Society Information

Members of the Council

Sir Malcolm R Innes of Edingight, KCVO, KStJ, WS, FCA Scot, Orkney Herald of Arms Extraordinary, sometime Lord Lyon Kings of Arms and Secretary of the Order of the Thistle

Vice Presidents
Robin Blair, CVO, OStJ, MA, LLB, WS, Angus Herald of Arms Extraordinary, sometime Lord Lyon King or Arms and Secretary of the Order of the Thistle
David H Sellar, FSA Scot FR HistS, Lord Lyon, King of Arms

Lucilla, Lady Noble of Eilean Iarmain and Ardkinglas

Archd. C Macpherson Esq. LL B.

Ordinary Members
Alan Hay Esq.
Fiona Duck
Roderick Macdonald Esq. BSc. MSc.
Ronald Black Esq.
May McKerrell of Hillhouse
Malcolm Duck
Major ACS Macpherson "Younger of Biallid"

Charles McKerrell of Hillhouse
Sir Iain Fraser

Stuart Morris of Balgonie MStJ
Sheriff Roddy J Macleod

Charles R Davidson CA

Obituary Sir Iain Noble

AGM 2010

Obituary Dr Farquhar Macintosh

Bothwick Castle Dinner 2007

Sir Iain Noble Bt

Born 8 September 1935
Died 25 December 2010

Sir Iain Noble whose formal title was Third Baronet of Ardkinglas and Eilean Iarmain, was a major landowner on the Isle of Skye, a banker and businessman, a hotelier and distillery owner and a passionate activist on behalf of the Gaelic language. We were honoured to have him as an active Honorary President of the Royal Celtic Society.

He famously courted controversy by admitting he was a “racialist” in that he wanted to preserve the genetic purity of Skye by discouraging incomers from England. “I don’t have any English blood in my veins, a thing which I am inordinately proud of”, he told a conference in 2003.

Born in Berlin where his father was a diplomat he inherited the Baronetcy after his father’s death in 1987.

He had most of his education in Buenos Aires after his father was posted to Argentina, returning to the UK to attend Eton and then University College Oxford.

In 1969 he cofounded the Merchant Bank Noble Grossart in Edinburgh - it later became The Noble Group. When he was bought out in 1972 he bought the 23,000 acre Elean Iarmain Estate on Skye where he also purchased the Eilean Iarmain Hotel, now a popular, upmarket romantic getaway for couples from around the world and where Gaelic is the first language. He also founded, in 1976, the “Gaelic Whisky Company” which produces the award winning malt Poit Dhubh and the blends Te Bheag and MacNaMara.

In all his ventures Sir Iain practiced “positive discrimination” on behalf of Gaelic speakers and encouraged his staff to learn the language including a Polish woman who is manager of his hotel.

Sir Iain was a former Trustee of the National Museums of Scotland and as well as being President of the Royal Celtic Society he was a past President of the Saltire Society.

For the past ten years, after his retirement, he was Chairman and Chief Executive of Sir Iain Noble and Partners, Financial Advisers, Edinburgh.

Iain Noble was appointed OBE in 1988. He died peacefully at his home in Isle Ornsay, Skye on Christmas Day 2010 and is survived by his wife of 20 years, Lucilla, Lady Noble.

More than 300 people fought their way through blizzards to attend his funeral where Sir Iain was buried in a private grave at his estate on the Island. Before the internment a largely Gaelic funeral service was held at Sabhal Mor Ostaig which he had founded in 1972.

A memorial service was held at a packed Greyfriars Kirk on 8 April 2011.


  • Clan Macpherson House & Museum
  • North Uist Highland Games Committee
  • Kintyre Piping Society
  • Argyllshire Gathering
  • The Army School of Bagpipe Music & Drumming
  • Glenfinnan Games
  • The Northern Meeting Piping Committee
  • Solway Harps
  • Innerleithen Pipe Band
  • Corberry Park Pipers
  • Stockbridge Pipe Band
  • Annan Junior Pipe Band
  • Kirkcudbright and District Pipe Band
  • Moniaive Folk Festival
  • Gaelic Primary School Tollcross Edinburgh
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