Scottish Grammar

How to Address Your Clan Chief

Thanks to Gill at Burke's Landed Gentry for this information.

When writing to a clan chief it is normal to refer to them by their estate and not by their surname and the English "Esquire" is never used.

At the beginning of a letter you would put:

Dear Chisholm
Dear Lochiel
Dear Drum

(i.e. you are using their territorial designation instead of their surname)

However if a member of a clan is writing to his chief he could put:

Dear Chief

On the envelope you would put the full title with territorial disignation:

Chisholm of Chisholm or The Chisholm
Colonel Donald Cameron of Lochiel TD (etc with other letters)
The MacNeil of Barra Henry Forbes Irvine of Drum
Peter Barclay of that Ilk
Dugald McTavish of McTavish

If using a verbal address you would use the clan or territorial designation and not the surname.

(e.g . You would refer to Sir Donald Cameron of Lochiel as simply Lochiel and if introducing him would say "This is Lochiel".)