Iain Moncreiffe

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Rupert Iain Kay Moncreiffe of that Ilk

Bust of Sir Iain Moncrieffe of that Ilk (1919 - 1985) - geograph.org.uk - 988167.jpg
Bust of Sir Iain Moncreiffe in the Register House, Edinburgh
BornApril 9, 1919
Died27 February 1985 (1985-02-28) (aged 65)
OccupationOfficer of Arms, genealogist
Alma materUniversity of Edinburgh
Christ Church, Oxford
SubjectGenealogy, heraldry
Notable worksSimple Heraldry (1953)
Blood Royal (1956)
The Highland Clans (1967)
SpouseDiana Hay, 23rd Countess of Erroll
Hermione Patricia Faulkner
1966-1985 (his death)
ChildrenMerlin Hay, 24th Earl of Erroll
Peregrine David Moncreiffe of that Ilk
Alexandra Moncreiffe Hay

Sir Rupert Iain Kay Moncreiffe of that Ilk, 11th Baronet, CVO, QC (9 April 1919 – 27 February 1985), Chief of Clan Moncreiffe, was a British Officer of Arms and genealogist. [lower-alpha 1]

Royal Victorian Order series of awards in an order of chivalry of the United Kingdom

The Royal Victorian Order is a dynastic order of knighthood established in 1896 by Queen Victoria. It recognises distinguished personal service to the monarch of the Commonwealth realms, members of the monarch's family, or to any viceroy or senior representative of the monarch. The present monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, is the Sovereign of the order, its motto is Victoria, and its official day is 20 June. The order's chapel is the Savoy Chapel in London.

Queens Counsel jurist appointed by letters patent

A Queen's Counsel, or King's Counsel during the reign of a king, is an eminent lawyer who is appointed by the monarch to be one of "Her Majesty's Counsel learned in the law." The term is recognised as an honorific. The position exists in some Commonwealth jurisdictions around the world, but other Commonwealth countries have either abolished the position, or re-named it to eliminate monarchical connotations, such as "Senior Counsel" or "Senior Advocate". Queen's Counsel is an office, conferred by the Crown, that is recognised by courts. Members have the privilege of sitting within the bar of court.

Genealogy study of families and the tracing of their lineages and history

Genealogy, also known as family history, is the study of families and the tracing of their lineages and history. Genealogists use oral interviews, historical records, genetic analysis, and other records to obtain information about a family and to demonstrate kinship and pedigrees of its members. The results are often displayed in charts or written as narratives.



Moncreiffe was the son of Lieutenant-Commander Gerald Moncreiffe, RN, and Hilda, daughter of the Comte de Miremont, he succeeded his cousin as 11th Baronet and Chief of Clan Moncreiffe in 1957. [1]

Royal Navy Maritime warfare branch of the United Kingdoms military

The Royal Navy (RN) is the United Kingdom's naval warfare force. Although warships were used by the English kings from the early medieval period, the first major maritime engagements were fought in the Hundred Years War against the Kingdom of France. The modern Royal Navy traces its origins to the early 16th century; the oldest of the UK's armed services, it is known as the Senior Service.

Clan Moncreiffe

Clan Moncreiffe is a Scottish clan.

Educated at Stowe School, Heidelberg, and Christ Church, Oxford, as a cadet officer Moncreiffe trained with Derek Bond (actor) and Patrick Leigh Fermor, [2] he later served in the Scots Guards during the Second World War, then as attaché at the British embassy in Moscow, before studying Scots Law at the University of Edinburgh. He was awarded a PhD (1958) with a thesis on the Origins and Background of the Law of Succession to Arms and Dignities in Scotland. [3]

Stowe School independent school in Stowe, Buckinghamshire, England

Stowe School is a selective independent school in Stowe, Buckinghamshire. It was opened on 11 May 1923, initially with 99 schoolboys, and with J. F. Roxburgh as the first headmaster. The school is a member of the Rugby Group, the Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference, and the G20 Schools' Group. Originally for boys only, the school is now coeducational, with some 550 boys and 220 girls.

Christ Church, Oxford constituent college of the University of Oxford in England

Christ Church is a constituent college of the University of Oxford in England. Christ Church is a joint foundation of the college and the cathedral of the Oxford diocese, which serves as the college chapel and whose dean is ex officio the college head.

Derek Bond British actor

Derek William Douglas Bond, MC was a British actor. He was President of the trade union Equity, 1984 – 1986.

A prominent member of the Lyon Court, Moncreiffe held the offices of Falkland Pursuivant (1952), Kintyre Pursuivant (1953), Unicorn Pursuivant (1955), and (from 1961) Albany Herald. He wrote a popular work about the Scottish clans, The Highland Clans (1967), and with Don Pottinger Simple Heraldry, Cheerfully Illustrated (1953), Simple Custom (1954), and Blood Royal (1956), but his interests also extended to Georgian and Byzantine noble genealogies. Lord of the Dance, A Moncreiffe Miscellany, edited by Hugh Montgomery-Massingberd encompassed his genealogical world-view. [4]

Kintyre Pursuivant

Kintyre Pursuivant of Arms was a Scottish pursuivant of arms of the Court of the Lord Lyon.

Unicorn Pursuivant

Unicorn Pursuivant of Arms in Ordinary is a current Scottish pursuivant of arms in Ordinary of the Court of the Lord Lyon.

Albany Herald

Albany Herald of Arms is a Scottish herald of arms of the Court of the Lord Lyon.

He was elected a Fellow of the American Society of Genealogists in 1969. [5]

The American Society of Genealogists is the scholarly honorary society of the genealogical field. Founded by John Insley Coddington, Arthur Adams, and Meredith B. Colket, Jr., in December 1940, its membership is limited to 50 living fellows. ASG publishes The Genealogist, a scholarly journal of genealogical research semi-annually since 1980.

He was an incorrigible snob; he even called himself Master Snob. [6] He took silk (relatively late in his career) because very few barristers specialised in heraldic matters and he wished to highlight the importance of this field of speciality. He was a frequent writer of amusing and often illuminating letters to newspapers, particularly The Daily Telegraph , and provided the introduction to Douglas Sutherland's satirical book The English Gentleman (1978). He held membership in many London clubs and founded his own club in Edinburgh, called Puffin's Club, – the name was taken from the nickname of Sir Iain's first wife, 'Puffin', Diana Hay, 23rd Countess of Erroll. It was and continues to be a weekly luncheon club, which between the early 1960s and late 1990s met in Martin's restaurant in Rose Street Lane North, Edinburgh. It still meets monthly in London and Edinburgh. The membership was and is as varied and eccentric as its founder. Ex-King Zog I, King of Albania paid his founding subscription of £5 in 1961, but died before he could attend. The actor Terence Stamp, Sir Nicholas Fairbairn, Sir Fitzroy Maclean and Lord Dacre all attended with varying frequency. It was said that at some point half the crowned heads of Europe were on the list. [7]

<i>The Daily Telegraph</i> British daily broadsheet newspaper

The Daily Telegraph, commonly referred to simply as The Telegraph, is a national British daily broadsheet newspaper published in London by Telegraph Media Group and distributed across the United Kingdom and internationally. It was founded by Arthur B. Sleigh in 1855 as Daily Telegraph & Courier.

Douglas Chalmers Hutchinson Sutherland was a British author and journalist, who was born at Bongate Hall, Appleby-in-Westmorland, in 1919. He always joked that the error of judgement in his not being born in Scotland was compensated for a year later by his family's moving to live in the remote island of Stronsay in Orkney.

<i>The English Gentleman</i> book by Douglas Sutherland

The English Gentleman (1978) is a humorous book written by Douglas Sutherland and illustrated by Timothy Jacques, with an introduction by Sir Iain Moncreiffe of that Ilk. The book acts as a satirical guide to the life of an English gentleman in various contexts, featuring such chapters as "The Gentleman at Play", "The Gentleman at War", and "The Gentleman and the Opposite Sex".


Moncreiffe married twice. Firstly Diana Hay, 23rd Countess of Erroll, whom he married on 19 December 1946 at St Margaret's, Westminster. He and Lady Erroll were one of the few couples who both held titles in their own right. They had three children, see Diana Hay, 23rd Countess of Erroll

Moncreiffe's first marriage was dissolved in 1964 and in 1966 he took as his second wife Hermione Patricia Faulkner, daughter of Lieutenant-Colonel Walter Douglas Faulkner by his marriage to Patricia Katherine Montagu Douglas Scott, the present Dowager Countess of Dundee.[ citation needed ]


  1. He used various forms of his name: His columns for Books and Bookmen were signed Iain Moncreiffe; Royal Highness is by Sir Iain Moncreiffe of that Ilk, Bt.; Simple Heraldry is by Sir Iain Moncrieffe of Easter Moncreiffe. Like other Scottish landowners, and other baronets, he distinguished himself from other Moncreiffes by referring to his estate: of that Ilk is Scots for "of the same [place]", since his estate was Moncreiffe Island itself; (Easter Moncreiffe was the name of his house; Moncreiffe House burnt down in 1957, and its ruins were inherited by his cousin's daughter).
  1. Way, George and Squire, Romily. Collins Scottish Clan & Family Encyclopedia. (Foreword by The Rt Hon. The Earl of Elgin KT, Convenor, The Standing Council of Scottish Chiefs). Published in 1994. Pages 276 - 277.
  2. Bond, Derek (1990). Steady, old man!: don't you know there's a war on?. Leo Cooper. p. 19. ISBN   9780850520460.
  3. Sir Iain Moncrieffe of that Ilk, The Law of Succession; Origins and Background of the Law of Succession to Arms and Dignities in Scotland, John Donald, Edinburgh 2010
  4. Debrett's Peerage Limited, London, 1986.
  5. "Fellows > All Fellows". Fasg.org. 31 July 2013. Retrieved 17 January 2019.
  6. Powell, Anthony (1990). Miscellaneous verdicts: writings on writers, 1946-1989. Heinemann. p. 51. ISBN   9780434599288.
  7. "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 14 December 2013. Retrieved 16 August 2013.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)

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Further reading

Heraldic offices
Preceded by
Falkland Pursuivant
Succeeded by
Don Pottinger
Kintyre Pursuivant
Succeeded by
Charles Jauncey
Preceded by
Gordon Dalyell of the Binns
Unicorn Pursuivant
Succeeded by
Don Pottinger
Preceded by
Charles Ian Fraser
Albany Herald
1961 – bef. 1985
Succeeded by
John Spens