The History of Leith

June 19, 2006

HBOS to bring Scott will home

HBOS has acquired the final draft of Sir Walter Scott’s last will and testament. The bank intends to showcase the piece in what will be the first public viewing of the document in 174 years.

The will was bought by HBOS Group Archives at the Christie’s auction house in London for just under the estimated selling price of £6,000.

The sale is something of a homecoming for Scott, whose portrait still appears on all Bank of Scotland notes.

The document will be showcased as part of a museum archive collection at the Bank of Scotland on the Mound in Edinburgh, which is set to open this September.

The first draft of Scott’s will and testament, written just months after he suffered a stroke, had been kept in a private collection since 1832, the year of his death. The 12-page manuscript outlines his wishes for his estate to be left to his descendants and lays down intentions for the copyrights of his late works.

The draft content also provides unique insight into Scott’s family life. He asks his children “not to part with any part of this property rashly”, and asks them to continue the “mutual affection… which has gone so far as to make me a happy father.”

In 1826, Scott came to the defence of the bank when parliament attempted to prevent the issue of notes for under £5.

Scott wrote a series of thinly disguised letters to the Edinburgh Weekly Journal under the pen name Malachi Malagrowther, which were immediately reprinted as a pamphlet. The original pamphlet will form part of HBOS’s new museum display on famous customers of the bank, along with an original cheque signed by Scott.

Helen Redmond-Cooper, HBOS group archivist, said: “We are very excited to have Sir Walter Scott’s will in our collections, given the significant part he played in the bank’s history.”

source-Scotland on Sunday

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