"A royal borough in Berwickshire, seated on the river Lauder or Leader, about 15 miles before it falls into the Tweed. It is a royal borough of very ancient erection, and was often the seat of the Scotish parliament; but its present appearance is mean, and does not convey an idea of its former splendour. In the reign of King James III the factious nobility, who had been summoned to meet for the dispatch of public business, seized the favourite minister of that monarch, Robert Cochrane, who had been raised from a common mason to be Earl of Mar, and hung him and his associates over Lauder bridge, in sight of the king and the army ... Population in 1801, 1760." From the Gazetteer of Scotland published 1806, Edinburgh.



The Borders Family History Society has published a booklet of monumental inscriptions for Lauder.

Nigel Hardie has transcribed and published parish of Lauder deaths for 1781-1855.

Pre-1855 inscriptions for the parish are contained in the Scottish Genealogy Society's volume of Berwickshire Monumental Inscriptions (Pre-1855).

Presbyterian / Unitarian
Lauder, Church of Scotland


Graham and Emma Maxwell have transcribed and indexed the 1841, 1851 and 1861 census returns for this parish.



Presbyterian / Unitarian
Lauder, Church of Scotland

Church History

Rutherfurd's Southern Counties Register and Directory of 1866 lists the following non-conformist churches:

  • Free Church
  • United Presbyterian Church

Pigot and Co's Commercial Directory of Scotland published in 1837 lists the following non-conformist churches in the parish:

  • United Secession
  • Relief

There may have been other non-conformist churches at different times.

Lauder: its kirk and people by Richard Forbes James (109 pages) was published at Lauder in 1973.


Church Records

The parish church (Church of Scotland) has registers dating from 1680. Old Parish Registers (before 1855) are held in the National Records of Scotland in Edinburgh, and copies on microfilm may be consulted in local libraries and in LDS Family History Centres around the world. Later parish registers (after 1855) are often held in the National Records of Scotland as are any records of non-conformist churches in the area (often unfilmed and unindexed, and only available there).

Registers for a number of non-conformist Lauder churches are available in LDS family history centres around the world. These include the Associate Burgher Congregation (christenings and marriages for 1796-1811), the Free Church (christenings for 1844-1856) and the Free Church or United Free Church (christenings for 1844-1881, marriages for 1844-1878).

Graham and Emma Maxwell have transcribed and indexed the Lauder burials for 1827-1838.


Civil Registration

Registration of Births, Marriages and Deaths began in Scotland on 1st January 1855. For further details of this see the National Records of Scotland website.


Description & Travel

You can see pictures of Lauder which are provided by:





For a comprehensive history of the parish, including many anecdotes, illustrations and a number of pedigrees, see Lauder and Lauderdale by Andrew Thomson, published at Galashiels in 1902.


Land & Property

The LDS Family History Library catalogue lists a microfilm version of Burgh registers, Lauder, Berwick, minute books, sasines covering the dates 1809-1878. The catalogue entry (under Scotland/Berwick/Lauder/Land and Property) suggests that it is a microfilm copy of original records held at the National Records of Scotland. The microfilm copy in the LDS catalogue should hopefully be viewable at LDS family history centres around the world.


Law & Legislation

The Protocol Book of Robert Wedderop, Lauder, 1543-1553 was published in recent years by the Walter Mason Trust. This was essentially a legal notebook, kept by a local solicitor, recording all manner of legal documents during the time.



Ordnance Survey maps covering Lauder include:

  • Landranger 73: Peebles, Galashiels & surrounding area - scale 1:50000, or 1.25inch:1mile, or 2cm:1km
  • Outdoor Leisure 44: Tweed Valley (Peebles to St Boswells) - scale 1:25000, or 2.5inch:1mile, or 4cm:1km

Lauder is also covered by an old Victorian one-inch to the mile Ordnance Survey map published by Caledonian Maps. The relevant sheet is sheet number 25 "Kelso & Melrose" which also includes Earlston, Galashiels, Gordon, Greenlaw, Lauder, Polwarth, Roxburgh, St Boswells, Selkirk and Westruther.

The National Records of Scotland holds the following as part of its collection of maps and plans:

  • 1756: Estate plan showing many farms and adjacent lands and owners. Scale 1:8900. Size 144x93cm. Grid (map) reference NT5751. NRS reference RHP.3683
  • 1758: Plan of Nether Houden. Scale 1:3600. Size 52x57cm. Grid (map) reference NT5053. NRS reference RHP.3707
  • 1803: Plan of the Acres, Crofts and Enclosed Ground of the Royal Borough of Lauder. Scale 1:1800. Size 74x53cm. Grid (map) reference NT5247. NRS reference RHP.3628
  • 1808: Plan of Riddel Lodge. Scale 1:2400. Size 119x73cm. Grid (map) reference NT5256. NRS reference RHP.1215/1
  • 1808: Riddel Lodge, Lamb Rig. Scale 1:2400. Size 95x65cm. Grid (map) reference NT5459. NRS reference RHP.1215
  • circa 1817: Plan of farm of Tullis Hill. Scale 1:7100. Size 77x59cm. Grid (map) reference NT5157. NRS reference RHP.1257
  • 1820: Plan of farm of Tullis Hill. Scale 1:2400. Size 110x81cm. Grid (map) reference NT5157. NRS reference RHP.1258
  • circa 1825: Sketch plan of Thirlestane Castle showing changes within the estate. NRS reference RHP.3715
  • 1826: Survey of roads in Lauderdale. Scale 1:4500. Size 127x59cm. Grid (map) reference NT4853. NRS reference RHP.3686

You can see maps centred on OS grid reference NT547521 (Lat/Lon: 55.759928, -2.723999), Lauder which are provided by:



Here are some figures showing the parish's population through time:

  • 1755 - 1714
  • 1801 - 1760
  • 1811 - 1742
  • 1821 - 1845
  • 1831 - 2063
  • 1861 - 2198


Some records of the Lauderdale branch of the Educational Institute of Scotland (a teaching union) are held in the National Records of Scotland in Edinburgh. Their NAS reference is GD342 and they consist of minutes covering the years 1877-1919. (source: National Register of Archives).


Social Life & Customs

For a description of Lauder's annual Common Riding see Chapter 19 ("Border Traditions: The Common Ridings") of The Borders Book.