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OLIPHANT. Sir Laurence, of Aberdalgie, first Lord Oliphant

OLIPHANT. Sir Laurence, of Aberdalgie, first Lord Oliphant (d. 1500?) was the eldest son of Sir John Oliphant of Aberdalgie (d. 1446) by Isabel, daughter of Walter Ogilvy of Auchterhouse. and sister of Alexander Ogilvy, second Baron Ogilvy of Inverquharity.

In. his youth he went to France to study the art of war, and subsequently travelled in Italy and elsewhere. He was created a peer some time before 30 October. 1458. when his name so appears as witness to a charter: and under the title of Lord Oliphant he sat in the parliament of 14 October 1467. He had a charter of the Barony of Owres, Kincardineshire, from his maternal grandfather. Walter Ogilvy on 7 November 1468. (1)

In 1470 he held the office of Sheriff of Perthshire. (2) On 24 July, 1474. the Marchmond herald was sent with letters to him and the Earl of Buchan to "staunch their gathering for the Court of Forfar". (3) and on 28 August to summon them for their gathering. (4) The gathering seems to have resulted in bloodshed, for in September Oliphant was summoned to answer for the slaughter of Thom of Preston. (5)

Oliphant was one of a Commission named on 30 August, 1404, to negotiate a marriage between James, Duke of Rothesay, heir-apparent of the Scottish throne, and Lady Anne de la Pole daughter of John, Duke of Sheffield, a niece of Richard III of England (6): and also to treat for a peace and alliance with England (7). Of the treaty concluded at Nottingham on 12 September (8) he was one of the conservators (9). He sat in the first parliament of James IV on 6 October 1488, when he was chosen a lord of articles for the barons. He was also sworn a privy councillor, and in 1490 constituted a justiciary within his own bounds and those of Strathbaird.

He sided with the King during the rebellion of 1489, and, while the King was crushing the rising in the west, sent information to him of the movements of the rebel nobles in the north. (10)

On 26 February 1490-1 he had a safe-conduct to England for six months (11); and on 14 June he received a safe-conduct and protection for a year from Henry VII as Ambassador to Charles, King of’ France, and the King and Queen of Castile, Aragon and Sicily. (12) In 1491 he was Bailie of Methven, (13) and in 1493 and subsequent years he was Keeper of Edinburgh Castle. (14) He was one of the lords chosen by the King to the Session of 14 October, 1495.

He died about 1500. By his wife, Lady Isabel Hay, youngest daughter of William, first Earl of Erroll, he had three sons: John, second Lord Oliphant. (d. 1516) William of Berriedale, Caithness (acquired through marriage with Christian, heiress of Alexander Sutherland of Duffus :) and George.

Dictionary of National Biography Volume 42
T F. Henderson. 1895.


1. Reg. Mag. Sig. Scotl. 1424 1513 Entry 965.
2. Exchequer Rolls of Scotland. V III. 35.
3. Accounts of the Lord High Treasurer of Scotland p. 51.
4. ib.
5. ib.
6. Cal. documents relating to Scotland 1357-1509 entry 1501.
7. ib. entry 1502.
8. ib.
9. ib. entry 1505.
10. Accounts of the Lord High Treasurer p. 122.
11. Cal. documents relating to Scotland 1357—1509. entry 1560.
12. ib. entry 1574.
13. Exechequer Rolls of Scotland. v. 287.
14. ib. pp 388, 465, 505.
Scottish Peerage. Ed. Wood. ii 332 3.

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