Lauderdale - Mediaeval Period

Mediaeval Period

Symeon of Durham (d. c1130) claimed that the "land beyond the Tweed from the place where rises the river Whiteadder on the north as far as to the place where it falls into the Tweed; and all the land which lies between the river Whiteadder and another river which is called the Leader towards the west; and all the land which lies on the eastern side of that river called the Leader, as far as to the place where it falls into the Tweed towards the south; and all the land which pertains to the monastery of St. Baldred called Tyninghame, from Lammermoor even to Eskmouth, pertains to the land of Lindisfarne."

King David I of Scotland created a feudal Lordship of Regality of Lauderdale which he awarded to one of his favourites, the Anglo-Norman Hugh de Morville (d. 1162), whom he also made Constable of Scotland. The boundaries of his fief are still unclear, but the town existed before de Morville's arrival, the Lauder family already holding various lands direct from the Crown prior to this, part of which was the estate attached to Whitslaid Tower. The de Morvilles of Lauderdale failed in the male line and their Lordship passed by marriage to Alan of Galloway, and a charter exists of "Alani constabularii Scotie, de Alwentchawis" (Allanshaws) in which mention is also made of "terras in territorio de Lauuedir". The Lordship passed to his grandson, John Balliol, and after his forfeiture Robert The Bruce granted it to Sir James Douglas, his great supporter. Archibald Douglas husband of Princess Margaret, daughter of King Robert III, had a reconfirmation c1390 of the Lordship of "Lauderdaill" as heir of the Earl of Douglas. Archibald is herein also called "Lord of Galloway, Lord of Annandale, and of Lowedre". Finally the Douglases were also forfeited.

Towards the southern end of Lauderdale is the town of Earlston, an ancient superiority of the Earls of Dunbar or March. "Robertus de Lauuedirr tunc noster seneschallus" witnessed a charter of "Patricii de Dunbar, comitis Marchie" during the reign of Robert the Bruce, and "Robetus de Lawedre, consanguineus noster" (a cousin) witnessed a charter of "Georgii comitis Marchie" relating to Sorrowlessfield, a still extant property on the (A68) road south of Earlston in the reign of Robert III.

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