National Records of Scotland

Preserving the past, Recording the present, Informing the future

Lady Caroline Nairne (1766-1845)

Lady Caroline Nairne (1766-1845)


Caroline Oliphant became Lady Nairne when her husband, Major William Nairne, was raised to the peerage in 1824. After his death she began her travels on the continent. Her father was a Jacobite and many of the songs she wrote to the traditional tunes she collected reflect her sympathies. 'Will ye no' come back again?' was written for the exiled Prince Charles Edward Stuart. Other works include 'The Auld Hoose' and 'The Rowan Tree'. Because song writing was not considered a suitable occupation for a person of her social standing she adopted the pseudonym Mrs Bogan of Bogan, and much of her work was published in 'The Scottish Minstrel' (1821-24). Her later travels in Europe were for the benefit of her sick son, who died in 1837. After she died much of her verse was published by her sister in 'Lays of Strathearn'.

Lady Caroline Nairne is one of the famous Scots commemorated in our Archivists' Garden with references to her work in the entries on the bluebell and rowan.

Birth in 1766

Carolina Oliphant was born on 16 August 1766, the daughter of Laurence Oliphant of Gask and Margaret Robertson. The Old Parish Register (OPR) for Findo Gask in Perthshire gives her place of birth as Gask.

Baptism entry for Carolina Oliphant (later Lady Nairne)

Baptism entry for Carolina Oliphant in the OPR for Findo Gask (20 KB jpeg)
National Records of Scotland, OPR 352/1

Testament of Lady Nairne

(National Records of Scotland, SC49/3/40 797-819)

View transcript (98 KB PDF)

The images of the original document are in jpeg format (approximately 170 KB):

View page 1 of the actual document
View page 2 of the actual document
View page 3 of the actual document
View page 4 of the actual document
View page 5 of the actual document
View page 6 of the actual document