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A Scottish Barony Title is the only title world-wide that is a noble title, officially recognised and available to purchase. Our authority for this very clear statement is based on decisions in the Scottish Courts, institutional writers (writers whose text is accepted in Scottish courts as an explanation of the law) and by Act of the Scottish Parliament. In Spencer-Thomas v Newell it was held inter alia “(1) that the essential feature of a barony title was the noble quality of the feudal grant;” At the Lyon Court in the Petition of Maclean of Ardgour for a Birthbrieve by Interlocutor dated 26th February 1943 “Finds and Declares that the Minor Barons of Scotland are, and have both in this Nobiliary Court, and in the Court of Session, been recognised as “titled” nobility, and that the estait of the Baronage (The Barones Minores) is of the ancient Feudal Nobility of Scotland”.
On 28th November 2004 the 'Abolition of Feudal tenure etc. (Scotland) Act 2000 came into force preserving, amongst other measures, Scotland's Baronage and their heraldic rights.
You may continue to purchase barony titles, sell them, leave them in your will to whomever you wish, or, gift them in your own lifetime. In the event that you die intestate they will pass under the pre-1964 laws of succession; that is to say your eldest male child will inherit. Barony titles are separated from the land that they formerly belonged to and become personal titles and as such are no longer recordable in the public land registers.
Up until 28th November 2004 ('the appointed day') a barony was an estate of land held directly of the Crown, or the Prince and Steward of Scotland, with a Crown Charter erecting the land into a Barony. It is an essential element of a barony title that there exists a Crown Charter of the barony. Crown Charters are recorded in the Register of the Great Seal of Scotland. Often the original Charter has been lost but because of the Scottish system of recording property writs an Official Extract can be obtained from the Register of the Great Seal. An Official Extract has the same legal status as the original Charter. Up until 1874 new barons were able to be confirmed in their baronies by the Crown with a Charter of Confirmation, these are also recorded in the Register of the Great Seal. After 28th November 2004 it is still necessary, when purchasing a barony, to carry out the same conveyancing procedures in order to establish the validity of the title offered for sale. You will still have to instruct a Scottish solicitor to effect the transfer of the title for you.
The prime reason that the Crown erected lands into baronial status was to secure the allegiance of their subject vassal. Before the 1745 Rebellion barons provided military service which, with no standing army, was essential to the maintenance of power and public order.
The effect of erecting lands into barony status was in most instances to recognise and authorise the landowner in his right and duty to administer his lands on behalf of the Crown. Primarily this was the administration of justice and the maintenance of public order. Barons held their own courts with either themselves or their baron baillies sitting in judgment. In some baronies this maintenance and administration of public order extended to the right of 'pit and gallows'. After the passing of an Act of Parliament following the 1745 rebellion (20 Geo. II., Cap. 43), "An Act for taking away and abolishing the Heritable Jurisdictions in that part of Great Britain called Scotland" the barons lost almost all of their law enforcement powers.
Barons also had valuable commercial advantages including the right to petition the Crown to have towns erected into Burgh of Barony status thus enabling the baron to control trade, hold fairs and even sometimes to exact taxes.
Just as the feudal system gradually evolved, approximately 1100 to 1700, so the system very slowly dissolved thereafter. The Act of 1587 had already allowed minor barons to absent themselves from attending the Kings parliament. Today, with the passing of the Abolition of Feudal Tenure etc. (Scotland) Act 2000 barony titles are personal titles of dignity with no other powers or responsibilities. As far as we know a Scottish Barony title is the only noble dignity that can be legally purchased and is recognised by law.
If you desire a barony title it will cost you a minimum of £65,000 (British Pounds) and with our commission and VAT on that and your legal fees you will get little change out of £75,000 (British Pounds). One barony title recently sold for a reported £1,000,000. You will find details of barony titles we currently have for sale on our Titles for Sale page. We do not always have a title for sale. Our clients, for whom we sell their titles, often prefer us to be more confidential and to sell 'quietly'. We run our business in the 'quill pen' tradition; if you e-mail us we will discuss with you your requirements and attempt to satisfy you.
Brian G. Hamilton,
Please contact us for more information.