Open main menu


OREM, WILLIAM (fl. 1702), historian of Aberdeen, belonged to a family who had a long connection with Old Aberdeen. On 7 Sept. 1691 he was admitted conjunct clerk of Old Aberdeen, and he is said to have died soon after 1725. A Thomas Orem, ‘baile in Old Aberdeen,’ died there on 9 July 1730, and the name occurs several times in the local burial records. William Orem wrote ‘A Description of the Chanonry, Cathedral, and King's College of Old Aberdeen in the years 1724 and 1725,’ which has been much quoted by later local historians. The book remained in manuscript for several years after the author's death, and many transcripts of it were made before it was printed by J. Chalmers at Aberdeen in 1791; another edition appeared at Aberdeen in 1830. It was first publicly referred to in Gough's ‘British Topographia’ (1780), ii. 643, where extracts are made from it. Gough bought a transcript made by James Dalgarno, in 360 pp. 12mo, at Aberdeen in 1771.

[Preface to Chalmers's edition as above; private information from Alexander Walker, esq., Aberdeen, who had at one time three manuscript copies; burial records of Old Machar; minutes of Old Aberdeen Town Council.]

J. C. H.