Saltoun Manse Collection


Saltoun Manse Collection


A collection of around 2,000 books from the library of Saltoun Manse in East Lothian. The library originated in 1657, when Norman Leslie, minister of Gordon, Berwickshire, bequeathed 139 books for the use of the minister of Saltoun Kirk. From 1665 to 1669 Gilbert Burnet (1643-1715), the historian and later Bishop of Salisbury, was minister there, and on relinquishing the post he added 10 books to the library. Burnet also left a trust fund, which, after his death, was partly used for the maintenance of the Manse library. Saltoun is probably best known for its association with the Fletcher family who acquired the estate in 1643, in particular with Andrew Fletcher (1653-1716), the 'Patriot', and his nephew and namesake (1692-1766), who became the distinguished judge Lord Milton. Books inscribed by both men are included in the library. The holdings of the library cover biography, history, literature, theology, topography and travel. There are 467 printed volumes from before 1821, and the collection is particularly strong in the amount of contemporary material by and about Bishop Burnet.


The books have been catalogued individually and have the shelfmark ' Saltoun.'.


The collection was deposited in the Library in 1977 and became a long-term deposit in 1986.

Related collections

The collection also included papers of and concerning the library of the Kirk of Saltoun, with three volumes of a catalogue and papers concerning the management of the library and of the affairs of the parish. The manuscripts are held at Acc.9270.


'Extracts from the acts and proceedings of the Presbytery of Haddington, relating to Dr Gilbert Burnet, and the library of the Kirk of Salton, 1664-1669', The Bannatyne Miscellany, 3, Edinburgh, 1855, 389-402.

'An East Lothian library: literary treasures in the manse of Saltoun', W Forbes Gray, Life & Work, new series 1 (1930), 247-250.




Burnet, Gilbert

Scottish history and literature

English history and literature