17th April 2014

Funeral of the late Slains Pursuivant

Requiem Mass for the late Peter Drummond-Murray of Mastrick, Slains Pursuivant to the Earl of Erroll between 1982 and 2009, will be said at St Mary’s Cathedral in Edinburgh at 2.00 pm on Tuesday 22nd April.

Hays who would like to attend, and are unfamiliar with Edinburgh’s geography, should note that the city has two cathedrals dedicated to St Mary.  Peter’s funeral will take place at the Roman Catholic cathedral in York Place, Edinburgh EH1 3JD (and not at the Episcopal Church Cathedral in Palmerston Place.)

14th April 2014

Former Slains Pursuivant Dies

Peter Drummond-Murray as Slains Pursuivant

Peter Drummond-Murray of Mastrick, who served the Chief of Clan Hay as his personal officer of arms for nearly three decades, died in Edinburgh on Sunday 13th April, aged 84.

William Edward Peter Louis Drummond-Murray was born on 24th November 1929, a scion of the Murrays of Mastrick in Aberdeenshire and the Drummond family who founded the famous Drummond’s Bank, now part of the Royal Bank of Scotland.

In the family tradition, he pursued a career as a banker and stockbroker in Edinburgh and London, whilst developing a deep interest in history and heraldry, on which subject he became a leading international authority and noted author.  He was, for several years, Chairman of the Heraldry Society of Scotland.

In 1982, the Earl of Erroll, Chief of Clan Hay, appointed Peter to the office of Slains Pursuivant, the personal officer of arms of the Lords High Constable of Scotland, an appointment dating from at least 1404.  He continued to play a high profile role as Slains until retiring in 2009.

He was held in the highest regard by the chivalric community and became a Knight of Justice of the Venerable Order of St John and a Knight of the Sacred Military Constantinian Order of St George.  His greatest enthusiasm, however, was reserved for the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, of which he was a Knight Grand Cross of Honour and Devotion. Malta further recognised his many years of service by creating him a Bailiff of the Order in 2014.

Peter married the Hon Barbara Hope, a daughter of Lord Rankeillour, in 1954, who survives him together with their five children.  His eldest son Andrew succeeds as Drummond-Murray of Mastrick.

31st March 2014

Tennis Star Opens Hotel at Clan Hay Property

Cromlix House

Scottish tennis ace Andy Murray will this week open his new country house hotel at Cromlix, a Perthshire estate historically owned by the Hay Earls of Kinnoull and their descendants.

Situated only five miles from his home town of Dunblane, Murray bought Cromlix early in 2013 from the Eden family, who are descendants of its Hay owners.  The house had previously been run as a country house hotel with only limited success and had become run down under the Edens’ management.  The tennis star and new laird of Cromlix has invested heavily to return this delightful property to its former glory.

Hay connections with Cromlix date from the 1683 marriage of the 7th Earl of Kinnoull with Margaret Drummond, the only daughter and heiress of the first Viscount of Strathallan.  Their youngest son, Colonel the Hon John Hay of Cromlix, occupied the estate.  He was prominently engaged in the Jacobite rebellion of 1715 and spent the rest of his life in exile, eventually created Duke of Inverness by the exiled pretender.

Jamie Murray's wedding at Cromlix in 2013

The lands of Cromlix reverted to his brother, the eighth Earl of Kinnoull and were subsequently used by several younger sons of the Kinnoull family over succeeding generations.  The present house was built in 1874 for  the Captain Hon Arthur Hay-Drummond, a younger son of the 11th Earl and an officer in the Royal Navy.

Arthur was a bachelor and on his death in 1900, Cromlix passed to his younger brother Charles, in whose descendants’ hands the estate remained until purchased by the tennis champ last year.

Andy Murray is believed to have paid £1.9 million for the property and its surrounding 34 acres of gardens and woodland.  In 2013, it was the location for his brother Jamie’s wedding, with Andy Murray as best man.  The property will be managed on Murray’s behalf by Inverlochy Castle Management International, which manages eight similarly prestigious venues across Scotland.