How to address a Laird (Lord) or Lady

Loch Leven, Scotland

A laird is styled as ‘John Smith, Laird of [Lairdship]’ or simply ‘John Smith of [Lairdship]’. A female laird in her own right is styled as ‘Jane Smith, Lady of [Lairdship]’ or ‘The Lady [Lairdship]’.

The heir apparent of a lairdship is entitled to use the courtesy title ‘The Younger’ (abbreviation Yr) at the end of their name and the eldest daughter if heir apparent is entitled to use the courtesy title ‘Maid of [Lairdship]’ at the end of her name. Neither are titles of nobility or peerage.

The younger children of a laird are styled as ‘Mr John Smith’ if male and ‘Miss Jane Smith of [Lairdship]’ if female. A definite article is not used, and the ‘of’ must be retained to distinguish from titles of peerage.

Formally, a laird may be styled as ‘The Much Honoured John Smith of [Lairdship]’ or ‘The Much Honoured The Laird of [Lairdship]’ or ‘The Much Honoured John Smith, Laird of [Lairdship]’.

The wife of a laird or a woman holding a lairdship in her own right may be formally styled as ‘The Much Honoured Jane Smith of [Lairdship]’ or ‘The Much Honoured The Lady [Lairdship]’ or ‘The Much Honoured Jane Smith, Lady [Lairdship]’.

In Scotland it is common to write to lairds by their designation or estate, and not by their surname. Neither ‘Mr’ nor ‘Esq’ are added to the name on the envelope.

 

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