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Bound volume containing French currency, letters, and a poem

Identifier: Coll-1932

Scope and Contents

Gathering of loose French currency (assignats), letters, offprints, and a manuscript poem bound in a volume. The reasons behind the gathering of these items are unclear.

- Assignats are a short-lived type of French 'fiat money' used during the time of the French Revolution and the French Revolutionary Wars, which resemble bank notes. There are four assignats in this volume, each of different value and different size (five, ten, twenty-five, and fifty livres). There are dated 1792 and 1793, or 'Year I/II of the Republic'.

- Note on blue paper simply saying: 'Sir James Burnes was Brother to Sir Alexander Burnes, the hero of Cabool and Physician General to the Forces in India'.

- Printout of a letter from James Burnes to his sons, written in London on the 9th of May 1862, and entitled 'Confidential Letter. (J. Burnes to his Sons.)'. There is a footnote reading: 'This letter has been printed privately, merely to save the labour of making six copies of it for you, all now apart from each other. It is purely a family document, and is not to pass into the hands of any except those who are nearly or dearly connected with us. Explanation to others is utterly out of place.' The letter is about the conferring of the name, style, and title of 'Baron Burnes de Montrose' to the family by 'one of the reigning Sovereigns of Germany, allied to the Royal Blood of England'.

- Manuscript letter from Robert [Peel] to John Marshall Esq., dated 25 May 1820, saying that Peel is returning Marhsall's papers because they 'embrace so many objects each of which are so involved with other considerations', and he feels that he is now 'too far advances in life to give to the subjects that attention which they merit', and that he 'must therefore decline taking any part in their discussions'.

- Manuscript poem on blue paper, entitled 'The Buried Flower', by William E. Aytoun.


  • Creation: 1792-1862


Language of Materials

Assignats in French, rest in English

Conditions Governing Access



1 volume

Physical Location

Gen. 793

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Circumstances of acquisition unknown.

Processing Information

Description created by Aline Brodin in April 2019.

Bound volume containing French currency, letters, and a poem, 1792-1862
Description rules
Language of description
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Repository Details

Part of the University of Edinburgh Library Heritage Collections Repository

Centre for Research Collections
University of Edinburgh Main Library
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Edinburgh EH8 9LJ Scotland
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