Tag Archives: #History #EducationalHistory #AberdeenUniversity #KingCollege

The case of the phantom manse…⤴

from @ andrewjmclaughlin

At a meeting yesterday, the Vice Principal shared this photo showing a large granite manse on the College Lawn. 

Today, the college lawn is treated with the same reverence as the sections of the college which date back to 1525, it's funny to think the lawn has only been as it is since around WW1 (shortly before the Elphinstone Hall was built to replace the Common hall in the 1930s). As a result, I've been enjoying a bit of digging into the History of King's (given it's now my place of work). 

After a trawl through old maps on the National Library of Scotland website, I found this 1847 map (https://maps.nls.uk/view/115109637) showing Principal Jack's manse in approximately the same location (it also names a few other academic manses from that time), and it lines up beautifully with https://www.electricscotland.com/history/statistical/kings.htm


Given the timeframe, and the second document, we can safely assume that is William Jack https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Jack_(principal)William Jack died in 1854, having held College office for sixty years and, although Jack did not live to see the merge, he was part of the committee set up to combine King's College with Marischal College to create the single entity of Aberdeen University in 1860. Following his death, "due to the impending merge his post as Principal was not filled".

I wonder if, with no-one filling his post, the manse became obsolete and so was destroyed around WW1. I've emailed Special Collections at the college to see if they have more info.