We are all aware of the bizarre and fake claims being made by some within our own family and their misuse of the Chief’s arms, but it seems that even the Lyon Court has limits to his patience, even if they live outside of Scotland.
At the end of the day, fraud is fraud, and those who condone or support it have to be accessories to the fact – it really is that simple.
Lord of Lochaber
The Lord of Lochaber was a title in the peerage of Scotland. Lochaber historically consisted of the former parishes of Kilmallie and Kilmonivaig, prior to the reduction of these parishes, the lands extended from the northern shore of Loch Leven to beyond Spean Bridge and Roy Bridge, known as Brae Lochaber. The last Lord Lochaber died in 1728.
Those who held the title include
- John II Comyn (??-1302)
- John III Comyn (1302-1306)
- Aonghus Óg Mac Domhnaill, Lord of Islay (died 1314×1318/c.1330)
- John Randolph, 3rd Earl of Moray (??-1346)
- John of Islay, Lord of the Isles (1376–1386)
- Alistair Carragh Macdonald (1386-1431)
- forfeited to the Crown
- George Gordon, 1st Duke of Gordon (1684-1716)
- Alexander Gordon, 2nd Duke of Gordon (1678-1728)
General Alexander Gordon, 2nd Duke of Gordon (c. 1678-1728), styled Earl of Enzie until 1684 and the Marquess of Huntly from 1684 to 1716, was a Scottish peer and the last Lord of Lochaber.
Gordon was the son of George Gordon, 1st Duke of Gordon and Lady Elizabeth Howard, the daughter of the Roman Catholic Henry Howard, 6th Duke of Norfolk. He fought with the Jacobites at the battle of Sheriffmuir, with three hundred horsemen and two thousand foot. On 12 February 1716, he surrendered at Gordon Castle to John Gordon, 16th Earl of Sutherland. He was imprisoned at Edinburgh, but obtained a pardon when his father died and entered his inheritance as 2nd Duke on 7 December 1716.
He is mentioned in the Jacobite riddling song Cam Ye O’er Frae France, referred to as “Cockalorum”, an epithet derived from the traditional nickname of the head of the Gordon clan, “Cock o’ the North”
The Fake Lord of Lochaber
According the the Scottish news paper The Press and Journal (December 2019), the Lyon Court has ordered ‘Lord of Lochaber’ to stop using the ”fraudulent’ title and coat of arms’.
Officials tasked with looking after Scottish heraldry have told the “Lord of Lochaber” to stop using a “fraudulent document” detailing how he is allowed to use the title.
Staff working for the Lord Lyon King of Arms have instructed a man called Pierre Desprez to stop using a document called a letters patent because it is a counterfeit.
The document, which is displayed on an internet website states that the Lord Lyon, Dr Joseph Morrow, has allowed Mr Desprez to use the title of Lord of Lochaber.
“Lord” Desprez also claims he is entitled to use a set of arms.
However, the Lord Lyon states that the arms which Mr Desprez claims to be allowed to use was granted to the Burgh of Fort William on June 17 1930.
Now the Lord Lyon’s court has demanded that Desprez stops displaying the document and stops using the arms.
On the Lyon Court’s Twitter feed yesterday, the document was described as a “crude forgery”.
The tweet states: “The document was not signed by Dr Joseph John Morrow, Lord Lyon King of Arms, nor was it sealed with the seal of the Court of the Lord Lyon.
“The arms appear to be arms granted by the Court of the Lord Lyon to the Burgh of Fort William on June 17 1930 as recorded at Folio 25 of Volume 29 of the Public Register of All Arms and Bearings in Scotland.”
“Pierre Desprez has no right to use these arms.
“The Lyon Office draws to the attention of the public that the document is fraudulent.
“The Lyon Office has written to the address given in the fraudulent document drawing attention to these matters and demanding that Pierre Desprez cease and desist displaying it.”
The Lord Lyon King of Arms is one of the Great Offices of State in Scotland.
He regulates heraldry and sits as a judge in the Court of Lyon, the oldest heraldic Court in the world.
Dr Morrow, the former vice lord lieutenant of Dundee, was appointed to the post in January 2014.
According to Wikipedia, the Lord of Lochaber was a title in the peerage of Scotland. Previous holders of the post included John Comyn of Badenoch, who held the post between 1302 and 1306. His uncle was John Balliol who abdicated from being King of Scotland in 1296.