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Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0074 CLC/126
Held at: London Metropolitan Archives
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Date(s): 1820-2002
Level of description: Collection
Extent: 140 production units.
Name of creator(s): Royal Scottish Corporation


Administrative/Biographical history:

A Scottish box-club to benefit Scots merchants and craftsmen was in operation in London by 1613. In 1665, Letters Patent were granted for the establishment of a "Scottish Hospital" to look after the sick and train the able-bodied poor in Westminster. The Hospital was built on land in the parish of St Ann Blackfriars and was opened in 1676. In the same year, the royal charter was renewed, and its reach was extended to include the City of London as well as Westminster. The charter was re-incorporated in 1775 by George III to cater for the greater needs of the Corporation as a result of a growing influx of Scots to London after the Union of 1707. The administration and headquarters of the hospital moved in 1782 to a house in Crane Court and additional buildings were also purchased a few years later in nearby Fleur de Lis Court, off Fetter Lane. By 1868 applicants for aid had to live within 12 miles of the Corporation's Hall and also had to have lived for at least two years in London. Elderly pensioners had to have lived in London for 20 years and within 12 miles of the hall. Since the renewal of the charter in 1974, applicants have to live within 35 miles of Charing Cross to be eligible for help. After the Hospital and tenements were sold to the City of London in 1874, poor Scots were helped in their own homes with a pension, if they had subscribed to the Corporation.

William Kinloch, a Calcutta merchant, died in 1812 and left the residue of his estate to the Corporation. The estate was to be invested for the benefit of "poor and disabled Scotchmen in distress, who may have lost their legs or arms, eyesight, or otherwise wounded in the army or navy, in the service of their country". By 1886 the bequest was supporting 254 pensioners. The Kinloch Bequest is still active today, providing Scottish disabled servicemen throughout the UK with pensions.In 1915 Allan William Freer bequeathed the residue of his estate to the Corporation. The income from the estate was intended "for the aid of subscribers who in later years have become reduced through ill-health or business reverses". Another servicemen's charity managed by the Corporation is the St Andrew's Scottish Soldiers' Club Fund. This fund specifically helps soldiers of the Aldershot Garrison in Hampshire, wherever they might be serving. In 1812 a school fund was set up. By 1882-3 the Corporation was paying part or the whole of the school fees for children under thirteen of poor Scottish parents. Bursaries are today awarded by the Corporation to children of the Royal Caledonian Schools and student loans to Scottish students at London's universities and colleges.

Since the incorporation of the Scottish box club, the charity has been variously called "the Scottish Hospital", "the Scots Corporation", "the Scottish Corporation" and "the Scots Hall". The "Royal Scottish Corporation" became the common name from the early twentieth century. The Corporation has been based in the parish of St Ann Blackfriars (1673-1782), 7 Crane Court (1782-1927), Fleur de Lis Court, 9 Fetter Lane (1927-73) and 37 King Street (1973-). A new building was constructed on the Crane Court site after a fire in 1877 and opened in 1880.


Scope and content/abstract:

Records of the Royal Scottish Corporation, comprising copy charters, byelaws and grant of arms (Ms 35760); minutes and related papers 1831-1834, 1877-1990 (Ms 35761-4); annual reports and accounts and other financial records 1935-2002 (Ms 35765-72); correspondence 1936-1993 (Ms 35773-80); seal register 1935-1992 (Ms 35781); papers re subscribers and legacies 1894-1969 (Ms 35782-5); papers re festival dinners 1820, 1906-1998 (Ms 35786-90); papers re St Andrews Soldiers' Home 1914-72 and St Andrews Scottish Soldiers' Club Fund 1980 (Ms 35791); correspondence re the London Scottish Regiment War Memorial Fund 1957-62 (Ms 35792); minutes, financial papers and register of pension payments of the Kinloch Bequest 1877-1992 (Ms 35793-801); minutes, financial records and correspondence of the Freer Trust 1915-62 (Ms 35802-8); correspondence relating to the hall, property and insurances 1864-1988 (Ms 35809-10); and press cuttings and miscellaneous items 1829-1995 (Ms 35811-2).

Please note that access to some financial records less than 30 years old is restricted. Access to records less than 50 years old which contain personal information is also restricted. 24 hours notice is required for access to all the records.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

The records have been sorted into an order which reflects divisions between the different functions and operations of the organisation and its administration.

Conditions governing access:

Restricted access: please see staff.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Copyright to these records rests with the depositor.

Finding aids:

Please see online catalogues at:

Archival Information

Archival history:

Many of the Corporation's archives were lost in 1877 when the hall in Crane Court burnt down.

Immediate source of acquisition:

The Corporation's archives were deposited in the Manuscripts Section of Guildhall Library in 2004 and catalogued shortly afterwards by an assistant archivist. The Guildhall Library Manuscripts Section merged with the London Metropolitan Archives in 2009.

Allied Materials

Related material:

The Wellcome Institute holds records of donations and subscriptions to the charity 1781-99, account of the growth of the charity 1782-99, report by the management committee of the Kinloch bequest on the salary of the trust secretary 1830, certificate of thanks from the Kinloch committee to the retiring secretary 1843, and papers relating to the administration and financial affairs of the Scottish Hospital 1799-1843.

Publication note:

For a published history of the Corporation see Justine Taylor, A Cup of Kindness: The history of the Royal Scottish Corporation (2003), available in the Guildhall Printed Books Section.

Description Notes

Archivist's note:

Rules or conventions:
Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions:
June to August 2010.

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