Margaret Masterton

Margaret Masterton (1709-1737)

Shopkeeper in Edinburgh

Margaret Masterton is the only Masterton to appear in the Biographical Dictionary of Scottish Women.


Margaret Masterton was the eldest of six children known to have been born to George Masterton and Elizabeth Boussie (or Bowie). She married William Yuill in 1735. Margaret Masterton belongs to the group of Mastertons that later flourished in the Newburgh area. Fuller details of her extended family can be found at this link.

MARGARET MASTERTON: born 1709 died Edinburgh 6 July 1737. Shopkeeper. Daughter of Elizabeth Bowie and George Masterton, tanner burgess. Margaret Masterton was apprenticed at 16 to Janet Justice, shopkeeper in the High Exchange, Edinburgh, where many women had small shops. Her indenture stipulated she was to live at home, serving her mistress'... faithfully minding on her Chop in the Exchange and in shewing [sewing] all such needlework as she shall happen to be imployed in or is capable of...' (Register House Papers Series). She established her own Lawnmarket shop. Selling fabric and accessories, gloves, ribbons, and children’s clothes, and continued trading after marrying William Yuill, stabler, in 1735. Her sister Katherine also married a stabler, William Tennent. Both men became burgesses through their wives. In 1737 Margaret Masterton and William Yuill drew up a post nuptial marriage contract, providing for their daughter Elizabeth, born on 2 May. Margaret Masterton dies soon afterwards. ECS.


NAS RH9/17/298. Register House Papers Series (Apprentice Indenture) CC8/4/639/1, Edinburgh Commissary court processes; CC8/8/99, Edinburgh Commissary court. Register of testaments; Edinburgh Central Library (microfilm) Edinburgh Old Parish Register, May 1737 and WWEE.


Note: WWEE = Women and Work in Eighteenth-century Edinburgh (Studies in Gender History)  . Elizabeth C Sanderson. Palgrave Macmillan1996.


Biographical Dictionary of Scottish Women: From Earliest Times to 2004 
Elizabeth Ewan (Author, Editor), Sue Innes (Editor), Sian Reynolds (Editor), Rose Pipes (Editor):
Edinburgh University Press; Reprint edition (1 July 2007)