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Moffat Literature on CD

Colin Moffat and Roger Moffat

This CD contains five books published in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, on topics of interest to people interested in the Family and Town of MOFFAT. These books have enormous intrinsic value, are all difficult to obtain and are all out of copyright. The Clan Moffat, in both its USA and UK organisations have cooperated to scan these volumes, clean the images and consolidate each of them into one file. This is the work of Colin Moffat, London, UK, and Roger Moffat, Michigan, USA. We would also like to record our thanks to Ruth Airley, Archivist at the Ewart Library, Dumfries for her invaluable help.

The volumes in question are as follows:

A Short History of the Family of Moffat of that Ilk, by Robert Maxwell Moffat, Jersey, 1908. This book is, fortunately, far from short, and is the most authoritative account of the family. Moffat has retrieved and quoted liberally from early charters and other official documents, charting the family through turbulent mediaeval, reiving and covenanting times. From the time of the conclusion of the Civil War, he charts the principle branches of the land-owning Moffat families in Dumfriesshire. He also comments extensively on various Moffat families from elsewhere in Scotland, and from Ireland. He also records Moffat families in England, France, Germany and the Netherlands. Moffat was in correspondence with the contemporary members of these families, and visited many of them, teasing out their family papers and memories.

History of Moffat, W. Robertson Turnbull, Edinburgh and Moffat, 1871. A comprehensive history of events in the town of Moffat, covering its history from mediaeval times through to the late 19th century. Turnbull is particularly thorough on the problems of the Covenanters, as well as the discovery and exploitation of the Moffat spa water. He takes a historian's view, quoting extensively from charters and original documents. He is also meticulous in giving the sources of the information used.

Moffat Past and Present, John Brown, Edinburgh and Moffat, 1873. Brown was the editor of the Moffat Times newspaper, and has written his book in a journalistic style. It has pace and graphic descriptive writing, as befits a journalist keen to maintain his readers' attention. It is packed full of local information.
Fairfoul's Guide to Moffat, second Edition, Thomas Fairfoul, Moffat, text by John Brown, 1879. A delightful description of the town of Moffat in the late 19th century. Moffat had awakened from its isolated 18th century somnolence, and had started to exploit the tourist potential of its mineral waters, given an extra boost by the arrival of the railways. Fairfoul's guide was a book for these visitors, giving them copious information on the town of Moffat and its surrounding area. This is especially interesting, as Moffat had not yet been contaminated by 20th century modernities, and the hydropathic was thriving, prior to its destruction by fire in 1922. The engravings in this edition are a joy to study, and vastly superior to the photographs which replaced them in later editions.
Robert Moffat, Hero of Kuruman, by David J. Deane, London, S. W. Partridge & Co. undated, but probably written 1890. Fifth edition, pre WWI. (My thanks to Nicholas Man for a copy of this book - CIM). A comprehensive, albeit laudatory, biography of Robert Moffat, penned as part of a series of biographies of eminent missionaries. Despite continuous praise for the achievements of Robert Moffat, the facts of his life and missionary work are given at length. The hardships endured by Moffat, and his long-suffering wife and family, are described in graphic detail. The engravings illustrating the book are excellent, and add atmosphere to the book. This book was written soon after the death of Robert Moffat in 1883, in his 88th year, and much of the detail would be well-known to his contemporaries.

The files on the CD are in PDF format. In order to read them, you need the Adobe Reader (or the Preview software on Mac OS X). The Adobe Reader folder on the CD includes installers to install the Adobe Reader software on Windows XP and Mac OS X systems. The CD also contains a link to the Adobe Reader download page on Adobe's web site if you are using a different computer operating system and need to download the Adobe Reader software. With the Adobe Reader software you can view the books on your computer, and you can also make a printed copy if you wish to do so.

The only book in print and easily available on the Moffat family is "The Moffats" by Francis Moffat of that Ilk, 1987. This book is still in print, and can be obtained from Clan Moffat UK, or the Quartermaster, Clan Moffat, USA and Canada. In this book, Francis Moffat (The Moffats, p 81) gives a bibliography of works that he consulted.

  • UK: Price £26 (incl p&p). Mrs. M. Moffat, Redacres, Moffat, Dumfriesshire, Scotland DG10 9JT.
  • USA: Price $50 (including shipping and insurance): Quartermaster (see this page)
  • Canada: Quartermaster Canada, Lyla M. Bilton, 831 Grosvenor Avenue, Winnipeg, Manitoba R3M 0M3 Canada.

(Information correct as of 31 March 2006.)

© Colin Moffat and Roger Moffat - March 2006



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