Big Brother: Big Baron .... coming on ITV
Feudalism Does Democracy?
Can it really be true? Is nothing sacred? Not even the Feudal Baronage of Scotland?
Apparently not. The Baron of Troup at Gardenstown has surrendered his title and after the trials of a Big Baron Contest on ITV during August, one of three contenders [actually it's seemingly only two] will be infeft as they say.... or used to say until the lands were separated from the title of Baron under the Abolition of Feudal Tenure Act 2000.
What Does it Take to Become a Baron these Days?
Well the going price for such a title with full armorial rights and the rest is about £50,000 these days unless it's McDonald in which case it's nearer to £1m.
But if you are a 'celebrity' like the three in Gardenstown all you have to do is campaign and seek to win over the serfs-nowbe-cum-electors. As the Sunday Times cutting here indicates Sex Pistol Michael McLaren [sounds Scottish enough although his campaign platform would not pass muster for the SNP] is intent on winning by 'Not Wanting To Win', whilst the other two, Mike Reid and Suzanne Shaw are playing it straight with Good Guy Manifestoes for their future feudal serfs.
[Sadly Mike Reid died late in July and uncertainty now quite properly surrounds the screening of the programme. Ed.]
click on image to enlarge
So what about the Barons hereabouts in The Pans?
Well that's a most interesting point because although it is not widely known, the Baron of Tranent David Garrison from the USA died last year and his title and that of his son, The Much Honoured Baron of Cockenzie, both seem to be up for sale and the asking price is in excess of £45,000 each - which has already been rejected.
Rumour has it that they might be sold as is now the fashion on the Internet at £25/ US$45 one square foot at a time with a Lairdship for every buyer until the square feet run out. But whilst that strategy at Prestoungrange and Dolphinstoun might gross a handsome bob or two at Cockenzie and Tranent the remaining feudal lands were always minimalist.
But word has it that whatever happens to the Power Stationers and the Belters, Priest-toun Pans is stuck with those currently infeft short of their statutory abolition - now there's a 'heritage' idea for the Arts Festival to campaign for when it's finished its tango with Lidl and saved the Coeval Building.
Per ardua ad astra.
Published Date: July 13th 2007