Saturday, 25 October 2014

Thinking About Calling Yourself Laird Lord or Lady of Glencoe?

Since it's formation, Highland Titles Ltd, not a Scottish company but based in the Channel Islands, have been advising tens if not hundreds of thousands of members of the public all over the world, that it is a good idea to buy personal rights to a plot of land, (not even in Glencoe) off of them, and call themselves Laird Lord or Lady of Glencoe. As with many other misleading notions spread by these professional con artists, this does not stand up to even the slightest scrutiny.

Glencoe in Scotland is famous worldwide for two reasons. One, it is generally considered as one of the most breathtaking areas of natural beauty in the whole of Scotland. Two, it is the site of possibly the most heinous crime ever committed on Scottish soil, murder under trust, the infamous Massacre of Glencoe. This is when Scottish chieftains and members of the MacDonald clan were ruthlessly slaughtered without any chance to defend themselves, while providing food and shelter to their attackers.

Donald Alexander Smith was at one time owner of virtually the whole of  the land in Glencoe, without question the principal landowner. When made a peer and free to choose any title he wished, after initially considering taking the title Lord Glencoe, decided as a mark of respect to the slaughter which took place there, not to take that title, and instead take the title Lord Strathcona. We can see this from his biography.
"In the spring of 1897 Colonial Secretary Joseph Chamberlain informed him that he was to be made a peer. When news leaked out that he had chosen the title Lord Glencoe, after a glen where Scottish chieftains had been slaughtered in 1692, a glen he had only recently acquired, colleagues prevailed on him to reconsider. He created the name Strathcona, a Gaelic variant on Glencoe."
So who on earth with any knowledge of or empathy for Scottish tradition, would recommend that it would be in any way appropriate for anyone owning personal rights to a miniscule plot of land in Duror, to title themselves Lord Glencoe? Not only is it wholly inappropriate and utterly disregarding of any genuine Scottish tradition, it is as Lord Strathcona was prevailed upon to realise, gravely insulting.

There could really be only two reasons why anybody would choose to call themselves Lord Laird or Lady of Glencoe. One would be out of ignorance of Scottish traditions and history, the other would be a quite deliberate attempt to cause offense.

Highland Titles continually demonstrate that their only interest in Scottish traditions is to manipulate them with half truths and fantasy in order to line their own pockets. In the process they have certainly caused unsuspecting trusting people to unwittingly insult families whose ancestors were slaughtered in the Glencoe Massacre.

And if you think Highland Titles is principally about conservation, you might want to have a look at this post where according to their own figures, it is demonstrated that only a tiny amount of their over £2 million annual income is collected for conservation, the really big slice going to their Channel Islands tax haven and staying there.

Please do not support Highland Titles.

1 comment:

  1. Greetings from a very damp Glencoe.

    So let me get this straight.

    Strathcona, who as a peer and the principal landowner could legitimately have taken the title Lord Glencoe, did not do so because it would have been insensitive and liable to cause offence, but this profiteering mob in Alderney have sold tens of thousands of Lord/Laird/Lady of Glencoe titles on the back of a patch of rough grazing and woodland in Duror, 10 miles from Glencoe?

    And before they deny they sell titles, that was exactly how they promoted themselves in Google advertising and elsewhere before the ASA ruled against them. Even this morning, the top advert against the search phrase "buy a title" was Highland Titles, accompanied by the slippery wording "Buy Land & Use Lord Title" (emphasizing the Lord title as a benefit of buying land (which it isn't), but not in itself what they are selling... sure!).

    BTW, loved your piece on the cycle track. It isn't safe to believe anything they say, is it!