Is Established Titles Legit? A Deep Dive into Becoming a Scottish Lord and Lady

Is Established Titles Legit? A Deep Dive into Becoming a Scottish Lord and Lady

The forests and moorlands, mountains and glens of Scotland are revered and celebrated. And with 50 million people around the world who can claim Scottish ancestry, some are wanting to celebrate their heritage however they can. Robert “Robbie” Burns Suppers take place every January 25 to celebrate the Bard of Scotland, complete with a recitation of his poem “Address to the Haggis” as the ceremonial haggis is sliced into and shared among Scots and those curious about the culture. Tartans are worn to show clan allegiances, though Burns Suppers are celebrated all over the world, with many occurring thousands of miles away from the homeland. Those of Scottish descent want to get a taste of the culture of their ancestors, even if that taste involves haggis. 

For those seeking a more creative way of celebrating that heritage, the company Established Titles allows for people to purchase one square foot of land on a private estate in Scotland so they can use the title “Lord” or “Lady”. As the company notes, the title packages are based on a historic Scottish land ownership custom, where landowners have been long referred to as "Lairds", the Scottish term for "Lord", with the female equivalent being "Lady".

Now, purchasers are boasting their Lordship and Ladyship titles on social media sites and even on dating apps. 

Is Established Titles legit? 

There are two big questions surrounding their legitimacy: do they own the land and does the land give their customer the claim to the title?

The Land Registry of Scotland is open to everyone to check land ownership with a processing fee of £3. According to the official Land Registry of Scotland, Established Titles owns the land (Title number ABN100804) listed on their website. According to the title sheet, ABB100804 it is about 947,000 square feet of property that is owned by the Established Titles operating company.

So the land ownership is legitimate, but what about the claim to the Lordship and Ladyship title? It is obvious that buying their Title packs will not grant you access to the House of Lords, however the custom of calling landowners lairds has been a centuries old tradition. Established Titles seems to make it quite clear that it is a novelty based on this tradition to save the woodlands.

Afterall, Established Titles aims to help global reforestation efforts and there doesn't seem to be anything wrong with their model of providing a fun gift while raising funds for these charities helping with conservation. 

Established Titles Reviews - What Reviewers are Saying About It? 

As is the case with most things, the dividing line between kitschy and a fun novelty is determined by use. To be called a “Lord” or a “Lady” has the potential to put one on the fast track to pretension. Yet, that is not what is typically happening to the people who purchase their titles. Based on reviews, the titles provide a foundation for teasing and fun discourse in families. 

Abigail from Oregon wrote on the Established Titles Facebook page: “Gave this to my dad (who flys a St. Andrews Cross and has Scotland The Brave as his ringtone) for Xmas and he was highly amused. I kept catching him re-reading the certificate over the weekend. I should note, he’s also an environmental lawyer who spent his career preserving farmland, so this gift was especially in his wheelhouse. So far he’s not demanding to be called Lord, but I expect it will creep in over time.  Thanks for helping facilitate a fun and thoughtful gift!”

Lizbeth from New Jersey wrote: “It was such a great experience.  So much fun doing this and especially being part of land conservation in honor of climate climate that is vital for our world. Cool gift to give.  My husband loved it.” 

Ginger from El Paso, Texas wrote: “Amazing company! We have 6 titles though them! Fast response to emails and wonderful customer service!! So happy to have crossed their advertisement on IG. My family loved their gifts and plan to make my kids Lords and Ladies for their birthdays! Plus, they plant trees in our behalf, everything about this company is good vibes and awesome!” 

Other Considerations–Helping the Planet 

The Scottish Highlands have faced serious deforestation issues and a resulting significant percentage of tree cover loss. Scotland, historically, had already lost much of its woodland. 

“​​Woodland cover around 5,000 years ago reached Shetland and the Western Isles. ... By the time the Roman legions of Agricola invaded Scotland in AD 82, at least half of our natural woodland had gone. Much of it was replaced by peatland, partly as a result of the cooler, wetter climate and partly because of human activities,” according to Scotland’s Nature Agency

To counter this and in an attempt to better the planet, Established Titles is committed to planting at least one tree per order placed and is striving to preserve and protect woodland areas of Scotland, according to the website. In that quest, Established Titles donates to One Tree Planted and Trees for the Futures. Further, Established Titles has determined that the grounds will not be disturbed by development, sporting, driving, or similar activities. The goal is to keep the woodland free from any other uses except for “peaceful enjoyment of the land” in a move that will help protect the “biodiversity of the flora and fauna of the area.”  

Thus far, according to the company website, more than  £43,000 have been donated to plant thousands of trees in Scotland and around the world. 

This conservation effort earned Established Titles the honor of “Best Green Business Award” in Scotland by the Global Brands Magazines Awards. 

As Abigail from Oregon also noted: “Just saw all the people calling this a scam below. It’s not, it’s essentially a charitable donation to preserve land from development in Scotland, dressed up as a novelty gift. Obviously it doesn’t *really* convey title, anyone who thinks that either didn’t read the website or is being willfully ignorant. Also, with the receipt they send you coordinates to the square foot you ‘sponsor’. I dropped a pin on the map and named it so that it appears on searches, which is fun. My dad enjoyed seeing exactly where it was (apparently it’s near a world famous golf course which was an added bonus).” 

Summary: 

One square foot of land, a title and a tree: In their quest to protect and revitalize Scottish Woodlands, Established Titles allows for people to purchase one square foot of land on a private estate in Scotland so they can use the title “Lord” or “Lady”. It is an amusing and unique gift for loved ones, particularly those with Scottish heritage or who care about environmental causes. 



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