Tyninghame Collection


Tyninghame Collection


A selection of books from the library of Tyninghame House, East Lothian. The core of the collection consists of 345 volumes believed to have belonged to the lawyer and politician Thomas Hamilton (1563-1637), 1st Earl of Haddington, known as 'Tam o' the Cowgate' by his friend King James VI. A collector of books throughout his career, he signed them with the form of name and title he bore at the time of acquiring them. However, research on these books since they came to the Library suggests that some of the volumes signed 'M[agister] T Hamilton' may have belonged to his father, another Thomas, who had also been a student at Paris. The first Earl acquired books in French, Latin, English and Italian, mainly on history, politics and political theory, law, literature, but also some courtesy books and other more practical works on subjects such as medicine and agriculture. The remainder of the collection comprises 11 works owned by the 2nd Earl (1600-1640), and 41 works acquired at later dates. Among the latter books are four illustrated books which came from the library of George Lauder of the Bass (died 1611), and several fine Scottish bindings, including Tasso's 'Gierusalemme liberata' (Glasgow, 1763), bound by James Scott of Edinburgh.


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


The collection was purchased by the Library in 1987, before the rest of the Tyninghame library was dispersed at auction.


'Books for the National Library from Tyninghame House', BP Hillyard, Scottish Book Collector, 6 (June/July 1988), 26-27.

'Durkan & Ross and beyond', BP Hillyard, in AA MacDonald, M Lynch and IB Cowan (editors), The Renaissance in Scotland, Leiden, 1994, 369-384.





French history, language and literature

Italian language and literature

Latin language and literature


Scott, James (bookbindings)