Sir David Cunningham, 1st Baronet of Robertland was the grandson of David Cunninghame of Robertland (d. 1607), Master of Work to the Crown of Scotland for James VI of Scotland. Charles I made him a Baronet of Nova Scotia on 25 November 1630, by Letters Patent to him and his heirs male whatsoever.
He was the son of David Cunningham of Robertland (d. 1619) and Margaret Fleming, daughter of Patrick Fleming of Barrochan.
A number of letters to him from his older cousin Sir David Cunningham of Auchenharvie survive in the National Archives of Scotland. In 1633 Auchenharvie bought clothes in London for Robertland to wear in Edinburgh during the coronation visit of King Charles in 1633, following the colours and styles of clothes made by the king's tailor Patrick Black. On 1 May 1633 Auchenharvie wrote:
"Now you shall expect a very rich cloth of silver doublet with black satin breeches and satin cloak much laced as the fashion is. This suit is for all great days and holly days and when for variety you please to make this suit somewhat worse there is a black satin doublet suitable, also you shall have another fair new kind of wrought satin suit willow colour with silver lace doublet breeches and cloak, to which for change and variety your satin doublet will suit very well, you shall have stockings, garters, roses, points, girdles, hat bands, and some few facing bands to make you complete, they will cost you dear enough."
David Cunningham married Elizabeth Jousie in 1637, daughter of the Edinburgh textile merchant and royal financier Robert Jousie, and widow of the goldsmith James Heriot (d. 1634) a brother of George Heriot.
Like his father, Sir James Cunningham of Robertland, Gentleman of the Bedchamber to King Charles I, Sir David was a zealous cavalier, and in the subsequent civil wars he suffered much on account of his loyalty to his monarch.
- Leigh Rayment's list of baronets
- The Scottish Nation, by William Anderson, 1867 edition, volume 3, p. 746.
- Maria Hayward, Stuart Style (Yale, 2020), pp. 182-3, National Records of Scotland GD237/25/2 no. 11.
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