Lord Chancellor of Scotland

The Lord Chancellor of Scotland was a Great Officer of State in the Kingdom of Scotland.

Holders of the office are known from 1123 onwards, but its duties were occasionally performed by an official of lower status with the title of Keeper of the Great Seal. From the 15th century, the Chancellor was normally a Bishop or a Peer.

At the Union, the Lord Keeper of the Great Seal of England became the first Lord High Chancellor of Great Britain, but the Earl of Seafield continued as Lord Chancellor of Scotland until 1708. He was re-appointed in 1713 and sat as an Extraordinary Lord of Session in that capacity until his death in 1730.

It has been argued that the office is only in abeyance and could potentially be revived. In the event of Scottish independence, the Scottish National Party proposes that the Presiding Officer of the Scottish Parliament become Chancellor of Scotland, with additional constitutional powers during the absence of the Monarch from Scotland. In this respect, the Chancellor would hold a role similar to that of a Governor-General in the Commonwealth realms.[1]

List of Lord Chancellors of Scotland

James Ogilvy, 1st Earl of SeafieldJohn Hay, 2nd Marquess of TweeddaleJames Ogilvy, 1st Earl of SeafieldPatrick Hume, 1st Earl of MarchmontJohn Hay, 1st Marquess of TweeddaleJames Drummond, 4th Earl of PerthGeorge Gordon, 1st Earl of AberdeenJohn Leslie, 1st Duke of RothesWilliam Cunningham, 9th Earl of GlencairnJohn Campbell, 1st Earl of LoudounJohn Spottiswoode, Archbishop of St AndrewsGeorge Hay, 1st Earl of KinnoullAlexander Seton, 1st Earl of DunfermlineJohn Graham, 3rd Earl of MontroseSir John MaitlandJames Stewart, Earl of ArranColin Campbell, 6th Earl of ArgyllJohn Stewart, 4th Earl of AthollArchibald Campbell, 5th Earl of ArgyllJames Douglas, 4th Earl of MortonGeorge Gordon, 5th Earl of HuntlyJames Douglas, 4th Earl of MortonGeorge Gordon, 4th Earl of HuntlyCardinal David Beaton, Archbishop of St Andrew'sGavin Dunbar, Archbishop of GlasgowArchibald Douglas, 6th Earl of AngusJames Beaton, Archbishop of Glasgow, St Andrew'sAlexander Stewart, Archbishop of St Andrew'sGeorge Gordon, 2nd Earl of HuntlyArchibald Douglas, 5th Earl of AngusColin Campbell, 1st Earl of ArgyllWilliam Elphinstone, Bishop of AberdeenColin Campbell, 1st Earl of ArgyllWilliam Sinclair, 3rd Earl of OrkneyJames Kennedy, Bishop of St Andrew'sSir William CrichtonWilliam Caldwell (Lord Chancellor)Bernard de Linton, Abbot of Arbroath

David I

Malcolm IV

William I

Alexander II

Alexander III

English Appointees during the Interregnum

Robert I

David II

Robert II

Robert III

James I

James II

James III

James IV

James V

Mary I

James VI

Charles I

Charles II

James VII

William III and Mary II


See also



  1. ^ Principles of the Constitution, at constitutionalcommission.org (.pdf file)
  2. ^ Cowan, p. 70
  3. ^ Cowan, p159


  • Cowan, Samuel, The Lord Chancellors of Scotland Edinburgh 1911. [1]
  • "Lord chancellors of Scotland in the Oxford DNB", in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, Sept 2004; online edn, Jan 2007 accessed 20 Feb 2007
  • Dowden, John, The Bishops of Scotland, ed. J. Maitland Thomson, (Glasgow, 1912)
Alexander Stewart (archbishop of St Andrews)

Alexander Stewart (c. 1493 – 9 September 1513) was an illegitimate son of King James IV of Scotland by his mistress Marion Boyd. He was the King's eldest illegitimate child. He was an elder brother of Catherine Stewart,his only full sibling, a half brother to James Stewart, Margaret Stewart and Janet Stewart, the other illegitimate children of James IV and his mistresses. He was an older half-brother of the future James V.

Andrew Spottiswoode

Andrew Spottiswoode (19 February 1787 - 20 February 1866), was a British politician, MP for Saltash from 1826 to 1830, and Colchester from 1830 to 1831.He was the fourth son of John Spottiswoode (died 1805) of Spottiswoode, Berwick and Margaret Penelope Strahan, daughter of William Strahan. He was educated at Edinburgh High School. He was a descendant of John Spottiswoode (1565-1639) archbishop of St. Andrews and lord chancellor of Scotland.Spottiswoode lived at 9 Bedford Square, London and Broome Hall, Surrey.Spottiswoode married Mary, daughter of Thomas Norton Longman, printer, of 39 Paternoster Row, London, and they had two sons and three daughters.In 1830 he "received a 30-year patent as King’s printer".

He was the father of mathematician and physicist William Spottiswoode, president of the Royal Society from 1878 to 1883.

Andrew Stewart

Andrew Stewart may refer to:

Andrew Stewart, 1st Lord Avandale (c. 1420–1488), Lord Chancellor of Scotland

Andrew Stewart, 1st Lord Avondale (second creation) (died 1513), Scottish nobleman

Andrew Stewart (bishop of Caithness, died 1517), Bishop of Caithness and Treasurer of Scotland

Andrew Stewart (bishop of Moray) (1442–1501), Scottish prelate and administrator

Andrew Stewart, 2nd Lord Avondale (c. 1505–1549), Scottish peer

Andrew Stewart (bishop of Caithness, died 1541) (c. 1490–1541), Scottish noble and cleric

Andrew Stewart, 2nd Lord Ochiltree (c. 1521–1591)

Andrew Stewart (American politician, died 1872) (1791–1872), U.S. Representative from Pennsylvania

Andrew Stewart (American politician, died 1903) (1836–1903), U.S. Representative from Pennsylvania

Andrew Stewart (footballer), Scottish footballer in the 1890s

Andrew Stewart (economist) (1904–1990), Scottish-born Canadian economist, university administrator, and first head of the Board of Broadcast Governors

Charles Stewart (diplomat) (Andrew Charles Stewart, 1907–1979), British diplomat

Andrew Stewart (British Army officer) (born 1952), British general

Andrew Stewart, Lord Ericht (born 1963), Scottish judge, Senator of the College of Justice

Andrew Stewart (gridiron football) (born 1965), American player of gridiron football

Andrew Stewart (minister) (1771–1838), Scottish physician and minister of the Church of Scotland

Andrew Stewart, 1st Lord Avandale

Andrew Stewart (c. 1420 – 1488) was Lord Chancellor of Scotland from 1460 to 1482 and one of the leading servants of King James III of Scotland.

Crichton, Midlothian

Crichton is a small village and civil parish in Midlothian, Scotland, around 2 miles (3 km) south of Pathhead and the same distance east of Gorebridge.

The second element of the name is clearly from the Old English word tūn 'farm, settlement'. The first element is less certain, however, and could be from Gaelic crioch 'border' or Cumbric craig 'rock'.To the west of the village is the 15th-century parish church, formerly a collegiate church, established by William Crichton, 1st Lord Crichton, the Lord Chancellor of Scotland from 1439 to 1453. To the south of the church is Crichton Castle, begun in the late 14th century by William's father John de Crichton and featuring a fine 16th-century Italianate courtyard façade.

The civil parish has a population of 1,223 in 2011.

George Gordon, 1st Earl of Aberdeen

George Gordon, 1st Earl of Aberdeen (3 October 1637 – 20 April 1720), was a Lord Chancellor of Scotland.

George Gordon, 5th Earl of Huntly

George Gordon, 5th Earl of Huntly (died 19 October 1576), was Lord Chancellor of Scotland and major conspirator of his time.

George Hay

George Hay may refer to:

George Hay, 7th Earl of Erroll (died 1573), Scottish nobleman and politician

George Hay (Virginia) (1765–1830), United States politician and judge

George Hay (politician) (1715–1778), Member of Parliament and Dean of the Arches

George Hay (bishop) (1729–1811), Vicar Apostolic of Lowland Scotland

George Hay (ice hockey) (1898–1975), Canadian hockey forward

George D. Hay (1895–1968), country music pioneer

George Hay (writer), founder of the Science Fiction Foundation

George Hay, 1st Earl of Kinnoull (1572–1634), Lord Chancellor of Scotland

George Hay, 2nd Earl of Kinnoull (died 1644)

George Hay, 3rd Earl of Kinnoull (died 1650)

George Hay, 5th Earl of Kinnoull (died 1687)

George Hay, 8th Earl of Kinnoull (1689–1758)

George Hay, 7th Marquess of Tweeddale (1753–1804), Scottish peer

George Hay, 12th Earl of Kinnoull (1827–1897)

George Harley Hay, 14th Earl of Kinnoull (1902–1938)

George Hay, 8th Marquess of Tweeddale (1787–1876), British field marshal

George Hay, fictional character in the play Moon Over Buffalo

George Hay (cricketer) (1851–1913), English cricketer who played for Derbyshire, 1875–1886

George Campbell Hay (1915–1984), Scottish poet

George Hay, Earl of Gifford (1822–1862), British Liberal Party politician

Isabella, Countess of Lennox

Isabella of Lennox (d.1458) was the ruler of Lennox, from 1437–1458, and last in the line of Mormaers or Native Scottish rulers. As the wife of Murdoch Stewart, 2nd Duke of Albany (d.1425), she was also Duchess of Albany (1420–1425), but in 1425 her family would be almost completely destroyed when her husband, father and two sons were executed by the vengeful King James I of Scotland. Only one son, James the Fat, would escape the King's wrath, and he would die in exile in Ireland soon after. Isabella succeeded in escaping the fate of her family, and would eventually regain her title and estates, retiring to her castle in Loch Lomond where she raised her grandchildren, the children of her youngest son. She would eventually live to see the violent death of her former persecutor, King James. Though none of her four sons survived her, her grandson Andrew Stewart, 1st Lord Avandale would in time rise to become Lord Chancellor of Scotland.

James Stewart, Earl of Arran

Captain James Stewart, Earl of Arran (died 1595) was created Earl of Arran by the young King James VI, who wrested the title from James Hamilton, 3rd Earl of Arran. He rose to become Lord Chancellor of Scotland and was eventually murdered in 1595.

John Hay, 1st Marquess of Tweeddale

John Hay, 1st Marquess and 2nd Earl of Tweeddale (c. 13 August 1625, Yester, East Lothian – 11 August 1697, Edinburgh) was Lord Chancellor of Scotland.

During the English Civil War he repeatedly switched allegiance between the Royalist cause and the Parliamentarians. He fought for Charles I and joined him at Nottingham in 1642, then for Parliament at the Battle of Marston Moor in 1644, on account of his attitude towards Covenanters, and four years later was again on the side of the Royalists at the Battle of Preston.

He succeeded as Earl of Tweeddale in 1654, and was imprisoned for support of James Guthrie in 1660. He was a member of the Commonwealth Parliaments of 1656 and 1659.

When Charles II was restored to the throne, he was appointed Lord President of the Scottish Council in 1663 and an Extraordinary Lord of Session in 1664. He was elected in the latter year a Fellow of the Royal Society.He used his influence to moderate proceedings against the Covenanters, but with the hardening of the official attitude in 1674 he was dismissed from office and from the Privy Council on the advice of Lauderdale.

He returned to the Treasury in 1680. Tweeddale supported William III and became a privy councillor in 1689. He was Lord Chancellor of Scotland from 1692-6.

He supported the Glorious Revolution in Scotland, and was created Marquess of Tweeddale in 1694. As Lord High Commissioner to the Parliament of Scotland from 1694 to 1696 he ordered the inquiry into the Glencoe massacre in 1695. He was dismissed from the Chancellorship in 1696 for supporting the Darien scheme.

His portrait by Sir Peter Lely is held by the Scottish National Portrait Gallery.

John Hay, 2nd Marquess of Tweeddale

John Hay, 2nd Marquess of Tweeddale (1645 – 20 April 1713) was a Scottish nobleman.

Hay was the eldest son of John Hay, 1st Marquess of Tweeddale and his wife, Jean, daughter of Walter Scott, 1st Earl of Buccleuch. In 1666, at Highgate in London, he married Lady Mary Maitland, daughter of John Maitland, 1st Duke of Lauderdale (1616–82). However, Lauderdale set himself against Hay, who was forced to leave for the continent and did not regain his position until Lauderdale's death in 1682.

He was Colonel of the Militia Regiment of Foot in Co Haddington (1668–1674) and Linlithgow and Peebles (1682). He was Burgess of Edinburgh (1668), Commissioner for the Borders (1672–1684), Commissioner of Supply for Haddington (1678, 1685, 1690, 1704), Peebles (1678, 1685), Edinburgh (1690, 1704), Fife (1695, 1704), Berwick (1704); Colonel of the East Lothian Regiment (1685), Captain of the Militia Horse for Haddington and Berwick (1689), Privy Councillor (Scotland) (1689), Sheriff of Haddington (1694–1713) and Commissioner of the Admiralty (Scotland) (1695).He was also Lord Treasurer in 1695. He succeeded his father in the marquessate in 1697.

He was appointed Lord High Commissioner to the Scots Parliament in 1704, and was Lord Chancellor of Scotland from 1704–05. He led the Squadrone Volante, but ultimately supported the Union. He was appointed one of 18 Scottish representative peers in 1707.

His eldest son, Charles (c. 1670–1715), succeeded him as 3rd Marquess. A younger son, Lord John Hay (d. 1706), commanded the famous regiment of dragoons, afterwards called the Scots Greys, at the Battle of Ramillies and elsewhere.

He had been elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1666 but was expelled in 1685.

John Maitland, 1st Lord Maitland of Thirlestane

John Maitland, 1st Lord Maitland of Thirlestane (1537 – 3 October 1595), of Lethington, Knight (1581), was Lord Chancellor of Scotland.

Justice Stewart

Justice Stewart may refer to:

Potter Stewart, an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court

Andrew Stewart, 1st Lord Avandale, a Lord Chancellor of Scotland

George H. Stewart, an Associate Justice of the Idaho Supreme Court

I. Daniel Stewart, an Associate Justice of the Utah Supreme Court

James Augustus Stewart, a Chief Justice of the Court of Appeals of Maryland

James Garfield Stewart, an Associate Justice of the Ohio Supreme Court

James Stewart, Duke of Ross, a Lord Chancellor of Scotland

Sam V. Stewart, an Associate Justice of the Montana Supreme Court

William Stewart, Lord Allanbridge, a Justice of the Supreme Courts of Scotland

Lord High Constable of Scotland

The Lord High Constable is a hereditary, now ceremonial, office of Scotland. In the order of precedence of Scotland, the office traditionally ranks above all titles except those of the Royal Family. The Lord High Constable was, after the King of Scots, the supreme officer of the Scottish army. He also performed judicial functions as the chief judge of the High Court of Constabulary. From the late 13th Century the Court – presided over by the Lord High Constable or his deputies – was empowered to judge all cases of rioting, disorder, bloodshed and murder if such crimes occurred within four miles of the King, the King's Council, or the Parliament of Scotland. Following James VI's move to England, the jurisdiction of the Lord High Constable was defined in terms of the "resident place" appointed for the Council.

The Constable historically also commanded the Doorward Guard of Partisans, the oldest bodyguard in Britain. The Constable also held several honorific privileges, such as the right to sit on the right side of the King when he attended Parliament, custody of the keys to Parliament House, the ceremonial command of the King's bodyguards, and precedence above all Scotsmen except the members of the Royal Family and the Lord Chancellor of Scotland. Most of the powers, however, disappeared when Scotland and England combined into Great Britain under the Act of Union 1707. The office, nonetheless, continues as a ceremonial one.

The office became hereditary in the 12th Century and was held by the Comyn family, but they ended up on the wrong side in the Wars of Scottish Independence. Since then it has been held by the Hays of Erroll, later Earls of Erroll. The first was Gilbert Hay, who was given the office by Robert the Bruce, followed by David Hay.

The Constable and the Duke of Hamilton (as Lord of Abernethy) may sit as assessors to the Lord Lyon King of Arms. The Earl of Erroll, Lord High Constable, is one of four peers entitled to appoint a private pursuivant, with the title of Slains Pursuivant of Arms.In 1952, the Court of Claims allowed the right of the Countess of Erroll, as Lord High Constable, to be present by deputy at the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. The present holder (2008) is Merlin Hay, 24th Earl of Erroll.

William Comyn

William Comyn may refer to:

William Cumin, or Comyn, medieval bishop of Durham elect, and Lord Chancellor of Scotland

William Comyn, Lord of Badenoch (1163–1233)

William Comyns Beaumont (1873–1956), British journalist, author and lecturer

William Leslie Comyn (1877–?), Californian businessman and shipbuilder

William Comyn, Lord of Kilbride (died 1283), sheriff of Ayr in 1263

William Comyns (craftsman), late 19th-century silversmith

William Cumin

For other persons named William Comyn(s) see William ComynWilliam Cumin (died c. 1159) was a medieval Bishop of Durham elect, and Lord Chancellor of Scotland.

William Cunningham, 9th Earl of Glencairn

William Cunningham, 9th Earl of Glencairn (1610–1664), was a Scottish nobleman, Lord Chancellor of Scotland, and a cavalier. He was also the chief of Clan Cunningham.

The eldest son of William Cunningham, 8th Earl of Glencairn, on 21 July 1637 this William obtained a ratification from King Charles 1st, under the Royal Sign Manual, of the original Glencairn Letters Patent of 1488.

He was sworn a member of the Privy Council of Scotland and in 1641 was appointed a Commissioner of the Treasury.

William de Lauder

William de Lauder [Lawedre] (born c. 1380 – 14 June 1425) was bishop of Glasgow and Lord Chancellor of Scotland.

Sometimes given (wrongly) as a son of Alan Lauder of Haltoun, he was in fact the son of Sir Robert de Lawedre of Edrington, and The Bass, by his spouse Annabella. William was brother-german to Alexander de Lawedre, Bishop of Dunkeld.William Lauder was educated at the University of Paris where he took a great interest in its affairs and eventually became Rector. He graduated with a Doctorate in Canon Law In 1392, while still at university, he was given the parish church of St. Eligius, a benefice in the gift of the Bishop, dean and chapter of St. Malo. He also appears on the Roll of the University of Angers where he spent some time studying and lecturing.Before 1404, William Lauder had the Archdeaconry of Lothian conferred on him by Bishop Wardlaw of St.Andrews, as well as holding a canonry and prebend in Moray. In 1405 Lauder unsuccessfully sued in the Curia for the Precentorship of Glasgow. "Willielmus de Lawadir, Archdeacon of Lothian, accompanied by Alanus de Lawedir de Scotia" (his brother) had a safe-conduct from King Henry IV dated 18 September 1404 with another the following year.

He was 'preferred' and appointed to the bishopric of Glasgow by Avignon Pope Benedict XIII on 9 July 1408, and not by election of the Chapter. The Chapter did not challenge his selection, however, and Bishop Dowden suggests that he went to Avignon to receive consecration, returning after Martinmas the same year. This seems to be supported by an indult dated 11 July 1408 for him to be consecrated elsewhere, and it is likely that occurred in France. On 24 October, King Henry IV of England granted "William de Lawedre, Bishop of Glasgow" safe conduct to pass through the Kingdom of England to the Kingdom of France.

Bishop William was deeply involved in the affairs of the kingdom. In 1406 he was one of the commissioners sent to Charles, King of France, in order to renew the alliance with France against the English. He attended the General Council at Perth in 1415, and from September 1420 until his death four years later, William was Lord Chancellor of Scotland. On 9 August 1423 he was named First Commissioner to treat with England for the ransom of James I, which was accomplished the following year. Another of the Commissioners was Sir Robert Lauder of Edrington, the Bishop's brother.Bishop Lauder spent a great deal of his time continuing to build Glasgow or St Mungo's Cathedral building several portions of it, notably the crypt under the chapter house where the Lauder Arms were carved in several places. He also added the stone steeple and battlement to the already built tower and placed his arms, with a cherub for a crest, on the centre panel of the western parapet.

He was interred in the ancient (now gone) parish church of St. Mary, at Lauder, Berwickshire, and succeeded by John Cameron.

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