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Mackay and Vansittart family collection (1838-1891, bulk 1862-1891)

Collection processed and finding aid created by Meg Hixon, April 2013
Manuscripts Division, William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan

Summary Information

Title: Mackay and Vansittart family collection
Creator: Mackay family and Vansittart family
Inclusive dates: 1838-1891
Bulk dates: 1862-1891
Extent: 0.25 linear feet
The Mackay and Vansittart family collection is made up of correspondence, legal documents, financial records, and maps regarding legal and financial disputes over land in Edinburgh, Scotland, and Ontario, Canada. The cases involved Mary Charity Vansittart, the daughter of Admiral Henry Vansittart, and her husband, Spencer Mackay.
Language: The material is in English
Repository: William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan
909 S. University Ave.
The University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1190
Phone: 734-764-2347
Web Site: www.clements.umich.edu

Access and Use

Acquisition Information

2003. M-4307.

Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.


Copyright status is unknown

Processing Information

Cataloging funded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC). This collection has been processed according to minimal processing procedures and may be revised, expanded, or updated in the future.

Preferred Citation

Mackay and Vansittart Family Collection, William L. Clements Library, The University of Michigan


The collection is arranged in the following series:
  • Series I: Correspondence
  • Series II: Documents
    • Subseries I: Legal Documents
    • Subseries II: Financial Documents
  • Series III: Maps

Each series is arranged chronologically, with undated items placed at the end.


Royal Navy Admiral Henry Vansittart (1777-1843) lived in Blandford, Ontario, in the early 19th century. He and his wife, Mary Charity Pennefather (d. 1834), had five children: John George, Henry, Elizabeth, Edward Westby, and Mary Charity (b. 1819). Mary Charity Vansittart married Spencer Mackay (d. 1860), whose siblings included Thomas Henry, Alexander, Bell, and Rosanna Louisa.

Collection Scope and Content Note

The Mackay papers (48 items) are made up of correspondence, legal documents, financial records, and maps regarding disputes over land in Edinburgh, Scotland, and Ontario, Canada.

The Correspondence series (30 items) includes letters written by and addressed to Mary Vansittart Mackay, as well as letters by and to other interested parties, including Meaburn Tatham, Roger Rollo Hunter, and F. D. Berwick. The letters, mainly from correspondents in Toronto, London, and Edinburgh, concern disputes over finances, land, and Spencer Mackay's estate. Later items relate to property leases in Edinburgh.

The Documents series (16 items) contains 2 subseries: Legal Documents (6 items) and Financial Records (10 items), which both pertain to disputes over the Mackay estate and property. Items include a settlement among Admiral Henry Vansittart, Robert Riddell, and Roger Rollo Hunter about the marriage of Mary Charity Vansittart and Spencer Mackay (June 8, 1838), as well as documents concerning inheritances. Some of the material pertains to the construction of a villa for Mary Vansittart Mackay at Cluny Gardens, Edinburgh.

Two colored manuscript Maps show the village of Port Franks, Ontario, and the Vansittart estate in Mara Township, Ontario (now part of Ramara).

Subject Terms

  • Edinburgh (Scotland)
  • Inheritance and succession.
  • London (England)
  • Real property--Canada.
  • Real property--Scotland.
  • Toronto (Ont.)
Subjects - Visual Materials:
  • Ontario--Maps.
  • Berwick, F. D.
  • Hunter, Roger Rollo.
  • Mackay, Mary Vansittart, 1819-.
  • Riddell, Robert.
  • Rivington & Son.
  • Smith, Smith & Rae.
  • Tatham, Meaburn.
Genre Terms:
  • Financial records.
  • Legal documents.
  • Letters (correspondence)
  • Manuscript maps.

Contents List

Container / Location Title
Correspondence [series]
Box   1 Folders   1-4
 September 1862-February 6, 1891, and  undated
Documents [series]
Legal Documents [subseries]
Box   1 Folders   5-6
Financial Records [subseries]
Box   1 Folders   7-8
 1868-1888, and  undated
Maps [series]
Box   1 Folder   9

Additional Descriptive Data


"Court of Appeal in Chancery. Bentley v. Mackay-July 14 and 31." The Jurist. Containing Reports of Cases Decided in the Courts of Equity and Common Law, and in the Divorce, Probate, Admiralty & Ecclesiastical Courts; with a General Digest of All Cases Reported during the Year 1862. New Series Volume 8, Part 1. London: H. Sweet; V. & R. Stevens, Sons, & Haynes, 1863. 1001-1004.

Laughton, J. K. and Andrew Lambert. "Vansittart, Henry (1777-1843)." Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Online edition. Oxford University Press, 2004. doi: 10.1093/ref:odnb/28104.