Lord High Commissioner to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland


Lord High Commissioner to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland

The Lord High Commissioner to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland is the British Sovereign's personal representative to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland (the Kirk), reflecting the Church's role as the national church of Scotland, and the Sovereign's role as protector and member of that Church.

History

Lord High Commissioners were appointed to the Parliament of the Kingdom of Scotland between 1603 and 1707 as the Sovereign's personal representative. The Act of Union 1707 made this function redundant, but a Lord High Commissioner to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland has been appointed each year, as the Sovereign's personal representative, since 1690.

Prior to 1929 the General Assembly was held in the former Tolbooth Highland St John's Church on Edinburgh's Royal Mile (this building is no longer used as a church, instead being converted into "The Hub" for the Edinburgh International Festival society). A Throne was provided for the use of the Lord High Commissioner. The union of the Church of Scotland and the (non-established) United Free Church of Scotland took place in 1929. Since 1930 the General Assembly has always met in the former United Free Church Assembly hall on The Mound, Edinburgh. The Lord High Commissioner sits on the Throne in the Royal Gallery, which is technically "outside" the Assembly Hall - symbolising the independence of the Church in matters spiritual from state interference. The very first Assembly of the newly-united church in 1929 was held in halls in Annandale Street, Edinburgh (now a bus garage), the only building large enough. Difficulty in accessing the Royal Gallery in this temporary location led to a seemingly trivial but nevertheless embarrassing dispute over protocol, whereby the Lord High Commissioner (the Duke of York, later King George VI) would have had to enter through the Assembly Hall itself - an act of symbolic state interference in the hard-won spiritual independence of the church. The Moderator, Dr John White, was adamant that this would be unacceptable, even suggesting that the post of Lord High Commissioner could be dispensed with. Eventually a suitable arrangement was agreed upon and the office of Lord High Commissioner has survived.

Functions

The office is now - and indeed was always - largely ceremonial; the person appointed invariably has a distinguished record of public service in Scotland as well as having close connections with the church, often being Elders of the Church of Scotland.

On behalf of the Sovereign, the Lord High Commissioner attends the General Assembly, makes opening and closing addresses to the Assembly, and carries out a number of official visits and ceremonial functions, not all related to the Church of Scotland. At the formal opening of the General Assembly, the Principal Clerk reads out the Royal Warrant appointing the Lord High Commissioner. The Lord High Commissioner is then invited to address the Assembly. All ministers, elders and deacons appointed by Presbyteries to attend the General Assembly are known as "Commissioners" and have voting powers; the Lord High Commissioner has no vote, nor may he/she intervene in debates.

Apart from his/her opening and closing addresses the Lord High Commissioner makes no further intenvention in Assembly debates, but will be in daily attendance for at least part of each day's business. Following the Assembly the Lord High Commissioner personally informs The Queen about the business of the week.

Form of address

While the General Assembly is meeting, the Lord High Commissioner is treated as if a Regent. By custom, he or she is addressed as "Your Grace", and is greeted with a bow or curtsey. When the Princess Royal was appointed in 1996, she was styled as "Her Grace" for the duration rather than her normal dynastic style "Her Royal Highness" because the Lord High Commissioner is ranked higher in the order of Precedence.

If a woman is appointed to the office, the alternative title "Her Majesty's High Commissioner" may, if requested, be used. Margaret Herbison was the first woman to hold the post (1970 & 1971).

Residence

Since 1834 the Lord High Commissioner has resided at the Scottish royal Palace of Holyroodhouse and gives a garden party for Commissioners to the General Assembly on the Saturday afternoon of Assembly week and other hospitality. He or she is entitled to use the Scottish Royal Banner — the lion rampant flag, and has precedence immediately after the Sovereign and the Duke of Edinburgh and before the rest of the Royal Family. Even his or her official car receives special treatment and, except for The Queen's, is the only vehicle in the country not to have number plates. However, the plates are re-attached during the closing speech of the Assembly, and the Lord High Commissioner returns to his royal but temporary residence as an ordinary citizen.

Household

There is a Household of His Grace the Lord High Commissioner. This includes the Purse Bearer (who is the head of the Household), Chaplain, Aides-de-Camp (three in 1949), a Lady-in-Waiting, Extra Lady-in-Waiting, and Maids of Honour (three in 1949). The Macebearer bears the Lord President's Mace or the Old Exchequer Mace. The Master of the Horse is no longer appointed. The subordinate staff further includes the Assistant to the Purse Bearer, and a Lady's Maid.

List of Purse Bearers

*Tom Murray, WS since 2001
*Robin Blair, LVO WS 1988-2001
*Sir Charles Fraser, KCVO 1969-1988
*Sir Alastair Blair, KCVO TD WS JP 1961-1969
*DC Scott-Moncreiffe, CVO TD WS 1959-1960
*Lieutenant-Colonel Sir Edward Daymonde-Stevenson, KCVO MC 1930-1958

Previous Lords High Commissioner

* 1580 The Laird of Lundie and Sir James Balfour of Pittendreich
* 1581 The Laird of Caprington
* 1582 "(April)" Ralph Kerr, later Earl of Dalkeith
* 1582 "(Oct.)" James Halyburton and Colonel William Stewart"incomplete"
* 1639 Earl of Traquair
* 1640 "none"
* 1641 John Wemyss, 1st Earl of Wemyss
* 1642 Charles Seton, 2nd Earl of Dunfermline
* 1643 Sir Thomas Hope
* 1644 - 1645 "none"
* 1646 "Letter from the King regretting that no Commissioner could be sent"
* 1647 - 1650 "none"
* 1651 Lord Balcarres
* 1652 "none"
* 1653 "none"
* 1653–1690 "no General Assembly"
* 1690 John, Lord Carmichael
* 1692 Robert Kerr, 4th Earl of Lothian
* 1694 - 1699 John, Lord Carmichael
* 1700 James Ogilvy, Viscount Seafield
* 1701 William Johnstone, Earl of Annandale
* 1702 Patrick Hume, 1st Earl of Marchmont
* 1703 James Ogilvy, Viscount Seafield
* 1704 William, Lord Ross
* 1705 William Johnstone, Earl of Annandale
* 1706 - 1710 David Boyle, 1st Earl of Glasgow
* 1711 William Johnstone, Earl of Annandale
* 1712 - 1714 John Murray, 1st Duke of Atholl
* 1715 - 1721 John Hamilton-Leslie, 9th Earl of Rothes
* 1722 Hugh Campbell, 3rd Earl of Loudoun
* 1723 Charles Hope, 1st Earl of Hopetoun
* 1724 James Ogilvy, 4th Earl of Findlater and 1st Earl of Seafield
* 1725 Hugh Campbell, 3rd Earl of Loudoun
* 1726 Hugh Campbell, 3rd Earl of Loudoun
* 1727 James Ogilvy, 4th Earl of Findlater and 1st Earl of Seafield
* 1728 Hugh Campbell, 3rd Earl of Loudoun
* 1729 David Erskine, 9th Earl of Buchan
* 1730 Hugh Campbell, 3rd Earl of Loudoun
* 1731 Hugh Campbell, 3rd Earl of Loudoun
* 1732 – 1738 William Kerr, 3rd Marquess of Lothian
* 1739 - 1740 John Carmichael, 3rd Earl of Hyndford
* 1741 - 1753 Alexander Melville, 5th Earl of Leven
* 1754 John Hope, 2nd Earl of Hopetoun
* 1755 - 1763 Charles Schaw Cathcart, 9th Lord Cathcart
* 1764 - 1772 John Boyle, 3rd Earl of Glasgow
* 1773 - 1776 Charles Schaw Cathcart, 9th Lord Cathcart
* 1777 - 1782 George Ramsay, 8th Earl of Dalhousie
* 1783 - 1801 David Melville, 6ht Earl of Leven, 5th Earl of Melville
* 1802 - 1816 Francis Napier, 8th Lord Napier
* 1817 - 1818 William Hay, 17th Earl of Erroll
* 1819 - 1824 George Douglas, 16th Earl of Morton
* 1825 - 1830 James Ochoncar Forbes, 18th Lord Forbes
* 1831 - 1841 Robert Montgomery Hamilton, 8th Lord Belhaven and Stenton
* 1842 - 1846 John Crichton-Stuart, 2nd Marquess of Bute
* 1847 - 1857 (except 1852) Lord Belhaven and Stenton
* 1852 - William David Murray, 4th Earl of Mansfield and Mansfield
* 1858 - William David Murray, 4th Earl of Mansfield and Mansfield
* 1859 - William David Murray, 4th Earl of Mansfield and Mansfield
* 1860 - 1866 Lord Belhaven and Stenton
* 1867 - 1868 George Baillie-Hamilton, 10th Earl of Haddington
* 1869 - 1871 John Hamilton Dalrymple, 10th Earl of Stair
* 1872 - 1873 David Graham Drummond-Ogilvy, Earl of Airlie
* 1874 - 1875 Francis, St Clair-Erskine, Earl of Rosslyn
* 1876 - 1877 Alan Plantagenet Stewart, Earl of Galloway
* 1878 - 1880 Francis, St Clair-Erskine, Earl of Rosslyn
* 1881 - 1885 John Campbell Hamilton-Gordon, 7th Earl of Aberdeen
* 1886 Thomas John Hovell-Thurlow-Cumming-Bruce, 5th Baron Thurlow
* 1887 John Adrian Louis Hope, 7th Earl of Hopetoun
* 1888 John Adrian Louis Hope, 7th Earl of Hopetoun
* 1889 John Adrian Louis Hope, 7th Earl of Hopetoun
* 1889 William Montagu Hay, 10th Marquess of Tweeddale
* 1890 William Montagu Hay, 10th Marquess of Tweeddale
* 1891 William Montagu Hay, 10th Marquess of Tweeddale
* 1892 William Montagu Hay, 10th Marquess of Tweeddale
* 1893 1895 Gavin Campbell, 1st Marquess of Breadalbane
* 1896 William Montagu Hay, 10th Marquess of Tweeddale
* 1897 William Montagu Hay, 10th Marquess of Tweeddale
* 1898 - 1906 Ronald Ruthven Leslie-Melville, 11th Earl of Leven and 10th Earl of Melville
* 1907 Arthur Fitzgerald Kinnaird, 11th Lord Kinnaird
* 1908 Arthur Fitzgerald Kinnaird, 11th Lord Kinnaird
* 1909 Arthur Fitzgerald Kinnaird, 11th Lord Kinnaird
* 1910 John Hew North Gustave Henry Hamilton Dalrymple, 11th Earl of Stair
* 1911 Edward Priaulx Tennant, 1st Baron Glenconner
* 1912 Edward Priaulx Tennant, 1st Baron Glenconner
* 1913 Edward Priaulx Tennant, 1st Baron Glenconner
* 1914 Edward Priaulx Tennant, 1st Baron Glenconner
* 1915 John Campbell Hamilton-Gordon, 7th Earl of Aberdeen
* 1916 Douglas Beresford Malise Ronald Graham, 5th Duke of Montrose
* 1917 Douglas Beresford Malise Ronald Graham, 5th Duke of Montrose
* 1918 John George Stewart-Murray, 8th Duke of Atholl
* 1919 John George Stewart-Murray, 8th Duke of Atholl
* 1920 John George Stewart-Murray, 8th Duke of Atholl
* 1921 George Granville Sutherland-Leveson-Gower, 5th Duke of Sutherland
* 1922 George Granville Sutherland-Leveson-Gower, 5th Duke of Sutherland
* 1923 Sydney Herbert Elphinstone, 16th Lord Elphinstone
* 1924 Rt Hon James Brown MP
* 1925 Edward James Bruce, 10th Earl of Elgin, 14th Earl of Kincardine
* 1926 Edward James Bruce, 10th Earl of Elgin, 14th Earl of Kincardine
* 1927 John Dalrymple, 12th Earl of Stair
* 1928 John Dalrymple, 12th Earl of Stair
* 1929 HRH The Duke of York "(later George VI)"
* 1930 Rt Hon James Brown MP
* 1931 Rt Hon James Brown MP
* 1932 Sir Iain Colquhoun, 7th Baronet
* 1933 John Buchan, 1st Baron Tweedsmuir, author (The 39 Steps)
* 1934 John Buchan, 1st Baron Tweedsmuir
* 1935 HRH The Duke of Kent
* 1936 Kenneth Fitzgerald Kinnaird, 12th Lord Kinnaird
* 1937 Kenneth Fitzgerald Kinnaird, 12th Lord Kinnaird
* 1938 Lt Col Sir John Gilmour
* 1939 Lt Col Sir John Gilmour
* 1940 Sir Iain Colquhoun, 7th Baronet
* 1941 Sir Iain Colquhoun, 7th Baronet
* 1942 James Graham, 6th Duke of Montrose
* 1943 James Graham, 6th Duke of Montrose
* 1944 Victor Alexander John Hope, 2nd Marquess of Linlithgow
* 1945 Victor Alexander John Hope, 2nd Marquess of Linlithgow
* 1946 George Mathers MP, later Baron Mathers
* 1947 George Mathers MP
* 1948 George Mathers MP
* 1949 HRH The Duke of Gloucester
* 1950 Andrew Browne Cunningham, 1st Viscount Cunningham of Hyndhope
* 1951 George Mathers MP
* 1952 Andrew Browne Cunningham, 1st Viscount Cunningham of Hyndhope
* 1953 Douglas Douglas-Hamilton, 14th Duke of Hamilton
* 1954 Douglas Douglas-Hamilton, 14th Duke of Hamilton
* 1955 Douglas Douglas-Hamilton, 14th Duke of Hamilton
* 1956 Walter Elliot
* 1957 Walter Elliot
* 1958 Douglas Douglas-Hamilton, 14th Duke of Hamilton
* 1959 Francis David Charteris, 12th Earl of Wemyss, 8th Earl of March
* 1960 Francis David Charteris, 12th Earl of Wemyss, 8th Earl of March
* 1961 - 1963 HRH The Duke of Gloucester
* 1964 General Sir Richard O'Connor
* 1965 - 1966 Harald Robert Leslie, The Hon Lord Birsay CBE QC TD
* 1967 John Reith, 1st Baron Reith
* 1968 John Reith, 1st Baron Reith
* 1969 "HM The Queen attended in person"
* 1970 Rt Hon Margaret Herbison
* 1971 Ronald John Bilsland Colville, 2nd Baron Clydesmuir
* 1972 Ronald John Bilsland Colville, 2nd Baron Clydesmuir
* 1973 - 1974 Rt Hon Lord Ballantrae, of Auchairne and the Bay of Islands GCMG GCVO DSO OBE
* 1975 - 1976 Sir Hector MacLennan Kt FRCPGlas FRCOG
* 1977 Francis David Charteris, 12th Earl of Wemyss, 8th Earl of March
* 1978 - 1979 The Rt Hon William Ross MBE LLD (former Secretary of State for Scotland)
* 1980 Andrew Douglas Alexander Thomas Bruce, 11th Earl of Elgin, 15th Earl of Kincardine
* 1981 Andrew Douglas Alexander Thomas Bruce, 11th Earl of Elgin, 15th Earl of Kincardine
* 1982 Col Sir John Edward Gilmour, 3rd Baronet
* 1983 Col Sir John Edward Gilmour, 3rd Baronet
* 1984 Charles Hector Fitzroy Maclean, 1st Baron Maclean of Duart
* 1985 Charles Hector Fitzroy Maclean, 1st Baron Maclean of Duart
* 1986 John Campbell Arbuthnott, 16th Viscount of Arbuthnott
* 1987 John Campbell Arbuthnott, 16th Viscount of Arbuthnott
* 1988 Captain Sir Iain Mark Tennant
* 1989 Captain Sir Iain Mark Tennant
* 1990 The Rt Hon Donald MacArthur Ross, Lord Ross, Lord Justice Clerk
* 1991 The Rt Hon Lord Ross
* 1992 Lord Macfarlane of Bearsden
* 1993 Lord Macfarlane of Bearsden
* 1994 Lady Marion Anne Fraser
* 1995 Lady Marion Anne Fraser
* 1996 HRH The Princess Royal
* 1997 Lord Macfarlane of Bearsden
* 1998 Lord Hogg of Cumbernauld
* 1999 Lord Hogg of Cumbernauld
* 2000 HRH The Duke of Rothesay "(Charles, Prince of Wales)"
* 2001 Viscount Younger of Leckie, former Secretary of State for Scotland (as George Younger MP)
* 2002 "HM The Queen attended in person"
* 2003 Lord Steel of Aikwood, former Presiding Officer of the Scottish Parliament and former Leader of the Liberal Democrats
* 2004 Lord Steel of Aikwood
* 2005 Lord Mackay of Clashfern, former Lord Chancellor
* 2006 Lord Mackay of Clashfern
* 2007 HRH The Duke of York
*2008: Rt. Hon. George Reid , former Presiding Officer of the Scottish Parliament

ee also

* The Monarch's religious role in the Commonwealth Realms
* List of Moderators of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland
* Order of precedence in Scotland
* Lord Lieutenant

ources, References and External links

* [http://www.churchofscotland.org.uk/servingscotland/genassembly.htm#lordhigh Church of Scotland website]


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Lord High Commissioner to the Parliament of Scotland — The Lord High Commissioners to the Parliament of Scotland, sometimes referred to as the fifth estate of the Estates of Scotland, were the Scottish Sovereign s personal representative to the Parliament of Scotland following James VI of Scotland s… …   Wikipedia

  • Lord High Commissioner to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland — Der Royal Standard von Schottland ist auch das Banner des Hohen Kommissar der Generalversammlung der Church of Scotland Der Hohe Kommissar der Generalversammlung der Church of Scotland ist der persönliche Vertreter des Britischen Monarchen bei… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Lord High Commissioner — is the style of High Commissioners, i.e. direct representatives of the monarch, in three cases in the Kingdom of Scotland and the United Kingdom, two of which are no longer extant. Consequently the remaining office is often known in short simply… …   Wikipedia

  • General Assembly of the Church of Scotland — The General Assembly of the Church of Scotland is the sovereign and highest court of the Church of Scotland, and is thus the Church s governing body.Church courtsAs a Presbyterian church, the Church of Scotland is governed by courts of elders… …   Wikipedia

  • General Assembly Hall of the Church of Scotland — The Assembly Hall is located between the Lawnmarket and The Mound in Edinburgh, Scotland. It is the meeting place of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland. HistoryFollowing the Disruption in the Church of Scotland in 1843, the emergent… …   Wikipedia

  • lord high commissioner — noun : a commissioner who represents the British crown at the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland * * * Lord High Commissioner The representative of the Crown at the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland • • • Main Entry: ↑commission …   Useful english dictionary

  • List of Moderators of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland — is a complete list of Moderators of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland from the Reformation to the present day. Some listed below also currently have their own article. The location of the parish or other post during the Moderator s… …   Wikipedia

  • Church of Scotland — Modern logo of the Church of Scotland Classification Protestant Orientation Calvinist Polity …   Wikipedia

  • Church of Scotland — St Giles’ Cathedral in Edinburgh Die Church of Scotland (schott. gäl.: Eaglais na h Alba, dt.: Kirche Schottlands) ist die Nationalkirche in Schottland. Im allgemeinen, informellen Sprachgebrauch wird sie „the Kirk“ genannt. Sie ist nicht, wie… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Supreme Governor of the Church of England — The Supreme Governor of the Church of England is a title held by the British Monarchs which signifies their titular leadership over the Church of England. [ [http://www.royalinsight.gov.uk/output/Page4708.asp The Monarchy Today > Queen and State… …   Wikipedia


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.