HC Deb 19 May 1914 vol 62 cc1761-2

asked the Secretary for Scotland whether he is aware that when the heritable jurisdictions were abolished in the middle of the eighteenth century the whole of the documents and records of Wigtownshire were handed over to the custody of the new sheriffs, and that a mass of papers lies in bundles in their custody in Wigtown, but that no one has power to examine them; whether similar conditions prevail in other counties in Scotland; and whether he will do anything to secure that these documents shall be sent to the Register Office in Edinburgh and duly recorded there, and that such of them as were important shall be printed as a permanent record?


I am informed that the records of Wigtownshire were handed over at the time referred to by my hon. Friend, and that there are in Wigtown numerous documents which have not been catalogued and arranged. In the absence of a catalogue, members of the public are not allowed access in order to search among them. I understand that similar conditions obtain in other counties. The question of the custody of such records is at present under consideration by a committee of the sheriffs and by the keeper of the records, and when they have arrived at their conclusions I shall be glad to consider the position further.


Have these documents been referred to the Royal Commission on Historical Manuscripts?


I should like notice of that question. They are not much use without a catalogue.