Lauder, Thomas (1395-1481) (DNB00)

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LAUDER, THOMAS (1395–1481), bishop of Dunkeld, born in 1395, was in 1437 master of the hospital of Soltre or Soltry in Midlothian, belonging to the Trinitarians or Red Friars. His name occurs in the charters of this hospital from 8 Jan. 1437–8 until August 1444. In the latter year he founded a chapel at the altar of St. Martin and St. Thomas in the Holy Cross aisle of St. Giles's Church, Edinburgh. This endowment was confirmed by royal charter given by James III in 1481. He was named preceptor to James II, who in 1452 promoted him to the see of Dunkeld. By his exemplary life and frequent preaching he is said to have made a salutary impression on the rude population of his diocese. When he first began to officiate at Dunkeld he was driven from the altar by armed bands of highland robbers; yet he so far pacified the country as to be able to hold a synod in his church. This building, begun by James Kennedy (1406?–1465) [q. v.], Lauder's predecessor, was finished and dedicated by him in 1464. He provided it with glass windows and adorned the portico with statuary. He increased the number of canons, provided prebends, and founded a chantry. He obtained the royal authority to form the Bishop lands on the north side of the Tay into a barony, to be called the barony of Dunkeld; and those on the south side into another, to be called the barony of Aberlady. He built a bridge over the Tay near to his palace, which was completed on 8 July 1461, and performed many other acts of public utility and charity. He wrote the life of Bishop John Scott, one of his predecessors in the see of Dunkeld, and also a volume of sermons termed 'Postiles, or Brief Notes on the Evangelists.' He died 4 Nov. 1481, and was buried in the cathedral.

[Vitæ Dunkeldensis Ecclesiæ Episcoporum ab Alexandro Myln ejusdem ecclesiæ Edinburg, 1831; Dempster's Hist. Eccl. Gent. Scot. No. 820; Spotiswood's Hist.; Registrum Domus de Soltre, necnon Ecclesiæ Collegiatæ S. Trinitatis prope Edinburg, &c. (Bannatyne Club), 1861.]

J. G. F.