Letter books in which the out-letters of the 'third' Secretary of State appointed sometimes between 1709 and 1746 to take special responsibility for Scotland were copied.
Many letters are in reply to petitions from individuals or bodies, such as burghs, university colleges, the Society for the Propagation of Christian Knowledge, presbyteries or parishes, and the petition is repeated in the letter books. If money was involved it was recorded that the matter was referred to the Treasury Commissioners, if justice, usually to the Lord Advocate in Scotland, occasionally to the Attorney General in England.
These law officers' reports are also included. Many of the petitions to 1725 relate to the families who were the victims of the forfeiture of estates after the 1715 rising. The Scottish law officers also feature as givers of opinion on sundry matters of law, such as the powers of the Court of Justiciary in treason trials. It is clear that the patronage available to the secretary attracted some correspondence, but there is no evidence that he had any say in military (or naval) appointments or in those of revenue officers. He arranged the elections of Scottish representative peers to the House of Lords when there was a vacancy.
The series also includes correspondence with other officers of state, national and local, the Keeper of the Signet, and the Ordnance.