The Laird Title

What exactly is a Laird Title?Laird

Laird is more than just a courtesy title which anyone can adopt informally. It is a descriptive title as old as Scotland which has been in continuous use for a thousand years. Laird is not a noble title, although according to Debretts it is a title that is recognised by the Crown. In normal use it is tied to the ownership of land.

Let’s turn to Lord Lyon, Scotland’s acknowledged expert in matters of heraldry. He defines a laird title as:

The term ‘laird’ has generally been applied to the owner of an estate, sometimes by the owner himself or, more commonly, by those living and working on the estate. It is a description rather than a title”.

The prestigious Oxford English Dictionary (OED) concurs:

In Scotland, a person who owns a large estate

Historically Large Estates were perhaps thousands of acres, but the modern laird often settles for a square foot. Large is, after all, a relative term!

Laird is a title bound to the ownership of land, in the same way that the English Lord of the Manor. In fact, Laird is simply the Scots form of Lord (OED)

Laird (LORD) means landowner
Laird (LORD) means landowner

1 thought on “The Laird Title

  1. I rather think, however, that new Lairds do not arise simply by buying a “large” (however big that may be) bit of Scotland?

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