Birth Dateabt 1526
Birth PlaceAberdalgie, Perthshire, Scotland
Death Date15 Jan 1593
Death PlaceSinclair (Girnigoe) Castle, Caithness, Scotland
Burial Date1593
Burial PlaceWick, Caithness, Scotland
Burial MemoChurch of Wick
ChildrenKatherine , F (~1545-)
Notes for Laurence (Spouse 1)
He [Laurence, 3rd of Oliphant] married, before 10 July 1525, Margaret, daughter of Sir James Sandilands of Calder, by Margaret Ker, his second wife, afterwards Countess of Erroll. The had a charter under the Great Seal of the lands of Dunbarney and others 25 May 1526.


1. Laurence, fourth Lord Oliphant.

2. Peter, of Turin; of which lands he had a grant from his father, upon which he granted letters of reversion …
3. William, who was concerned along with his brother, Peter, and others, in the slaughter of James Ross in September 1571 …
4. Katherine, married, first … to Sir Alexander Oliphant of Kellie, …
5. Margaret, married, first … to William Moray of Abercairney …
6. Jean, married … to William Moncreiff, younger of that Ilk, and had issue.
7. Lilias, married … to David Lundie of Balgonie, and had issue five sons and eight daughters. …

Source: THE SCOTS PEERAGE, ed. by Sir James Balfour Paul, Vol VI, Edinburgh, 1906, pp. 544-46.

IV. Laurence, fourth Lord Oliphant, was sent to England as a hostage for his father in 1543.

In 1563 he was one of the assize who sat in judgment on the Earl of Huntly’s dead body; the Master of Oliphant’s kinship to the Earl of Argyll, Justice-General, was one of the grounds on which their verdict was set aside.

He was served heir to his father’s extensive estates on 2 May 1566.

In April 1567 he was on the assize who acquitted Bothwell of the murder of Darnley; he signed the ‘Ainslie’s Supper’ bond, and was present at Queen Mary’s marriage to Bothwell. On 16 May 1567 he was admitted of the Privy Council.

After the Queen’s escapte from Lochleven, he acted along with her other adherents, and on 6 January 1568-69 she appointed him one of the advisers of her lieutenants in Scotland. But on the 16 of the following month, he was one of those who, declaring themselves faithful subjects of the King, and for that reason in danger from the Earl of Huntly, obtained commision to resist that nobleman; and in 15 April thereafter, both Huntly and Oliphant subscribed a bond of allegiance to the King and the Regent Murray. After the slaughter of the latter, Lord Oliphant is again found among the Queen’s men; but he gave the party no active support, and gradually came to be regarded as an adherent of the Government, though it does not appear that he ever conformed to the established religion.

His extensive estates in Caithness broought him into collision with the Sinclairs; in July 1569 he was besieged and taken in the castle of Auldwick by John, Master of Caithness, and the feud reappears in 1587 and 1591. An English agent’s report of 1577 represents him as depending wholly upon Lord Ruthven; yet he had been at feud with that nobleman in 1571, and in 1580 an attack on Ruthven’s party, as they passed near Dupplin in returning from the marriage of the young Earl of Mar, which resulted in the slaughter of one of Ruthven’s followers, came near to ruining the house of Oliphant; the protection of the Regent thwarted Ruthven’s vengeance, but Morton’s attitude in this affair was reckoned one of the causes of his final downfall the next year.

Lord Oliphant attended the Convocation of Estates on 1 July 1585, which agreed to a league with England; and his name occurs occasionally on the sederunts of the Privy Council till 1591.

He died in Caithness 16 January 1592-93, and was buried in the church of Wick.

He married (contract 11 May 1551) Margaret Hay, daughter of George, seventh Earl of Erroll;

they had a charter from the third Lord Olipnant of the baronies of Glensaugh and Newtyle and the lands of Wester Cluthy in the barony of Gask, 11 May 1552.

She was alive 21 November 1587, but died befor 9 February 1593-94.


1. Laurence, Master of Oliphant.
2. John, who on 11 October 1588, being then past twenty-one years of age, had from his father a charter …
3. William, styled of Gask in 1595; and ‘tutor of Oliphant’ in 1596 and 1599; …
4. Elizabeth, married first to William, tenth Earl of Angus, and had issue; secondly, to James Hamilton.
5. Jean, married (contract dated 15 December 1586) to Mr. Alexander Bruce of Cultmalundie, and had issue.
6. Euphame, married to James Johnston of Westraw or Westerhall.

A natural daughter, Katherine, was married, first, to James Wemyss of Lathockar, secondly to Hugh Hay.

Source: THE SCOTS PEERAGE, ed. by Sir James Balfour Paul, Vol VI, Edinburgh, 1906, pp. 546-49.
Last Modified 27 Nov 2015Created 9 Jan 2017 using Reunion for Macintosh