Merlin Hay, 24th Earl of Erroll

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The Right Honourable
The Earl of Erroll
Coronet of a British Earl.svg
Arms of the Earl of Errol
Born Merlin Sereld Victor Gilbert Hay
(1948-04-20) 20 April 1948 (age 67)
Residence Woodbury Hall, Sandy, Bedfordshire
Offices Lord High Constable of Scotland
Chief of Clan Hay
Heir Harry Hay, Lord Hay
Spouse(s) Isabelle (née Astell), Countess of Erroll
Parents Sir Rupert Iain Kay Moncreiffe, 11th Baronet
Diana Hay, 23rd Countess of Erroll
Occupation Programmer

Merlin Sereld Victor Gilbert Hay, 24th Earl of Erroll (born 20 April 1948) is a cross-bench member of the House of Lords, Chief of the Scottish clan Hay, and hereditary Lord High Constable of Scotland.[1]

Early life and education[edit]

Lord Erroll is the son of Sir Iain Moncreiffe of that Ilk and Diana, Countess of Errol. He was page to the Lord Lyon in 1956. He was educated at Eton College and at Trinity College, Cambridge.

Earl of Erroll[edit]

He succeeded his mother in 1978 as Earl of Erroll, and in 1985, his father as a Baronet. He is a member of the Council of the Hereditary Peerage Association.[2] As Lord Erroll was Chief of Clan Hay by virtue of his mother's title, his younger brother Peregrine took over their father as Chief of Clan Moncreiffe.

Marriage and family[edit]

He married Isabelle Jacqueline Laline Astell Hohler (b. Brussels, 22 August 1955) in 1982. The Countess is a patroness of the Royal Caledonian Ball [3] and serves as High Sheriff of Bedfordshire. [4]

The couple has two sons and two daughters:

  • Harry Thomas William Hay, Lord Hay (b. Basingstoke, 8 August 1984)
  • Lady Amelia Diana Jacqueline Hay (b. Basingstoke, 23 November 1986)
  • Lady Laline Lucy Clementine Hay (b. Basingstoke, 21 December 1987)
  • Hon. Richard Merlin Iain Hay (b. Basingstoke, 14 December 1990)

Military and business career[edit]

The Earl of Erroll has been a lieutenant at the Atholl Highlanders since 1974, and is a Member of the Royal Company of Archers. He served in the 21st SAS Artists Rifles (V) Territorial Army from 1975 to 1990, and was an Honorary Colonel of the Royal Military Police (Territorial Army) from 1992 to 1997.

Erroll has worked as a marketing and computer consultant, is a Freeman of the City of London and a Member of the Court of Assistants of the Worshipful Company of Fishmongers, of which he was Prime Warden in 2000–2001. He is also President of ERADAR the Chamber for Electronic Business,[5] and Chairman of the Digital Policy Alliance (EURIM).[6]

He is a director of Lasseo, a not-for-profit technical standardization and interoperability membership organisation for smartcard technologies.[7]


Lord Erroll was one of 90 excepted hereditary peers elected to remain in the House of Lords following the House of Lords Act 1999. He sits as a crossbencher. A programmer and system designer by trade, he was a member of the Science and Technology Committee and criticised Tony Blair's government for the failure to curb cyber crime after various government agencies, including the Ministry of Defence and HM Revenue and Customs, reported massive losses of data in 2008.[8]


Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ Tomlinson, Richard (20 Dec 1992). "They also serve, who only ush". Independent. 
  2. ^ "Hereditary Peerage Association - Notices". HPA. 2009-02-02. Retrieved 2009-04-14. 
  3. ^ "Patronesses". Royal Caledonian Ball. 
  4. ^ "Baden Powell’s granddaughter opens road". Biggleswade Today. 
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^ "LASSeO". LASSeO. Retrieved 2 May 2012.  |first1= missing |last1= in Authors list (help)
  8. ^ "One lord leaping on the government's IT flaws". The Guardian. 10 April 2008. 


External links[edit]

Peerage of Scotland
Preceded by
Diana Denyse Hay
Earl of Erroll
Harry Hay, Lord Hay