Robert Lauder of Popill

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Sir Robert Lauder of Popill Knt. (died April 1575) was a Member of the old Scottish Parliament and an adherent of Mary, Queen of Scots.


The eldest son and heir of Robert Lauder, of The Bass by his spouse Margaret Sinclair, the earliest mention of him appears in the feu renewal by Andrew Forman, Archbishop of St Andrews, Primate of Scotland, etc., to his grandfather, Sir Robert Lauder of Bass, Knt., of the barony and lands of Tyninghame on 28 July 1517, when his name appears in the list of heirs and successors. He must have been an infant.

In the North Berwick Protocol Books (NAS-B56/1/1) Robert Lauder younger of The Bass, son and apparent heir to Robert Lauder, of The Bass, subscribed an obligation to William Lauder his eldest brother natural that he shall be seised in the lands of Little Spott, in East Lothian, dated 29 April 1553.

C.A.B. Lawder states that when John Sinclair, Bishop of Brechin, died in April 1566 he was succeeded in his estate by his nephew Sir Robert Lauder of Poppill. A long "Instrument" dealing with the redemption of property in favour of "Robert Lawder of Pople, knight", dated 9 May 1573, appears in The Protocol Book of Mr.Gilbert Grote. Sir Robert is specifically referred to as "heir of Mr. John Sinclair, Dean of Restalrig", and later Bishop of Brechin.

Marriage dispute

On 24 July 1556 Jane Hepburn (sometimes also referred to as Joanna and Janet) daughter of Sir Patrick Hepburn, 3rd Earl of Bothwell (d.1556) by Lady Margaret (d.1572) daughter of Henry Sinclair, 1st Lord Sinclair, was hand-fasted to Robert Lauder younger of the Bass, in the presence of Sir Walter Robertson, Vicar of Aberdour. Robert Lauder became bound by the subsequent contract of marriage dated 12 August 1556, under penalty of £4000 Scots, to complete the bond of matrimony "in the face of The Holy Church" before Michaelmas next thereafter. However, he failed to do so, and an Inhibition to the recording of the contract, dated 10th was registered 12 September 1556, and accordingly the Mistress of Bothwell (as Jane was styled) brought an action for the amount of forfeit, which was heard on 20 December 1558. She is designated in the record as lawful daughter to Patrick, Earl of Bothwell, and James Hepburn, 4th Earl of Bothwell, is styled her brother-German. She subsequently married thrice.

Military & political affairs

On 17 March 1565/6, Robert Lauder younger of the Bass, was appointed Captain of Tantallon Castle, the Keeper being the Earl of Atholl. This appointment followed the surrender of Sir William Douglas of Lochleven who was one of those charged with the murder of David Rizzio.

Sir Robert had a remission, with other members of his family, for fighting on the Queen's side at the battle of Langside.

He was exempted from military service, being "hevelie vexit with infirmitie of the gravell" 1569-1572. Although formerly a Marian, he became a supporter of the Regent Morton and the King's party in 1572.

In 1572 Sir Robert Lauder, Knt., younger of Bass, sat in Parliament (See: General Index to the Acts of the Parliaments of Scotland, Edinburgh 1875).


In the Great Seal of Scotland, charter number 2281, Robert Lauder, of The Bass grants to his son Robert Lauder, with Margaret Hay his spouse, the lands of Poppill (today Papple) etc., in Haddingtonshire. Margaret is stated to be the daughter of William Hay, 2nd Lord Hay of Yester and Lady Margaret Livingstone. Witnesses to the charter were George Lauder, rector of Auldcathy, (next Laird of Bass and brother of the grantee) and William Lauder, son of Robert Lauder, senior, of The Bass. It was signed at Beil tower house, near Stenton, on 4 April 1567.


The Testament (NAS/CC8/8/3) of Sir Robert Lauder of Poppill was lodged at Edinburgh Commissariot on 12 December 1575, by his widow, Dame Margaret Hay, and his brother, Master George Lauder. It was written at Tyninghame on 12 April 1575 (the month he died). It is an extensive document and lists his moveable goods at £2869/5/2. Robert Lauder of The Bass, his father, and William, Lord Hay of Yester his brother-in-law are his Oversmen.


  • Memorials of the Earls of Haddington, by Sir William Fraser, Edinburgh 1889, vol.II, p. 245.
  • The Scots' Peerage, by Sir James Balfour Paul, under 'Hepburn, Earl of Bothwell', page 160.
  • Acts and Decrees volume xviii, p. 376.
  • The Protocol Book of Mr.Gilbert Grote 1552-1573, edited by William Angus, Scottish Record Society, Edinburgh, 1914, p. 83, number 326.
  • The Lawders of The Bass & Their Descendants, by Charles A B Lawder, Belfast, 1914, p. 40.
  • Accounts of the Lord High Treasurer of Scotland, vol.XI, 1559–1566, Edinburgh 1916, p: lxxi.
  • The Parliaments of Scotland - Burgh & Shire Commissioners, edited by Margaret D. Young, M.A., vol.2, Edinburgh, 1993, p. 407-8.