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Given that many Clan Gunn MacHamish line descendants - the 'Chief' line - are known on what basis do the petitioners to Lord Lyon wish to ignore Lord Lyon's 2002 statement below - The derbhfine is very much a last resort and should not consider proposing a person for chief unless there is no real hope that a genealogically related descendant could ever be found.
Concerning Lord Lyon's jurisdiction in matters of Clan Gunn Chiefship - The Lord Lyon King of Arms has... no jurisdiction to determine ... a disputed question of chiefship or chieftainship. From 'the Introduction to the Law of Scotland' by Gloag and Candlish Henderson, 9th edition, 1987, p. 25'http://www.heraldica.org/topics/britain/lordlyon.htm
Note - He has no jurisdiction ... to decide a disputed question of chiefship or chieftainship - interesting as this petition, like the others, will certainly be disputed...
Concerning the Clan Gunn
Chief Petition to Lord Lyon for a Family Convention / Derbhfine in 2015
amazed to read that yet another petition to Lord Lyon to hold a Clan Gunn Family
Convention (to randomly choose a Clan Gunn Chief) is underway, according to the ‘Clan
Gunn Society North America –ECB Autumn 2014’ newsletter, and it’s being done by
Clan Gunn Society UK ‘stalwarts’.
why a previous Lord Lyon rejected an earlier petition for such a Convention –
it has become evident that there
are in all probability clear and proveable lines of descent senior to that of the
I have previously clarified the first
point with the Lord Lyon Court; one has to be able to conclusively prove
descent but one does not need to have already
done so with the Court.
What point (1) is really saying is that ‘when all lines from the Chief line
have died out as far as can be reasonably ascertained’ then one can choose any person
to be a Chief (which is what the petitioners want). But, as said, this is NOT
the case with the MacHamish line; many people are descended from that line. The
petitioners seem not able to understand the implication of Lord Lyon’s earlier refusal,
nor (as far as I am aware) have they clarified the point with the Court. In other words, Lord Lyon has accepted the
idea that many can conclusively prove descent from the MacHamish line – that’s
why he rejected the first petition.
point (2) – it is logical. If the main bloodline of a Chief dies out then you
go to the next valid, closest bloodline for a Chief. There are many such bloodlines.
Only if no descent at all from the Chiefly line exists does the Family
Convention get a right to randomly choose a Chief.
the reasons for the new petition (and has this petition been discussed by any
Clan Gunn Society?) as given in draft by the Newsletter –
-As there is now no claim before Lyon there is
nothing to stop him granting our Petition to hold a Family Convention to
discover our Chief.
Except that this comment
implies that Lord Lyon must grant petitions; he has already rejected a petition
calling for a Clan Gunn Family Convention (and a second which was basically a
repeat of the first petition). And the reason he rejected the petitions remain
valid for this petition; there are known MacHamish line descendants. So why
grant this petition when the reason for rejecting others is still valid?
-No particular person is named as our proposed
Chief, and the Family Convention can therefore consider anyone (or no one) for
this position. There is thus no good reason why anyone should object.
But this totally misses the point - and it is the same error as in the previous petitions - just because one has not yet proved to be the senior line of descent from the MacHamish line does not mean the whole ‘Chief’ line can be ignored which is the desire of this petition otherwise Lord Lyon’s point (2) above is nonsensical. The petitioners have again not closely read Lord Lyon’s pages – he is interested in the most senior descent from an earlier Chief, then he is after the most senior cadet line and only if ALL blood lines from a Chief have died out does a Family Convention get the right to choose a random individual. Many lines descend from the MacHamish line - it just requires work to find out which is the most senior.
And of course I have
‘good reason’ to object as the petition does not pay attention to Lord Lyon’s
guidelines, nor his previous judgement.
- If our Petition is granted, Lyon will appoint
a Herald to oversee the Convention and ensure that it truly represents the Clan
and is not “packed”. He will decide who may attend and vote.
Would the Petitioners
insist that the Convention held a maximum of no more than half Clan Gunn
Society members? Otherwise it will be ‘packed’…
- If all goes forward smoothly it is intended
that the Convention should be held immediately before the International
Gathering, and John Gunn - who is organising the Gathering - will liaise with
the appointed Herald and agree time, place and attendees, etc. Overseas or
other Participants who cannot be present may be able to take part by Video link
or Conference call, etc.
The timing would be
up to Lord Lyon, not the Clan Gunn Society….
I find it amazing
that, yet again, Clan Gunn Society members are wasting time on this petition.
The Clan Gunn Society would be much better off it got on with the real
genealogical work which is tracing – in detail – all descendants of the MacHamish
line to ascertain the most senior cadet line. That way the Chief will be found,
but apparently that’s my job. The Clan Gunn Society is just too eager to have a Chief, any Chief, but
not do the hard work to find the real Chief...