LANARKSHIRE, SCOTLAND — It was announced today that George Christopher Thomas, President of the Van Nuys Neighborhood Council and Publisher of the Van Nuys News Press, will soon become the Lord of Blackwood in the country of Scotland.
“It is a great honour and privilege to become a Lord in Scotland whilst preserving the Loch Woodland in Lanarkshire. I look forward to working with the environmental protection organization Native Woods Preservation, and hope more people in America decide to become a Lord or Lady in Scotland,” said Thomas.
As Laird and landowner of a portion of the Blackwood Estate (Loch wood) The Much Honoured George Christopher Thomas is entitled by Scottish law to carry the title Lord (Laird) of Blackwood. The Lairdship of Blackwood is one of the most notable and well documented Lairdships in Scotland. It has existed since medieval times, and in the 1500-1600s the seat of Blackwood was a feudal Barony. The Lairds of Blackwood have made their mark on Scottish history and are featured in Scottish lore, folk songs and noble tradition, and the Blackwood district has been their native soil for hundreds of years.
Loch Wood is a beautiful unspoiled woodland situated on the Blackwood Estate outside the village of Blackwood in Lanarkshire. The estate was the head seat of the renowned Weir/Vere family who came to Scotland in the 10th century and lived on the Blackwood Estate until the 1930s. The wood contains various ancient woodland indicator species along with an abundance of wildlife which benefits from this varied habitat. There are mainly native broadleaf species such as birch, beech, sycamore, oak, ash and alder with some native conifers like Scots pine.
The woodland offers some good sporting opportunities, like trekking and wildlife stalking. An enchanting stream, the Cander Water, flows throughout the estate. The Cander Water was once dammed to create a small loch for ice skating and fishing but the dam has since been breached. This now forms and attractive wetland area with a diverse range of plant species. There are also Victorian footpaths and a former lily pond inside the woodland.
The laird title is based on old Scots law and custom and is a title of “corporeal hereditament” (an inheritable property that has an explicit tie to the physical land). The title may not be bought or sold without the land, as opposed to a British lord title which follows the holder even if he sells the estate and moves somewhere else. Nevertheless, the laird title may be inherited and sold together with the land.
The title of laird is the Scottish equivalent to that of an English squire in the sense that it is a courtesy title and does not give the owner the right to sit in the House of Lords.
Many male lairds choose instead to use the English translation lord, since it is more well-known outside of Scotland. However, it should be noted that this is not the equivalent of an English lordship, which is a title of peerage.
The Lairdship of Blackwood is one of the most notable and well documented lairdships in Scotland. It has existed since medieval times, and in the 1500-1600s the seat of Blackwood was a feudal barony. The Lairds of Blackwood have made their mark on Scottish history and feature in Scottish lore, folk songs and noble tradition, and the Blackwood district has been their native soil for hundreds of years. Your property will be situated right at the centre of the Blackwood Estate in close proximity to the location of the original Blackwood House.
The Blackwood Estate was the head seat of the prominent Weir / Vere family from medieval times until the 1930s. Lord Thomas Macaulay, Victorian historian supreme, describes this family as ‘the longest and most illustrious line of nobles that England has seen’. The Veres were originally of French descent and have been linked to the Merovingian bloodline.
The history of the estate dates back to the Norman Conquest at the Battle of Hastings in 1066 when the De Vere family arrived in Britain from France. Ralph De Vere rebelled against Henry II and was taken prisoner alongside Richard the Lionheart in 1174. He subsequently formed an allegiance with King William I of Scotland and was awarded vast tracts of land in Lanarkshire. This land became known as Blackwood Estate, the largest estate in Lanarkshire.
In the 1600s the Laird of Blackwood Estate was a supporter of the Covenanters and in May 1685 Covenanter John Broun was shot close to Blackwood House. The martyr’s grave is located within the estate.
In 1733 Catherine Weir, heiress of Blackwood Estate, married the Honourable Charles Hope and the family name was changed to Hope Vere. In 1810 the family employed John Begg as land steward and he lived on the estate with his wife Isabella, younger sister of Scotland’s national poet Robert Burns. The Bard is said to have been a regular visitor at the estate. (For more information on the Blackwood Estate or how to become a Lord, please visit www.lairdofblackwood.com.)