University of St Andrews

University Library Special Collections


Papers of the Gilmours of Lundin and Montrave (msdep73)

Images of the Gilmour of Lundin and Montrave collection

In 2010, 6 large, tin trunks, four battered suitcases, five bulging cardboard boxes and several armloads of plans, albums, maps and other odds and ends too large to fit into any of these were deposited in Special Collections: the papers of the Gilmours of Lundin and Montrave. Sorting through this material we discovered a fascinating and surprisingly varied collection. In the main, it comprises papers of Allan Gilmour (d.1885), founding partner in the Glasgow timber and shipbuilding company of Pollock, Gilmour & Co and his son, John (1845-1920), created Baronet of Lundin and Montrave in 1897; grandson John (1876-1940), the 2nd baronet, and great-grandson, John (1912-2007), the 3rd baronet.

His papers show him to be a widely respected agricultural and field sports expert.  Amongst his many astute investments, particularly in the developing railway companies, Sir John was heavily involved in the British Settlement of South Africa Ltd, an attempt to spread British (in the event, particularly Scottish) influence in that country after the Boer War and the collection includes much about the struggles of this organisation and its settlers.

John Gilmour, 2nd Bart was arguably the most outstanding member of the family.  Like his father, he was a keen sportsman and master of the Fife Hunt.  Also like his father, he became colonel of the Fife Light Horse (or Fife and Forfar Yeomanry as it became in 1903) and his distinguished service in this regiment in the Boer War and in Egypt in the First World War is well covered in letters, papers and splendid photographs within the collection.  His political career, in which he held several ministerial posts and became Secretary of State for Scotland, is covered in the collection, as is that of his son, the late Sir John who became chairman of the Conservative and Unionist Party in Scotland. Amongst his papers are reports and photographs taken in connection with a visit he paid to the Falkland Islands on the eve of the Argentine invasion.

For more information see the catalogue entry for the Papers of the Gilmours of Lundin and Montrave.

Manuscript or muniment?

Not quite sure what the difference is? Learn about how to distinguish between our different archival collections.

Collection development policy

Discover how the Special Collections Division makes decisions on the development of its manuscript and muniment collections.

Current projects

Read about the exciting projects the Archive team is currently working on, and those that have been completed recently.