Manuscript Collection MS COLL 00126 - George Soper Dempster Papers

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George Soper Dempster Papers


  • 1777-1883 (Creation)

Level of description

Manuscript Collection

Extent and medium

26 volumes

Context area

Name of creator


Biographical history

George Dempster of Dunnichen was born in Edinburgh in 1732, the grandson and namesake of a prosperous merchant and banker. He was educated at the University of St. Andrew and received legal training at the University of Edinburgh, becoming a member of the Faculty of Advocates in 1775 at the young age of 23. With his wealth, education and social standing, Dempster moved easily into the brilliant circle of Scottish Renaissance philosophers and literai that included David Hume, William Robinson, James Boswell, Alexander Carlyle and Adam Smith. In 1761, he won a seat in Parliament for the burghs of Forfar and Fife and represented the area for nearly 30 years. Although he lived in London and Edinburgh, he became increasingly interested in rural problems and the promotion of agriculture, eventually earning an international reputation as a pioneer in scientific agriculture. He died in 1818.

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Scope and content

A collection of letters and papers relating to George Dempster of Dunnichen (1732-1818), including his purchase of the estate of Skibo, the economic condition of the Highlands and Lord Selkirk's Red River settlement scheme. Correspondents include Thomas Telford, Sir Adam Ferguson and 1st Viscount Melville.

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Conditions governing access

Material may be requested in person at the Fisher Library Reference Desk, or in advance using our online stack retrieval request form:

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Language of material

  • English

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Institution identifier

Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library, University of Toronto

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