Alexander Dunbar 1784-1859

From Book Owners Online

Alexander DUNBAR 1784-1859

Biographical Note

Alexander Dunbar of Scrabster House was born in 1784 to Thomas Dunbar and Isobell Sinclair. Not much is known about his life apart from that he left money in his will to build Dunbar Hospital, Thurso, which opened in 1882. Local legend says he is buried in the Pennyland Mausoleum at Victoria Walk, Thurso.


Dunbar's books were sold at auction by W.T. Keith in Aberdeen along with those of Peter Buchan of Peterhead. The catalogue does not distinguish between the two gentlemen's books, but all together there are 1543 lots consisting of 36 pamphlets and 1507 books. In addition to the printed materials, a large collection of plain and coloured engravings were also sold. The auctioneer mentions that many of the bindings were uniform and that 1000 of the books came from Buchan's library.


Aberdeen University Library: SB 888504 Zab; Inc 135

Characteristic Markings

The books in Aberdeen's library note an inscription: 'Alexandri Dunbar'


  • 1859 Dunbar, Alexander. Wills and testaments. Ref SC14/40/6, Wick Sheriff court. National Records of Scotland.
  • Clearance catalogue of rare & valuable books, from the extensive stock of W.T. Keith & Co. Aberdeen including the library of that well-known book collector, the late Alexander Dunbar, Esquire, of Scrabster House, Thurso from the library of the late Mr. Peter Buchan of Peterhead to be sold by auction. (22 Nov. no year); [NLS: ABS.1.94.87].