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A feudal lordship is a Scottish feudal title that is held en baroneum, which means that its holder, who is called a feudal lord, is also always a feudal baron. A feudal lordship is an ancient title of nobility in Scotland. The holder may or may not be a Lord of Regality, which meant that the holder was appointed by the Crown and had the power of "pit and gallows", meaning the power to authorise the death sentence.

A feudal lord ranks above a feudal baron (being a feudal baron of a higher degree), but below a lord of parliament which is a title in the Peerage of Scotland, and below a feudal earldom, which is a feudal barony of still higher degree than a feudal lordship. There are far fewer feudal lordships than feudal baronies, whilst feudal earldoms are very rare.[1]

While feudal barons originally sat in parliament (along with the lords and higher nobility who made up the Peerage), all of the peerage, originally, was within the feudal system. Later, some of what used to be feudal lordships came to be known as peerages (such as that of The Right Honourable The Lord Forrester) while others were sold, inherited by greater peers, or otherwise disqualified from the modern-day peerage. The feudal rights were gradually emasculated and, with the demise of the Scottish parliament in 1707, the right of feudal barons to sit in parliament ceased altogether, unless, that is, a feudal baron was also a Peer (Peerage rights are dealt with elsewhere).

Feudal lordships were all but abolished by Act of Parliament in 1747, following the Jacobite Uprising. A feudal barony no longer carries any political power as such, although the Abolition of Feudal Tenure etc. (Scotland) Act 2000 has preserved the baronies themselves, and the quality, precedence and heraldic rights pertaining to these baronies.

A peer is invariably addressed as 'Lord Placename' or 'Lord Such-and-so', whilst those holding a feudal lordship are addressed 'Lord of Placename' or 'Baron of Placename' and feudal barons are addressed as 'Baron of Placename' or 'Placename'.

A female feudal baron is usually referred to as 'Lady Placename'. The wife of a Lord receives the courtesy title 'Lady Placename', but the husband of a Lady, who holds a feudal barony in her own right, is just plain Mr. 'Surname'.

Lords of regality, feudal lords, and feudal barons are not to be confused with a manorial lordship.

Scottish titles, in order of precedence, are as follows: Duke, Marquis, Earl, Viscount, Lord, Baronet, Knight, feudal Baron, Clan Chief, Esquire/Gentleman.

Feudal Lordships (created before 1707)

Below is an incomplete list of Scottish feudal lordships created in Scotland before 1707.

Lordship County Createda Incumbent Succeeded
Ardrossan Ayrshire 1357
Dudhope Angus 1542
Garioch Aberdeenshire 12th century
Hailes East Lothian 1451b
Holydean Roxburghshire 1128 Taylor Forrester Moffitt
Kilmarnock Ayrshire 1591 David Ayre 2002
Strathdee Aberdeenshire 1563
Urquhart Inverness-shire 1230

a: The creation date is the earliest known date for the Lordship and subject to revision

b: The Barony of Hailes was granted to Adam de Hepburn by Patrick de Dunbar, Earl of March in 1343


  • Register of the Great Seal of Scotland;
  • Abolition of Feudal Tenure Act, Scotland;
  • Statutes of 1592;
  • Baronetcy Warrants of Charles I.

External links



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