Not long ago, I saw an interesting ad. It claimed: Become a Scottish Lord or Lady Today. Intrigued by all things fantastical, archaic and Scottish, I clicked to learn more. Shortly afterwards, I became a Lady.
But let’s put a little history to this first.
Back when Europeans were exploring The New World by boat and by foot, Scotsman Sir William Alexander devised a scheme that would profit the king in two manners. He “proposed that it might encourage development of a New Scotland if His Majesty were to offer a new order of baronets. The King liked the idea. After all, his creation of the Baronets of England in 1611 and the Baronets of Ireland in 1619 had raised £225,000 for the Crown.”
In other words, they’d sell land in New Scotland to men who wanted to gain status in Scottish society.
While some Baronets came to Canada and developed land, many didn’t. Yet, they were sworn in on Nova Scotia soil and received the title in society. How was this done?
Soil was brought from New Scotland (Nova Scotia in Latin) and put in an area of Edinburgh Castle, which was then declared Nova Scotia territory. It was here “knichts and gentlemen of cheife respect for the birth, place, or fortounes” became baronets, and they then could put Sir in front of their name.
“By the end of 1625 the first 22 Baronets of Nova Scotia were created”. The Order continued for 82 years and by 1707, 329 baronetcies were made. Many of these are honoured still today.
Much of this information and the quotes were found on Electric Scotland. The site contains more detailed information on this subject and a list of baronets along with notes of which ones still exist and which are defunct. If you have Scottish ancestors, it’s worth taking a look.
New Scotland Soil Still at the Castle
A plague marks the area that is still Nova Scotia territory at Edinburgh Castle, Scotland, so if you’re in the area, pop into Nova Scotia just for the fun of it. Images of the plaque can be viewed on Life as a Human website.
Scottish Lords and Ladies
Centuries ago, folks in Scotland bought land in New Scotland and gained a title. This month, this woman in New Scotland bought a plot of land in Scotland and became a Lady.
It’s fitting since my ancestor Alexander McDonald came from Scotland. He joined the 76th Regiment of Foot in 1778 and came to the American colonies to fight in the Revolutionary War. The warring done and the British having lost, Alexander arrived in Nova Scotia in 1783. Now, here I sit, with a parcel of land to my name across the vast Atlantic Ocean. This was something Alexander never had the opportunity to do in his beloved homeland.
Interested in learning more?
From the Established Titles website:
Our Title Packs are based on a historic Scottish land ownership custom, where landowners have been long referred to as “Lairds”, the Scottish term for “Lord”, with the female equivalent being “Lady”.
This is a purchase for a personal dedication for a souvenir plot of land. You may choose to title yourself with the title of Lord, Laird or Lady.
I have chosen to use it. I bought the piece of land that measures one foot by one foot to honour Alexander McDonald. Due to his courage, along with that of my other ancestors, I am alive and well in New Scotland. His Scottish blood runs through my veins. It keeps my bare legs warm at low temperatures; it fuels my anger when I need to stand up for myself; it fires my adventurous spirit; it ignites a never-give-up attitude.
Alexander McDonald died in his sixties after an adventurous life and fathering at least seven children, including my great great-grandfather.
More from the Established Titles website:
Every Lordship or Ladyship title pack contributes to the preservation and protection of woodland areas in Scotland. As the intention is for the land to be kept in its natural state, we ask that all interested parties do bear this in mind.
What do you get?
- One square foot of dedicated land on a private estate in Aberdeenshire, Scotland
- A printable certificate with a crest
As part of our concerted efforts, Established Titles has pledged to keep the entire woodland free from any other uses except for the peaceful enjoyment of the land, thereby protecting the biodiversity of the flora and fauna of the area. We have further pledged to protect the land from being disturbed by construction, sporting, driving or other similar activities.
With this purchase of land, not only do I become a Lady and honour Alexander, I help preserve and protect the woodland in his homeland. There will also be a tree planted for me.
It’s a win win situation. So what is a Lady and a Lord?
The title ranks below a baron and above a gentleman. Formerly, I could style my name as such: “The Much Honoured [Forename] [Surname] of [Lairdship]”. In other words, officially, I am The Much Honoured Diane McGyver of Moonshire Meadow. Cool.
My piece of land in Scotland is plot number: E525358. Almost sounds like a grave location, but I’m still on this side of the sod.
Interested in becoming a Scottish Lord or Lady? Check out Established Titles. No, I’m not affiliated. I just love my Scottish ancestry, helping preserve woodlands…and becoming a Lady. It will look cool on the inside cover of my books.