Number 551 44

Category All Other

Scope and Content 'The Davidsons of Muirhouse by Thomas Davidson of Muirhouse, LLD, FRS, FGS, FLS etc': an extraordinary illustrated record of his family's history. The album contains watercolours, engravings, cuttings, a piece of the family tartan and drawings of buildings associated with the Davidsons, principally Muirhouse, Davidsons Mains, Edinburgh, Hatton House and Bemersyde Tower. Old Muirhouse is sketched as is the new house to show Thomas Davidson's additions, the latter is drawn by William J Davidson, Thomas's son, in the 1880s. Among the miscellaneous notes is a list of the pictures at Muirhouse and a sketch of the 'shields on dining-room ceiling at Muirhouse'. Among the accounts of the life of prominent family members is an eye-witness description by Captain William Davidson of the Battle of Waterloo. In addition to the album are two volumes of Captain Davidson's letters to his grandson William, written between 1861 and 1862 (shortly before his death) which describe his adventurous life. Volume two is titled 'autobiography' and contains a photographic portrait of the author. Companion volumes provide an 'explanation' of the letter-books. A bound extract from Volume VIII of the 'Geological Magazine', 1871, comprises a 'Sketch of the Scientific Life of Thomas Davidson' and has additional cuttings, notes and illustrations pasted in. Included in the collection of the Davidsons of Muirhouse are eight books describing the lives of some of the Muirhouses. Written as an autobiography by Captain William Davidson (1783-1865) as 'Letters to William Davidson from his Grandfather' Volume I (2 copies) written at Heidelberg and other places on the Rhine with engravings of various places such as Heidelberg and Lausanne. In this volume he sings the praises of Scotland and also mentions his religious beliefs Explanation of Volume I (2 copies) Volume II (2 copies) One volume has a photograph of William Davidson. Covers William's early life learning weaving, Edinburgh describing the 'swampy ground' which is now Princes Street Gardens, clothes he wore, his Grand Tour of Europe, the Napoleonic wars, dining with William Wilberforce MP. Life in Paris, lectures at the Sorbonne, Napoleon's escape from Elba and return to Paris and watching Wellington's troops assemble, and the annihilation of the 92nd Highlanders in Paris. Hatton House and Muirhouse, 'I call Muirhouse a failure'. He mentions how he altered the park of Muirhouse, cutting down trees about which there was a public outcry. Volume III (1 copy) Describes the upbringing and education of his children, travelling through France, Switzerland and Italy, and the building of the new Muirhouse including how it was designed so that it might be extended if so required later. Sketch of the Scientific Life of Thos Davidson (1 copy) Volume relating to the work and research of Thomas Davidson (born 1817) including newscuttings and scraps.

Archive History Purchased by RCAHMS, 1997 (Acc No 1997/18).

Access Conditions Open, but note that access may be subject to conservation requirements. Please contact the archive to confirm access in advance of a visit.

Administrative History Thomas Davidson, LLD, FRS, FGS, FLS, palaeontologist (born 1817).

Accruals No accruals are expected.

Accession Number 1997/18

Permalink http://canmore.org.uk/collection/1176343

Collection Hierarchy - Collection Level

Collection Level (551 44) Papers of Thomas Davidson of Muirhouse, palaeontologist and genealogist, Edinburgh, Scotland

Preview Category Catalogue Number Title Date Level
Print Room AL 3 PRINT ROOM ALBUM 3: THE DAVIDSONS OF MUIRHOUSE Hard backed album with maroon coloured leather spine and corners with marble effect paper covers. Thomas Davidson, a palaeontologist compiled this illustrated record of his family history which contains watercolours, engravings, cuttings, a piece of family tartan and drawings of buildings associated with the Davidsons, principally Muirhouse and Hatton House. Inscribed on one of the front leaves is; 'The Davidsons of Muirhouse by Thomas Davidson of Muirhouse LLD, FRS, FGS etc & dedicated to my son William Davidson 3rd William of Muirhouse'. Stored with the album is a collection of miscellaneous notes and cuttings including, for example; A sketch of elevation and gable of the west lodge at Muirhouse (pen on tracing paper), dated 1883, A cutting from The Scottish Gardener, Northern Forester dated December 14, 1912, including photographs of Muirhouse and the west avenue and text about the house and grounds, Sketch, pen on tracing paper inscr; 'Bemersyde House in 1881' and below, again pen on tracing paper; 'Bemersyde Tower in olden times old garden with A Haig's sundial', Pencil and grey wash drawing of Bemersyde Tower dated 1861 and initialled 'WJD', Pencil and grey wash drawing of Comrie House dated 1874 and initialled 'WJD', Grey wash drawing of Bonaly initialled WJD, A list of pictures at Muirhouse including portraits by Raeburn, Joshua Reynolds, Geddes, Skirving and frescoes by Zephaniah Bell, Pencil sketches of 'shields of dining room ceiling at Muirhouse' by R J Davidson, Engraving of Thomas Davidson FRS, engraved by J Brown from a photograph by Mayall, Photographic copy of a portrait, Family tree extracts,various newspaper cuttings relating to the work of Thomas Davidson FRS, enthronement to Bishop of Winchester of Dr Randall Davidson and notices of deaths of family members. Also included is the autobiography of William Davidson (1783-1865) see notes for resume of the books. 1880 Batch Level
On-line Digital Images On-line Digital Images DP 029669 Davidson Tartan inscribed ''The Chief of the Clan is Davidson of Tulloch''. 1880 Item Level
On-line Digital Images On-line Digital Images DP 029670 Davidson Arms inscribed ''Viget in Cinere Virtus''. 1880 Item Level
On-line Digital Images On-line Digital Images DP 029671 Photograph of Captain William Davidson. Item Level
On-line Digital Images On-line Digital Images DP 029673 Written account of Davidson Lineage. Item Level
On-line Digital Images On-line Digital Images DP 029674 Written account of Davidson Lineage. Item Level
On-line Digital Images On-line Digital Images DP 029675 Written account of Davidson Lineage. Item Level
Photographs and Off-line Digital Images SC 1079930 Davidson Portrait. 1939 Item Level
On-line Digital Images On-line Digital Images SC 1079931 Thomas Davidson F.R.S. Engraving. Item Level
On-line Digital Images On-line Digital Images DP 028684 Sketch showing view of 'The Davidson family burying place in Cramond Church yard erected in 1784'. c. 1880 Item Level
On-line Digital Images On-line Digital Images DP 028685 Sketch showing view of entrance of 'The Davidson family burying place in Cramond Church yard erected in 1784'. c. 1880 Item Level
On-line Digital Images On-line Digital Images DP 028686 Sketch showing detail of monument in Davidson family vault in Cramond Church yard, to William Davidson (first of Muirhouse) who died 20th September 1794. c. 1880 Item Level
On-line Digital Images On-line Digital Images DP 028687 Detail of Davidson Arms dated 1832, with text; 'Davidson Arms Carved in stone over the principal door at Muirhouse'. c. 1880 Item Level

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