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Oliphant, Laurence (d.1500?) (DNB00)


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 [q. v.] 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 Oct. 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 Oct. 1467. He had a charter of the barony of Owres, Kincardineshire, from his maternal grandfather, Walter Ogilvy, on 7 Nov. 1468 (Reg. Mag. Sig. Scotl. 1424–1513, entry 965). In 1470 he held the office of sheriff of Perthshire (Exchequer Rolls of Scotland, viii. 35). 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' (Accounts of the Lord High Treasurer of Scotland, p. 61), and on 28 Aug. to summon them for their gathering (ib.) The gathering seems to have resulted in bloodshed, for in September Oliphant was summoned to answer for the slaughter of Thorn of Preston (ib.) Oliphant was one of a commission named on 30 Aug. 1484 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, and niece of Richard. Ill of England (Cal. Documents relating to Scotland, 1367-1509, entry 1601), and also to treat for a peace and alliance with England (ib. eatry 1502). Of the treaty, concluded at Nottingham on 12 Sept. (ib.), he was one of the conservators (ib. entry 1506). He sat in the first parliament of James IV on 6 Oct. 1488. when he was chosen a lord of the 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 daring 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 (Accounts of the Lord High Treasurer, p. 122). On 26 Feb. 1490-1 he had a safe-conduct to England for six months (Cal. Documents relating to Scotland, 1357-1609, entry 1660); 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 (ib. entry 1674). In 1491 he was bailie of Methven (Exchequer Rolls of Scotland, v. 287), and in 1493 and subsequent years he was keeper of Edinburgh Castle (ib. pp. 388, 466, 505). He was one of the lords chosen by the king to the session of 14 Oct. 1495. He died about 1500. By his wife, Lady Isabel Hay, youngest daughter of William, first earl of Errol, 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.

[Authorities mentioned in the text; Douglas's Scottish Peerage, ed. Wood, ii. 332-3.]

T. F. H.