John Lauder 1646-1722

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John LAUDER 1646-1722, Lord Fountainhall

Biographical Note

Born in Edinburgh, he was the eldest son of Sir John Lauder (1595–1692), an Edinburgh merchant and bailie, and Isabel Ellis, daughter of Alexander Ellis of Mortonhall. He graduated M.A from the university of Edinburgh in July 1664, and afterwards travelled to the continent pursue his legal studies. He embarked on a three year tour of the continent, visiting Paris, Brusells, Antwerp and Leiden. In 1668 he returned to Scotland and was admitted to the Faculty of Advocates, where he built a reputation as a formidable lawyer. In 1669 he married Janet Ramsay, daughter of Sir Andrew Ramsay of Abbotshall.


Lauder began his library in earnest while studying abroad, details of which can be found in his Journals. He returned to Scotland with a library of 536 books, which he recorded before his admission in the Faculty of Advocates. Between 1667 and 1679, he acquired another 456 titles.

Thomas Rae notes that his library contained the “standard commentaries and glosses on the civil and canon law, the works of Alciatus and Cujacius, and the numerous writing of Faber, Zoesius, Perezius, Vinnius and Wesenbachius.” (Rae, p.13)

The full catalogue of his books can be found in the appendix to his Journals. His library was sold at auction after his death.