Formulare of St Andrews, 1514-1546.

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

A formula book of standard ecclesiastical legal diplomatic, known as a book of ecclesiastical styles or Formulare instrumentorum ecclesiasticorum, ascribed to John Lauder, together with a valuation of each parish arranged by diocese for taxation due to the Apostolic camera. Contemporary index.

Administrative / Biographical History

John Lauder (c.1490-1551) studied at St Andrews University and then worked for Andrew Forman, bishop of Moray, obtaining preferment and ordination despite the illegitimacy of his birth. He was appointed as a notary by papal authority and worked in the diocese of Moray until 1516, then followed Forman to St Andrews, where the latter had been appointed archbishop. After Forman’s death in 1521, Lauder moved to Glasgow and was associated with Robert Forman, dean of Glasgow and brother of Andrew Forman. From 1539-1546 Lauder worked as secretary to cardinal David Betoun, archbishop of St Andrews, incurring the wrath of protestants for participating in heresy trials including leading the prosecution of George Wishart in 1546. The formulary was compiled for his own reference, based on transcriptions of real documents which probably would have gone through the office of the archbishop’s secretary. It reflects the pre-occupations and activities of the Scottish church just before the Reformation and also the development of civil law, as much of it was to be based on the canon law in use at this time.


Single item

Conditions Governing Access

By appointment with the Keeper of Manuscripts. Access to records containing confidential information may be restricted.


Call number used to be ms1720

Other Finding Aids

Individual Manuscripts and Small Collections database available as part of Manuscripts Database.

Physical Characteristics and/or Technical Requirements

Binding: spine and edge of boards brown morocco by Cockerell, May 1971, original spattered brown calf on boards. Binder's note pasted inside back cover.Paper: 18x25.5cm

Archivist's Note

Description compiled by Maia Sheridan, Archives Hub project archivist, based on material from the Manuscripts Database

Conditions Governing Use

Applications for permission to quote should be sent to the Keeper of Manuscripts. Reproduction subject to usual conditions: educational use and condition of documents.




Transcribed and printed substantially by G Donaldson and C Macrae, St Andrews Formulare 1514-1546, Stair Society, Volume I (1942), Volume II (1944). For details of authorship, dating and other extracts see Volume I introductory note.