• What is a Scottish barony?

    Baronies have a long history in Scotland. The Crown would grant land to be held directly from the King “in liberam baroniam”. With the land came certain judicial rights and obligations for the Barons to set up and maintain a baronial court. This was the private administration of a part of public justice and the Baron retained the fines to recompense him for the costs of administration. Some Barons, like the Barons of Pittenweem, had a higher degree of jurisdiction, as they were also Lords of Regality. Most Scottish feudal baronies were created (erected) prior to 1745 but one was erected as late as 1824.
  • Up until 2004 Scottish Barons maintained some criminal and civil jurisdiction - though in practice barons' courts were, for the last century at least, held only for ceremonial purposes. The Abolition of Feudal Tenure Act removed the last remaining judicial rights and obligations of the baronial courts in 2004. Since then, the Barons of Pittenweem have had no formal judicial role, but do continue to offer private arbitration as a continuation of the old baronial court. The 2004 act specifically preserved “any quality or precedence associated with, and any heraldic privilege incidental to” the noble dignity of a Baron. Today the Scottish title of Baron is formally recognized as a title of nobility by the government, the heraldic and formal recognition of the titles falling under the jurisdiction of the Lord Lyon, but the recognition is as a noble title and dignity only.
  • The Barony of Pittenweem has been erected several times. It was first created as a general barony in 1526 for Baron John Roul of Pittenweem. The latest, and current, creation was as a Lordship and Barony with jurisdiction as a Regality for Lord Frederick Stewart in 1605. The Barony was confirmed by a Crown Charter of Confirmation in 1869. In addition, the Barons of Pittenweem of late, including the current Baron, have held Warrants for Letter Patent issued by The Court of The Lord Lyon confirming inter alia both the title and the dignity of Baron. The Lyon Court is headed by the Lord Lyon, who is appointed directly by Her Majesty The Queen, and maintains the Scottish Public Registers of Arms and Genealogies, and is also responsible for State Ceremonial in Scotland. The Lord Lyon's court is fully integrated into the Scottish legal system.
  • Q&A

    What is the correct form of address?

    For questions regarding the correct form of address for Scottish feudal Barons and Lords, we recommend the exellent Debrett's Correct Form online or in print [Order]. A good summary is also available from The Convention of The Baronage of Scotland and this website.
  • Q&A

    What about Baron Campbell of Pittenweem?

    In 2015 Sir Menzies Campbell was created a life peer as Baron Campbell of Pittenweem. This title is not related to the heritable feudal Lordship and Barony of Pittenweem. While the Baron of the latter is titled "Baron of Pittenweem", the former is titled "Baron Campbell of Pittenweem". Most life peers are styled by their surnames only, rather than by the territorial designation, but since there already is a Lord Campbell in the peerage of United Kingdom, the full territorial designation is used. Using only the territorial designation, however, is in this case incorrect - as it refers to the Lord Baron of the feudal Lordship and Barony of Pittenweem. Though this situation may seem confusing, it is not uncommon in the UK. Both feudal and peerage titles may from time to time overlap - there are, for example, currently two titles of Earl of Mar (James Thorne Erskine, 14th Earl of Mar and Margaret of Mar, 31st Countess of Mar). Accuracy in the usage of styles of address is therefore important in order to avoid misunderstandings.
  • Q&A

    What does the motto on the Arms of the current Baron mean?

    The current Baron's motto is “Aliter Cogita” meaning “think differently”.

    In Scotland, Arms are personal in the sense that at any given time a Coat of Arms belongs only to one individual person and can only be used by that person and no one else. The Arms are hereditary but, unlike the baronies themselves, cannot be conveyed. Thus as a barony passes from one family, or branch of family, to another, the Arms of the Barons will change. You can find more information relating to the Arms of the Barons of Pittenweem on our Arms page.