Russel family papers

Primary maker
1. James Russel (snr)
2. James Russel of Dundas Castle
3. John Russel
Production date
1714-1964
Description
Title deeds, leases and other records of properties owned by members of the Russel family; legal papers, correspondence and other papers relating to legal disputes and litigation concerning the Russel family and their business interests; records relating to coal, ironfounding and other business interests; trust and executry papers and other related papers. Mainly records of James Russel snr, two of his sons, James Russel jnr of Blackbraes, coalmaster, and John Russel of Mayfield, solicitor and provost of Falkirk, and his grandson, James Russel of Dundas Castle.

Object detail

Name/title notes
There were four generations bearing the name James Russel before 1787, when James Russel of Russel & Aitken was born.

James Russel; (1787-1858) was a solicitor, and a former apprentice to James Aitken. Russel was appointed Trustee for the Creditors of Falkirk Union Bank following its collapse in 1816. In 1818, aged 31, he took over James Aitken's solicitor business in Falkirk following Aitken’s death. Thereafter he went into partnership with Henry Aitken of Darroch, James' son, and the partnership took the name Russel & Aitken. He was also the Town Clerk for Falkirk. James Russel married Catherine Crawford and they had seven children: James, Margaret, Elizabeth, Jean, John, Mary and Helen.

His daughter Margaret, married Henry Aitken of Darroch who was her father’s business partner (see A1807 for Aitken family papers). His daughter Mary married John Wilson of South Bantaskine (see A1849 for Wilson papers).His daughter Elizabeth (d. 1893) married Graham Hardie.

His son, James Russel jnr of Blackbraes (d.1860) took over for the coal and iron businesses. He died in 1860, surviving his father by only two years, and leaving his wife Eliza Curle and a son, James, and two daughters, Isabella and Catharine (b 1860). Curle and Erskine, solicitors, Melrose, acted as joint agents with Russel & Aitken after his death for the newly created James Russel's Trust. The Trustees were Eliza Curle or Russel, his wife; James Curle of Evelaw, his father in law; Alexander Russel, shipowner, Greenock; John Russel, writer in Falkirk, his brother; Alexander Curle, writer in Melrose; James Curle jnr, writer in Melrose, his brother-in-law; and Henry Aitken, his nephew. The Trust ran the coal and iron business and managed the properties until James’s son, James Russel of Dundas Castle, was of age.

John Russel, younger son of James Russel snr was a solicitor and continued the law practice of Russel & Aitken along with James Aitken of Darroch. He was also Provost of Falkirk. He was a notable horticulturist and collector of orchids. John Russel married Mary Gaff Rennie. He died aged 61 in 1881 and his Trusts continued until the death of his daughter Mary Cook Rennie Russel Walker in 1921.

James Russel of Dundas Castle (1858-1940) was the grandson of James Russel, founding partner of Russel & Aitken, and son of James Russel of Blackbraes. He lived at Dundas Castle which was purchased in 1875 by the trustees of the James Russel Trust and then subsequently moved to Kent.
Level of current record
Sub-collection
Production date
1714-1964
Measurements
197 items
Archives finding aids
This catalogue entry provides a summary of a sub-collection of the Russel & Aitken Collection. Please use the search tools on the Collections Browser to look for information about individual items in this collection.

Catalogues for clients of Russel & Aitken are being added regularly to our website. http://www.falkirkcommunitytrust.org/heritage/archives/finding-aids/russel-aitken.aspx
Restriction
Open - no restriction on access
Accession number
A1808

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