The Early Modern Commons

Objects and the archive

Recent Posts

An exchange of prisoners in 1523

7 September 2020

While looking for details of life at Aberdour Castle in the seventeenth century, I found a note from 1523, addressed to George Douglas of Pittendreich from Antony Ughtred, captain of...

Lord Elgin’s advice and instructions for buying a Van Dyck

31 August 2020

Thomas Bruce, Earl of Elgin (1599-1663) was keen to acquire a portrait that he had heard was a masterpiece, the sitter being someone he admired. He was anxious this new treasure would...

Lady Binning’s feather

29 August 2020

Catherine Erskine married Thomas Hamilton, later 2nd Earl of Haddington, and was known as Lady Binning. She died in 1635, and her mother Marie Stewart, Countess of Mar, was anxious...

Two letters about cheese

28 August 2020

Around six letters sent to Agnes Leslie, Lady Lochleven survive, four in the National Library of Scotland and two in the National Records of Scotland. Two letters are about cheese:...