Strathmartine Trust Awards Grant for Work on the Atkinson & Marshall Papers

Material of trans-national interest has been discovered amongst documents relating to 19th century Northumberland farmers, Atkinson and Marshall. From 1805, Atkinson & Marshall began to lease land on the Sutherland Estate eventually leasing more than 100,000 acres.

Introduction of large-scale sheep farming resulted in the mass eviction of tenants, a movement that became known as The Highland Clearances. At the heart of this policy were William Young and Patrick Sellar, agents to the Countess of Sutherland. The Atkinson & Marshall papers contain correspondence with both agents and other interesting material relating to the clearances.

The papers held at Northumberland Archives include several hundred letters relating to Atkinson & Marshall’s Scottish estates. Correspondents include James Loch, commissioner of the Sutherland estates as well as Young and Sellar. Approximate dates are 1806 – papers relating to the offer for the Sutherland farms – through to the 1840s and the death of Anthony Marshall.

The Strathmartine Trust, based in St Andrews, has kindly made a grant of £5,000 to NACT to allow these papers to be studied and catalogued online to allow public access to this material, which will be of great interest to students of the period.

Sue Wood, Head of Archives commented “We are delighted to be working with Prof. Annie Tindley on a project to explore this important collection of records.  The project will allow us to create a detailed web-mounted catalogue list of the papers thereby opening the collection to academics and other researchers.”

More information about the collection may be read below.

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