The Lyon Court has published on its website the attached Note prepared by Dr Joseph Morrow, Lord Lyon, in respect of the Petition of George David Menking, Feudal Lord of the Garioch. In addition to the specific comments relating to Mr Menking’s Petition Lyon Morrow also makes a number of generai comments which are relevant to any future Petitions and to current Petitions in respect of which the Warrant for Letters Patent has not been issued.
The pertinent points in Lyon Morrow’s Note are as follows:-
• Lyon has confirmed that he is content to follow the existing practice of accepting registration in the Scottish Barony Register as proof of ownership as long as the Custodian is “a person of skill”. Lyon will therefore continue to play no role in establishing the legai validity of a feudal dignity, and the issuing of Letters Patent by him will, as now, have no relevance in relation to the validity of a Petitioner’s legai title. (paragraph 5)
• Ownership and registration of a feudal dignity brings the holder within the jurisdiction of the Lyon Comi and allows the holder to petition for Arms. Lyon states unequivocally that “this is the primary function ofthe Lord Lyon in such matters.” (paragraph 8)
• In relation to the recognition of future Petitioners who fall within his jurisdiction by reason of ownership of a feudal dignity Lyon will adopt the same “common sense and pragmatic way forward” as he is proposing to adopt in relation to Mr Menking. (paragraph 21)
• Lyon Morrow has now addressed the previously contentious issue of “other feudal titles”. Section 63 of the Abolition of Feudal Tenure etc. (Scotland) Act 2000 refers “any other dignity or office (whether or not of feudal origin)” however the Act gives no guidance as to what is being refened to. To answer the question of whether these can be held to include the dignities of Feudal Lord, Feudal Earl and Feudal Marquis Lyon has looked to the institutional writers and to more modem case law for guidance and on the basis of these concludes that “In essence the higher dignities are ofthe genus ofBarony”. (paragraphs 24 and 28).
• On the basis that (a) Barony is a generic term which includes Feudal Baronies, Lordships, Earldoms and Marquisates, (b) Lyon’s function is purely jurisdictional and (c) such matters fall within his discretion Lyon has decided that in future Petitions for Arms proceeding on the basis of ownership of any form of Barony should include wording of recognition along the following lines:-
“By Deed of Assignation recorded in the Scottish Barony Register, the Petitioner holds the Barony/Lordship/Earldom or Marquisate of X being of the genus Barony, which ownership brings the Petitioner within the jurisdiction ofthe Lord Lyon, Kingof Arms”. (paragraph 30)
• The effect of Lyon’s Note is that by endorsing the decision of the Custodian of the Scottish Barony Register Lyon will acknowledge a Petitioner as the ‘Baron/Feudal Lord /Feudal Earl or/Feudal Marquis of…… ‘ in conformity with the wording in the Crown Chatter which the
Petitioner presented to the Custodian of the Scottish Barony Register when applying for registration of his/her Assignation.
• Lyon has confirmed that he intends to continue the practice of granting the additament of the Great Helm to Feudal Barons but does not intend to re-introduce the other additaments granted prior to 2004.
• In conclusion Lyon’s Note appears to end the uncertainties of recent years and will give potential purchasers of Scottish feudal dignities the comfort of knowing exactly what the Lyon Court’s policy is in relation to such dignities.
Note issued with Warrant for Letters Patent from Lord Lyon King of Arms in the application of
GEORGE DAVID MENKING
of date 21 August 2014
“ baron of X for aught yet seen”
Joseph John Morrow
Dated: 30 April 2015
1 1992 SLT 973 at 976B
here labelled ‘Kar Burn’, depicted on an early map, Blaeu’s first Atlas of Scotland of 1654