Lady Harriet Mary Frances Elliot was the daughter of Gilbert Elliot-Murray-Kynynmound, 1st Earl of Minto and Anna Maria Amyand. She died in July 1825.
Minto House, built in the 1700s in Roxburghshire, Scotland, was the ancestral home of the Elliot family, whose 1st Earl of Minto, Sir George Gilbert Elliot (1751-1814), was a noted politician and diplomat. The peerage and Minto House—the center of which was a 16th-century tower later encased, enveloped, altered, enlarged, and terraced over the centuries—were named for Minto Hill, a prominent feature of the local landscape. The idyllic parkland of the Elliot family estate is the subject of several sketches in this notebook, which bears the name of Harriet Elliot, likely the daughter of George Gilbert Elliot. All of the dated sketches in this volume were completed between August and September 1807 at Minto House. The copied verses are dated March 23, 1807 and July 25, 1808.
Lundy, Dan. The Peerage: A genealogical survey of the peerage of Britain as well as the royal families of Europe. (accessed October 2016) http://www.thepeerage.com/p4805.htm#i48042
University of Delaware Special Collections Exhibit, “Earth Perfect: Selections from Special Collections and the Mark Samuels Lasner Collection,” Selections from Special Collections (accessed September 29, 2016) http://www.lib.udel.edu/ud/spec/exhibits/earth_perfect/spec.html
“The Minto House Debacle,” Institute for Historic Building Conservation (accessed September 29, 2016) http://www.ihbc.org.uk/context_archive/36/minto.htm
Information derived from the collection.
This bound volume of original graphite sketches, notes, and nature prints is attributed to Harriet Elliot (d. 1825), daughter of Gilbert Elliot-Murray-Kynynmound, 1st Earl of Minto. Minto House and the surrounding landscape in Roxburghshire, Scotland, are the subjects of this sketchbook, with contents dated between 1807-1808. The volume also includes copied verse and studies of geometry and perspective.
Elliot interspersed her sketches within transcriptions of poetry in the first section of this volume. Following an ink and wash sketch of a tree trunk, the volume contains a series of studies on geometry and perspective, possibly done by another hand. Elliot clustered her nature prints onto several leaves at the back of the volume.
The volume contains thirteen pencil sketches of trees, buildings, and natural formations on the grounds of Minto House. The drawings are very detailed and capture a variety of local flora. Five of the sketches feature ink embellishments and watercolor washes. The first eight drawings include a description of the scene (e.g. “A Scotch Fir by the Brewhouse”) and all but one include the date the sketch was done. The ninth sketch, featuring a tree on a hill with a wash, was placed amidst a transcription of Sir Walter Scott’s poem “Glenfinlas, or Lord Ronald’s Coronach.” The final set of sketches follows a transcription of Scott’s “Hellwellyn” and includes pencil sketches of trees and a detailed watercolor of a tree trunk.
Following the geometry studies, a sonnet by Petrarch in Italian, and a large section of blank leaves, Elliot made 42 nature prints of leaves on the final eleven pages of this volume. Some of these prints are quite faint, but others are detailed and delicate, featuring small veins and crisp edges. On the final page, there is a nature print along with a pencil sketch of buckets and tools.
This manuscript volume is bound in brown leather with the words “Manuscript Original Drawings” gilt-stamped on the spine. On the inside of the front cover there is a printed bookplate in Latin belonging to “Gulielmi Bates” of Edgbaston, Birmingham, England, which is dated 1885. The name “Harriet Elliot” is inscribed on the first page in ink. The volume consists of 150 leaves of unlined paper, 95 of which are blank. Text is in black ink throughout. All of the sketches are in pencil, though five have been embellished with ink and watercolors. The nature prints were likely done in ink.