Tuesday, 7 July 2020

Judges Reject Bid For Seat in House of Lords - unsurprisingly!

One or two of my readers may remember the "old" days, prior to the more recent popularity of Facebook and other heraldry forums, when we all gathered in that bear pit known as rec.heraldry, a Google Groups Forum. A familiar voice was that of Graham Nassau Gordon Senior-Milne, who owned the dignity of the Scottish feudal barony of Mordington, and had long maintained that, as a feudal baron, he had a right to a seat in the House of Lords. 

The Times Newspaper Headline 

On the 6th April 2011 Mr. Senior-Milne wrote (on rec.heraldry):
"Scottish feudal barons never ceased to be peers of the Scottish parliament. They were always under a duty to attend but were relieved of that duty only on condition that and only for so long as they appointed commissioners to represent them. The underlying duty to attend was still there and was never removed. Since they remained peers of parliament with a duty to attend they became, as peers of Scotland, peers of Great Britain under the Act of Union (sections 22 and 23). It is really very simple. And since Scottish feudal barons became 'peers of Great Britain' in 1707 they have continued to be so ever since and all of them became entitled to sit in the House of Lords under the Peerage Act of 1963 (The Act states that 'The holder of a peerage in the peerage of Scotland shall have the same right to receive writs of summons to attend the House of Lords and to sit and vote in that House as the holder of a peerage in the peerage of the United Kingdom; and the enactments relating to the election of Scottish representative peers shall cease to have effect.') Since their peerages are not 'hereditary' under the terms of the House of Lords Act 1999 but are 'in commercio' (they can be bought and sold), they were not deprived of their right to sit in the House of Lords by that Act. Ergo, I am a peer of Great Britain and entitled to sit in the House of Lords. Thank you. Now, where is my ermine cloak?
Of course, as peers of Great Britain they are entitled to supporters.
I suggest that you take the Lord Lyon to court on this basis.

PS This legal argument is watertight. "

One respondent quipped "If this is so, why haven't you taken your seat?" and another commented that "He may be right (I doubt it) but only a fool goes to court to fight a battle he cannot win."

Well, whether you regard Mr Senior-Milne as a fool or not, he clearly decided that he had a case and took his battle to court. It's probably not surprising that he did given that, in the opinion of the court, he is a serial litigator. Sadly, for him, he lost and his dreams of being wrapped in ermine are no more; he has lost his ermine comfort blanket! 

The full judgement of the Court can be found here: https://bit.ly/3f9fmxv

The report of the case in the Scottish Legal news can be found here: https://bit.ly/3iCV4yD

"Based on this analysis, he concluded: “We would accordingly have concluded, if it were relevant, that the Barony of Mordington did not confer any status either as a peer or as a member of the House of Lords. It was a minor barony unconnected with any peerage. On that basis, even if there had been an error in the Lord Ordinary’s reasoning, we would have refused permission to proceed.” Lord Drummond Young.

The armorial bearings of the (feudal) baron of Mordington, 
a dignity which does not allow the holder a seat in the House of Lords.

Blazon: Arms: Quarterly, 1st & 4th, Azure a cross moline between four fleur-de-lys Or (MILNE); 2nd & 3rd, per fess, Gules and Azure, a fess ermine between, in chief, two lions heads erased Or and, in base, a dolphin naiant embowed Argent (SENIOR).
Crest: The head, neck and wings of a swan bearing in its beak a Tudor rose Proper seeded Or.
Motto: 'Honore et amore' ('Honour and love').

Tuesday, 30 June 2020

Malta and its so called Chief Herald

The armorial bearings newly devised and used by the "Office of the Chief Herald of Malta".

You may be aware that earlier in the year I had been asked by Dr Danielle Mallia, Chief Investigating Officer at the Office of the Government Ombudsman (Malta), to respond to the FAQs posted on the website of the Chief Herald of Arms of Malta. 

The full details of my forensic examination of the FAQs is available here: Examination into the claims of the "Chief Herald of Malta".

In this response, I believe that I have been able to amply demonstrate that the Chief Herald has failed to prove that he, and therefore by definition, Heritage Malta, have the powers to regulate heraldry and to grant new armorial bearings or to register and or matriculate existing foreign armorial bearings that have no cultural or heritage connection with Malta; that the powers of Heritage Malta, as set down in the Act of its creation, are limited to the recording, preservations and promotion of Malta’s cultural heritage and that neither the Prime Minister, or the Cabinet, or any one Minister, have the powers to act in this matter without the consent of Parliament. 

I believe that whoever had the idea of creating a Chief Herald of Malta made an error and, in presenting the idea to the Cabinet, either overlooked or ignored the requirements set out in Section 10 of the Act setting out the powers of Heritage Malta which states quite clearly that matters pertaining to National Strategy for Cultural Heritage should be set out in a paper which will be tabled in Parliament for discussion. This would mean that all acts undertaken by the Chief Herald are ultra vires, have no foundation in law and are therefore void. 

There has, since my initial post, been an exchange of correspondence so I thought that you might appreciate an update. I have posted a note of the progress so far here: 

Friday, 19 June 2020

A Heraldry Addict's Online Gallery

Having a few moments to spare, I thought that I would allow public access to some of my Google Photo Albums. Those with a certain heraldic interest have been added, as a gallery, to my Heraldry Addict website (which is something of a new project and so is evolving). 

You can find my new Gallery by clicking on this link:

Heraldry Addict's Gallery

Wednesday, 17 June 2020

The Ceremonial Regalia of Ashton Court Leet - Talk now online

The latest of my talks, released today, is based upon items sold at auction in 2011 and is of interest from both an historical and heraldic viewpoint. We are going to look in some detail at the Ceremonial Regalia of the Manorial Court held at Ashton-under-Lyne.

Thursday, 11 June 2020

King's School Macclesfield

While we are on the subject of Macclesfield, back in January 2011, I was made very welcome when I made an heraldic visit to King's School Macclesfield.
Here is a photo I took of their grant of arms:

Memories from Macclesfield

Whilst sorting out my office I came across a cardboard tube that had been in the possession of the late Derek Richbell, a member of the Cheshire Heraldry Society. The tube contains a hand made gonfanon, a type of heraldic flag or banner, for the Macclesfield Heraldry Society (the original name of the now defunct Cheshire Heraldry Society).

In 1961 I was still in Primary School!

Wednesday, 10 June 2020

Mystery Bookplate

Here is one for the detectives. This mystery bookplate is in a copy of "A Catalogue of British Family Histories" acquired for the princely sum of £2 (I would not have bought the book had it not included the bookplate!). As you can see, it has at some point in its history been wantonly vandalised to remove the name of the original owner!

Judges Reject Bid For Seat in House of Lords - unsurprisingly!

One or two of my readers may remember the "old" days, prior to the more recent popularity of Facebook and other heraldry forums, ...

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