National Records of Scotland

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Sir Harry Lauder (1870-1950)

Sir Harry Lauder (1870-1950)

Music hall entertainer

Harry Lauder worked as a flax-spinner and coal-miner before gaining popularity as an amateur performer. He later became an international celebrity as a singer and entertainer of the Scottish music hall genre. He was knighted in 1919.

Birth in 1870

Harry Lauder was born on 4 August 1870, the son of John Lauder, potter and Isabella McLennan, domestic servant, who married on 26 August. The entry in the statutory register of births for the district of Duddingston and Portobello gives the place of birth as Bridge Street in Portobello. In this record and all the entries below his name is given as Henry.Birth entry for Harry Lauder

Birth entry for Harry Lauder (43 KB jpeg)
National Records of Scotland, 1870/684-1/106

The reference in the left margin of the register page is to a clerical error in column three - the sex of the child. The registrar had entered F (female) in the duplicate register volume forwarded to the Registrar General for Scotland although M (male) had been recorded in the copy held locally. The correction wasn't made until 1921 when R H Gray, Secretary, General Register Office, added a note to the examiner's summary page at the end of the register volume.

Note of correction to Harry Lauder's birth entry

Detail about correction to entry 106 in the 1870 statutory register of births for Duddingston and Portobello (24 KB jpeg)

1881 and 1891 censuses

In 1881 Harry Lauder, 10, scholar was living with his parents, four brothers and one sister. The census record for the household in the district of Inveresk and Musselburgh is over two pages.

1881 census entry for Harry Lauder

1881 census entry for Harry Lauder - second page

1881 census entry for Harry Lauder (25 KB and 8 KB jpegs)
National Records of Scotland, 1881/689/4, pages 25-26

By 1891 Henry McL Lauder had moved to Hamilton with his brother Matt. They were both coal-miners and boarding with John Dempsey and his family.

1891 census entry for Harry Lauder

1891 census entry for Harry Lauder (55 KB jpeg)
National Records of Scotland, 1891/647/12, page 43

Marriage in 1891

Harry Lauder married Annie Vallance on 19 June 1891. The entry in the statutory register of marriages for Hamilton shows that his father had died and his mother, now Isabella Millar, had remarried.

Marriage entry for Harry Lauder

Marriage entry for Harry Lauder (47 KB jpeg)
National Records of Scotland, 1891/647/128

Death in 1950

Sir Harry Lauder died on 26 February 1950. The entry in the statutory register of deaths for the district of Avondale and Glassford gives his occupation as variety artiste.

Death entry for Sir Harry Lauder

Death entry for Sir Harry Lauder (40 KB jpeg)
National Records of Scotland, 1950/621/16