Special Collections: Robert Riddell Manuscripts

Robert Riddell (d1794) was a gentleman antiquary who inherited the Glenriddell estate and lived at Friars Carse near Dumfries.

Riddell's "Collection of Scottish Antiquities" (1786-1792) were a series of bound manuscripts containing accounts of the history, families and antiquities of Dumfriesshire and Galloway, with some material relating to the rest of Scotland. Eight of these albums and other associate material were collected by the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland and are now in the library collection (volumes 2-4, 6-9 and 11).

Descriptions of building and objects, illustrated with engravings and sketches (by Francis Grose, Alexander Reid, Alexander Naysmith and Adam de Cardonnel among others) are interspersed throughout the volumes. Some volumes contains contents or indexes and these are listed below, together with a list of original drawings and a transcript of the Journal of a tour in Scotland in 1789 , made by Captain Grose and Captain Riddell. The library also holds "Additions to the Scottish part of Mr Gough's British topography" with extensive annotations made by Riddell in 1791 (SAS MS 589).

Riddell is perhaps most famous for his friendship with his neighbour, the poet Robert Burns and the National Library of Scotland has two MSs of Burns' poetry which were presented to Riddell in its collection (Glenriddell Burns Manuscripts MSS.86-87). Riddell also presented a MS (SAL/MS/117) to The Society of Antiquaries of London, now held in their Library which includes "A tour in Nithsdale" and copies and autographs of poems by Burns.

Robert Riddell Manuscript Collection - notes by Basil Skinner
Volume 2 index
Volume 3 index
Volume 6 index
Volume 7 index
Volume 8 index
Volume 9 index
Volume 11 index
List of original drawings
A journal of a tour of Scotland in 1789, made by Captain Grose and Captain Riddell

Robert Riddell. A collection of Scottish Antiquities vol. 2, 1786. SAS MS 581