Scottish Feudal Baronies

Scottish Feudal Baronies are ancient titles which relate to land tenure. These should not be confused with Scottish Lords of Parliament which are peerage titles.

When taking a Scottish baronial title, the holder may decide to continue using his existing surname (eg Maitland) and simply add the title, becoming, for example, James Maitland, Baron of Pitlochry. More often he will take the territorial (or laird's) designation as part of his surname, to become James Maitland of Pitlochry, Baron of Pitlochry.

In some cases the territorial title and barony may differ. The name is usually recorded by the Lord Lyon as part of a grant of arms or matriculation (an updating of arms), and it becomes the holder's name for all official purposes. So far as territorial designations are concerned, the Lord Lyon does have a discretion confirmed by the Court of Session as to whether to recognise a territorial designation when it flows from a feudal barony which is no longer attached to land.

The social form of address for a Scottish Feudal Baron and his wife is The Baron and Baroness of Pitlochry; or The Baron of Pitlochry and Madam Maitland. The eldest son of a Scottish Feudal Baron may be known by his father's territorial designation, with the addition 'yr'; eg Iain Maitland of Pitlochry, yr.

It should however be remembered that many barons and lairds of the oldest Scottish families prefer to use the territorial designation alone (eg Cameron of Lochiel, Farquharson of Invercauld, Rattray of Rattray, etc).

If in doubt, see the following websites for futher advice:

The Office of the Lord Lyon (www.lyon-court.com/lordlyon/)

The Baronage of Scotland (www.scotsbarons.org). This website also gives the more formal style of address for Scottish Feudal Barons.

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