Laird or Lady – Highland Titles Reviewed

Laird Titles Reviews; are they Highland Titles or just Fake Titles?

Highland Lairds
Highland Lairds

Like us, you have probably come across one of these Laird gift packs on the internet and wondered whether you are buying a fake title or your very own highland title. You may not be aware that they are available from several different organisations and confer titles, such as Laird of Glencoe (Highland Titles) or Laird of Dunans (Gift Republic) and that they have been steadily selling for at least thirty years to our knowledge. They were sufficiently well known in 1979, when the  Land Registration (Scotland) Act was passed that the civil servants with responsibility for setting up the new Registers of Scotland asked that they be relieved of the normal requirement to register the transfer of “souvenir plots” so as to avoid the huge workload that would otherwise fall to them.  This loophole is unique in Scottish law and makes the sale of small plots in Scotland possible, legal and rather fun.

But what of the businesses and people who offer to sell these plots and highland titles? Are they all honest and competent? Are they real Scottish titles, or just fake titles? When you plan to buy a gift for a loved one, you want to be sure you will not be scammed by someone who does not own any land or who cannot legally sell it to you.

We have decided to put in the leg work so you don’t have to. Several months of hard work have gone into the preparation of this site. If you have any comments or observations, please feel free to post your thoughts.

To find out about sites and businesses marketing the title laird over the internet we began by using the search terms “laird title” and “Scottish title”. With thousands of “hits” you can see that this is a crowded marketplace.

Some of the more obvious questions are:

  • Are these schemes legal?
  • Can Lairds and Ladies use their titles?
  • Can Lairds and Ladies visit their Scottish estates?
  • Which Lairdships provide the best value?
  • What post-purchase support is provided?

The answers are surprising but in some cases disappointing. Please explore the site to find out more.

32 thoughts on “Laird or Lady – Highland Titles Reviewed

  1. You do not mention the Lord Lyon, who some people say has something to do with these schemes. Lord Lyon ONLY actually has remit over territorial designations when the owner wishes to get a coat of arms. If someone doesn’t want arms it seems he doesn’t get involved in territorial designations.

    Guidance regarding Territorial Designations
    A territorial designation proclaims a relationship with a particular area of land. The classic case where a territorial designation is appropriate, where recognition is sought from the Lord Lyon in connection with a Petition for Arms or for change of name, is where there is ownership of a substantial area of land to which a well-attested name attaches, that is to say, ownership of an “estate”, or farm or, at the very least, a house with policies extending to five acres or thereby, outwith a burgh. In such a case recognition of a territorial designation should not present a problem. Nor should there be a difficulty when a new owner obtains possession of the named property. Difficulty may arise, however, when a new owner has bought property to which no generally recognised name attaches. In such a case some years of ownership under a suitable name would seem appropriate before a territorial designation can be recognised. In this last case there will usually be a residence on the property, or the possibility of obtaining planning permission for such a residence.

    I wrote to him to get his opinion and he wrote straight back to me to clarify that as far as he was concerned what I was doing was just fine and dandy😉

    1. Buying a square foot of Scotland is much better value and the money might do some good. I got to use a coat of Arms with my bit of land.

      1. The only good is putting your hard earned cash into someones pocket – It will not help Scotland or its people.

  2. I visited the Keil Estate very recently (my sister was given one of these ‘titles’ as a present) and it did confirm the
    good opinion I had about this enterprise when she asked me to visit (as part of a trip to Scotland I was making). The local volunteer group managed by Peter Bevis is not only protecting it from development – but also starting to transform it into a natural wildlife sanctuary. The estate at the moment is still pretty uninspiring with thick tracts of coniferous trees and several boggy areas but the area looks to be now well managed and there were fantastic views of the loch. I think this is primarily a conservation exercise – using the novelty of ‘acquiring’ a title – and its link with the Glencoe area to attract somewhat purchasers from all over the world. The Keil estate is barely 5 miles from Glencoe and reflects the outstanding natural beauty of much of this area). All the very full information relating to the enterprise – whether on a website or speaking to Peter, his daughter, wife or sales staff is compelling. The conservation is going on every day, and I look forward to coming back next summer.

  3. After viewing your site I bought some land from Highland Titles as a gift for a friend who has pretty much everything. It was the perfect gift because it provided them with something they didn’t already have, it was fun, funny and also supported the development of a nature reserve in the part of the world that their grandfather came from! I was very thrilled with my purchase and I think my friend really appreciated it.

      1. But is your backyard currently being used as part of a conservation effort?

        The Laird bit is just a little fun……

  4. Dear Sir,
    I would like to thank you for this website and your work. I found you by luck on Google, just 5 minutes before I would have completed the procedure to buy the wrong Lord and Lady title, as a gift.

    I’ll share this precious information to my friends in Belgium !

    Many thanks again, best regards.

    1. Congratulations Ron, I’m very glad you found out that the whole Scottish land / titles thing is a bit of a mine field before you spent your money. The best Company out there seems to be Highland Titles and some of the others sell a bland novelty. Yes, please spread the word to all your friends, and ask them to do the same.

  5. I love to travel and I have been to Ireland and England but not yet to Scotland. In the meantime, this is such a sweet and beautiful idea to know that a tiny part of a place as wonderful as I’m sure Scotland is is waiting for me! Hopefully within the next 12-18 months I’ll be able to personally sit and know that there is more than one place in the world you can think of as yours

  6. I’m not that much of a internet reader to be honest but your blog’s really nice and I went ahead and bought a plot of land on your excellent advice. Keep it up! I’ll go ahead and bookmark your website to come back later.
    All the best

  7. First of all I would like to say great blog! I had a quick question which I’d
    like to ask if you don’t mind. I was interested to find out if the title is really legal in all countries.

    I have had difficulty changing my passport to show my new title. I do get a bit lost just trying to figure out how to begin. Any recommendations or hints?

    Many thanks!

    1. Hi Cubby. Passports do not show your title, so there is nothing to change. Perhaps that is why you were having problems.

  8. Heya just wanted to give youu a quick heads up and let you know my experience. I had not heard of ‘souvenir’ land purchases before so found the whole concept interesting and clever. Having Scottish ancestry also added to its appeal. The Highland Titles website was informative and as a family group we spent a fair period of time reading all that was involved and the extras that one could also purchase. We particularly liked the idea that money raised was for conservation purposes. The application, payment and shipping of the purchased items was without fault.

  9. I ordered a LADY highland title for my little grand daughter’s 4th birthday. Delivery was very prompt. We are overjoyed with the quality of the gift. The added bonus of actually being able to visit her plot, plant a tree and see the surrounding estate is yet to be enjoyed but we are all excited about going.
    I highly recommend this unique gift to any one of any age.

  10. I have found a few sites that make some aggressive claims about the sale of souvenir plots and the people who sell them. Some of the claims are very personal and appear to be just made up. At least my research can find no evidence that most of the claims are true. This is just Cyberbullying.

    Legal definition:

    Cyber bullying refers to any harassment that occurs via the internet, cell phones or other devices. Communication technology is used to intentionally harm others through hostile behavior such as sending text messages and posting ugly comments on the internet.

    The National Crime Prevention Council defines cyber-bullying as “the process of using the Internet, mobile phones or other devices to send or post text or images intended to hurt or embarrass another person.”

    Cyber-bullying could be limited to posting rumors or gossips about a person in the internet bringing about hatred in other’s minds; or it may go to the extent of personally identifying victims and publishing materials severely defaming and humiliating them.

    However, when this technology is abused, or used to harass or threaten others, there may be legal consequences. There are four UK statute laws and one Scottish common law that are relevant to the use of IT in relation to bullying. These are:

    The Protection from Harassment Act 1997
    The Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994
    The Malicious Communications Act 1998
    The Communications Act 2003
    Breach of the Peace (common law)

    Legal definition

    Cyberbullying is defined in legal glossaries as actions that use information and communication technologies to support deliberate, repeated, and hostile behavior by an individual or group, that is intended to harm another or others.
    1. use of communication technologies for the intention of harming another person
    2. use of internet service and mobile technologies such as web pages and discussion groups as well as instant messaging or SMS text messaging with the intention of harming another person.

    Examples of what constitutes cyberbullying include communications that seek to intimidate, control, manipulate, put down, falsely discredit, or humiliate the recipient. The actions are deliberate, repeated, and hostile behavior intended to harm another. Cyberbullying has been defined by The National Crime Prevention Council: “when the Internet, mobile phones or other devices are used to send or post text or images intended to hurt or embarrass another person.

    A cyberbully may be a person whom the target knows or an online stranger. A cyberbully may be anonymous and may solicit involvement of other people online who do not even know the target

    Legislation and education in the field are ongoing. Basic definitions and guidelines to help recognize and cope with what is regarded as abuse of electronic communications have been identified.
    1.Cyberbullying involves repeated behavior with intent to harm and repeated nature
    2.Cyberbullying is perpetrated through Harassment, Cyberstalking, Denigration (sending or posting cruel rumours and falsehoods to damage reputation and friendships), Impersonation, Exclusion (intentionally and cruelly excluding someone from an online group)

    Cyberbullying can be as simple as continuing to send e-mail or text harassing someone who has said they want no further contact with the sender. It may also include public actions such as repeated threats, sexual remarks, pejorative labels (i.e.hate speech) or defamatory false accusations), ganging up on a victim by making the person the subject of ridicule in online forums, hacking into or vandalizing sites about a person, and posting false statements as fact aimed a discrediting or humiliating a targeted person. Cyberbullying could be limited to posting rumors about a person on the internet with the intention of bringing about hatred in others’ minds or convincing others to dislike or participate in online denigration of a target. It may go to the extent of personally identifying victims of crime and publishing materials severely defaming or humiliating them.

    Cyberbullies target them for the purpose of publishing material in their name that defames, discredits or ridicules them. Others post rumors or gossip and instigate others to dislike and gang up on the target

    Stalking online has criminal consequences just as physical stalking. Cyberstalking is an extension of physical stalking.Among factors that motivate stalkers are: envy, pathological obsession (professional or sexual), unemployment or failure with own job or life; intention to intimidate and cause others to feel inferior.
    it may be an offence under the 1997 Harassment Act.

    Furthermore, the Communications Act 2003 makes it a criminal offence to send: “…by means of a public electronic communications network, a message or other matter that is grossly offensive or of an indecent, obscene or menacing character”.

    I hope this information is helpful if you decide to report these bullying hate sites. Good luck. Great site.

  11. I think this is among the most significant info for me. And i am glad reading your article. But want to remark on some general things, The website style is wonderful, the articles is really great D. Good job, cheers

  12. People are often unaware that they are incorrectly sporting the national attire; attending a highland gathering or highland games can be a real eye opener.

  13. Chief, Chieftain or Laird

    Recognised chiefly styles and territorial designations of chiefs, chieftains and lairds, which are strictly speaking part of their surname are under the jurisdiction of the Lord Lyon King of Arms and by statute these form part of the name and should always be used.

    By the second half of the 16th century Highland chiefs were styled by the Crown as ‘of that Ilk'(the chief being head of the family and owning the name-place, eg Moncreiffe of that Ilk), but other chiefs varied between this form and a territorial designation (eg Maclean of Duart).

    After the Union of 1707, Highland chiefs moved to a straightforward reiteration of the name (eg Macdonald of Macdonald) because of the difficulty in explaining ‘of that Ilk’ in England, and most other families have since followed suit.

    For centuries some chiefs have abbreviated their style and adopted the definite article, eg Chisholm of Chisholm is known as ‘The Chisholm’, and Macnab of Macnab as ‘The Macnab’.

    Others use the definite article as well as the clan or territorial designation, eg The MacLaren of MacLaren, The MacKinnon of MacKinnon and The Macneil of Barra. The use of ‘The’ by certain chiefs in place of the forename is officially recognised.

  14. Did you see that one of the oldest surviving copies of a poem detailing the Battle of Bannockburn has been restored in time for the battle’s 700th anniversary?

  15. Hello, I enjoy reading all your posts and I welcome the help I had in deciding which people to support. Thank you for setting the information out so clearly.

  16. The conservation area Highland Titles runs is genuinely valued by the people of Glencoe. And if it gives you a minor laugh, fill your boots.

  17. Everything is very open with a very clear explanation of the law. Highland Titles is all about land conservation, and I wanted a gift to give back to Mother Earth. Over the last thousand years, the forests throughout Scotland have been destroyed by industry and farming. I want to help put that right.

  18. I read about this on Twitter. I just had to get one for my wife and she loved it. Thanks for your help in finding the best deal.

  19. I AUTHORISE and require all persons at all times to describe, designate and address me by my adopted name and title of Lady Regina

  20. I have recently been bought a plot of land in Glencoe by my wife as an anniversary gift and with it, the title ‘the Lord’. I think it’s a fantastic gift as it is something that will last forever. Great info!

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