Lord Cornets’ Club

The office of Lord Cornet is of ancient origin, its holder having important duties to carry out in relation to the maintenance of the burgh boundaries which were laid down by David I and his successors. The Kings, when establishing Royal Burghs, included as part of the “business contract” between the Crown and the Burgesses, a stipulation that the march stones were to be inspected every year and a report of the findings returned to the Crown.   

Lord Cornet Andrew Wilson in 1903. R.H.M. Christopher Downie, L.H.M. Hugh Dempster. Note the Town Officer, Jock McAllister, in support.

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Lord Cornet Andrew Wilson in 1903. R.H.M. Christopher Downie, L.H.M. Hugh Dempster. Note the Town Officer, Jock McAllister, in support.

Whilst the duty of inspecting the land march stones would originally have been a simple matter, as years went by the process was elaborated upon and became more festive in nature with more people becoming involved. In 1588 the Burgh records describe the Lanimers as being ‘ancient and yearly’. The origin of the term “Lanimers” derives from Land Marches.   

In the past, the Town Clerk and Treasurer, along with the Bailies would have inspected the Burgh Boundaries with other witnesses who would have been initially from the council or invited by them. The appointment was originally from the Bailies and subsequently a Junior Councillor who was offered first refusal. Until 1834 the appointment was made by the Council in all years ending in odd numbers and the Deacons of Crafts made the nomination when it was an even number.

From 1834 to 1975, the Council alone chose the Lord Cornet. Since 1976, after several meetings of a Co-ordinating Committee, a Lord Cornet’s Selection Committee was formed made up of the two local Councillors and one representative each from the Community Council, the Guildry, the Lanimer Committee and the Lord Cornets’ Club.

The first named Standard Bearer appears in print in 1670 – one John Aitkein. Other Standard Bearers of note which some Lanarkians may still recognise include John Bannatyne (1711) and Christopher Bannatyne (1741) grandfather and father respectively of John Bannatyne of Castlebank/Bannatyne Street; William Smellie (1729) the famous doctor of obstetrics; Hugh Marr (1836) creator of Lanark Loch and architect of the County Buildings, Hope Street; John Lawrie (1839 & 1853) and James Symington (1864) of Lawrie & Symington, Auctioneers; John Vassie, tanner (1841), founder member of Lanark Golf Club and James Jack (1846) ironmonger.
 

The Club and Modern Times.

1919 Lanimer Day. Major Walter Elliot, 1st President of the Club receives a piece of Birk from Provost William Lamb.   

Each Lord Cornet automatically becomes a member of the Lord Cornets’ Club which was established by former Lord Cornets of the town in 1949. The principal objectives of the Club are to support the Lord Cornet in his year of office and to maintain the equestrian traditions associated with the Lanimers*. To this end the Club keeps in contact with other border towns, supporting their festivals and inviting their representatives to Lanark.

* The equestrian riding of the burgh boundaries pre dates the Perambulation of the Marches which started in 1752 as a result of the growing of crops on land which had formerly been moor.

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1919 Lanimer Day. Major Walter Elliot, 1st President of the Club receives a piece of Birk from Provost William Lamb.

Famous figures from the more recent past include Major Walter Elliot who was a Member of Parliament and Privy Councillor was appointed Lord Cornet in 1919. He was a Major in the Royal Scots Greys and a troop of that regiment galloped with him as he carried the Standard. He wore his army uniform like others at that time and very appropriately, as he earned a Military Cross in the First World War. he also chaired the Club’s first Dinner in 1949 as first President of the Club.

Lord Cornet William L. Steel escorts Lanimer Queen Elect Ella Simpson, Kirkfieldbank School to her Crowning Ceremony 1938.

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Lord Cornet William L. Steel escorts Lanimer Queen Elect Ella Simpson, Kirkfieldbank School to her Crowning Ceremony 1938.

Family connections – There have been three generations in the Tennant family who have been appointed in modern times as Lord Cornet and similarly in the Wilson family. In fact Andrew Wilson was picked twice, in 1893 and 1903, an honour which has only been shared in recent times by the late William Eagle Hall. There have been many other family connections with the office of Lord Cornet including the MacAuslans, the Hamiltons, the Glaisters, the Steeles, the Brysons and the Stoddarts, father and son. The late Millar Stoddart was the first Secretary and a prime mover in the formation of the Club.

In 1951, the Club initiated the Kirkin’ of the Lord Cornet Elect which has become an important event at the beginning of Lanimer Week. A Club Chaplain is appointed annually, now normally the Minister of the Parish Church, St. Nicholas, but it is interesting to note that, at the first service, the Rev. R. S. Wallace, who was then Minister of St. Kentigern’s Church, officiated which is where the ceremony took place. Interestingly, Provost T. A. R. Russell was locum organist, in the musical tradition of many Provosts thereafter who displayed their performing talents at the Club’s Social Evening following the A.G.M.

Honorary members of the Club appointed each year are the Chairman of the Royal Burgh of Lanark Community Council, the Chairman of the Lanimer Committee and the Club Chaplain.

The Monday Evening, Lord Cornet Robert Barr escorted by Lord Cornet Elect H.T.D. Steel, ex-Lord Cornet J. Millar Stoddart and two of Glasgow’s Mounted Branch finest.

The Club donates the engraved gold badge to the Lord Cornet of each year but the brass replica badge has to be paid for! The Club also organises an Annual Dinner and the Official Lanimer Ball and from some of the profits of these and other fund raising events it arranges discounted charges for hired horses and particularly ponies for younger riders. It also funds the stabling and feeding in many instances.   

The Cornet’s Sash is paid for by the Lanimer Committee which also gives the Lord Cornet a grant from which he has to purchase his ‘uniform’ comprising brown riding boots, hunting bowler, breeches, etc., etc.

The current Burgh Standard was presented in 1986 by three former Lord Cornets and is held throughout the year by the incumbent Lord Cornet. The previous Standard, which cost £44, 5/- in 1932 and was subsequently refurbished, is held by the Club President.

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The Monday Evening, Lord Cornet Robert Barr escorted by Lord Cornet Elect H.T.D. Steel, ex-Lord Cornet J. Millar Stoddart and two of Glasgow’s Mounted Branch finest.

The Lord Cornet’s supporters comprise the Left and Right Hand Men who are the former lord Cornets of the preceding two years. They wear their identifying red and blue rosettes whilst the Lord Cornet’s is white.

Lord Cornet Elect Robert Kirkhope dispenses coins at Leechford.

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Lord Cornet Elect Robert Kirkhope dispenses coins at Leechford.

These days the main events for the Lord Cornets’ Club in Lanimer Week, are the Sunday Kirkin’, the Monday Evening Perambulations with the Shifting of the Burgh Standard and the Sashing Ceremony. These are followed by the Wednesday evening Ride Out and of course Thursday’s Lanimer Morning procession and the One O’clock (or is it Two o’clock?) Procession. The day ends for the Club with the Declaration at the Cross before the Beating of the Retreat, after which as many past Lord Cornets as can ride escort the Lord Cornet back to his home. At this point, the Lord Cornet has still to complete his duties for the day. After changing into evening dress, he and his partner attend the Lanimer Queen’s Reception at the Memorial Hall. A hard week’s work but enjoyable and the honour keenly felt.

His duties however have not ended and he has many local functions to attend throughout the year, representing Lanark at festivals throughout the Borders and West of Scotland during his year in office until he returns to Lanark Cross one year hence and hand on the Burgh Standard ‘unsullied and unstained’.
T.H.S. and P.A.

Honorary Members

  • Canon Drew Sheridan Club Chaplain
  • Mr Frank Gunning Chairman of The Royal Burgh of Lanark Community Council
  • Ex-Lord Cornet John Dickman Chairman of Lanark Lanimer Committee
Ex-Lord Cornets (Founder Members)   

 

Ex-Lord Cornets

 

Lord Cornet

 

Lord Cornet Elect   

 

President
Ex-Lord Cornet David R. Murdoch

Vice President
Ex-Lord Cornet Gordon R. Gray

Secretary
Ex-Lord Cornet Kenneth R. Lean

Treasurer
Ex-Lord Cornet David H. Strachan

Minute Secretary
Ex-Lord Cornet Brian R. Ross

Dance/Social Convener
Ex-Lord Cornet Iain Hughes

Annual Dinner Convener
Ex-Lord Cornet Gordon Jess

Horse Convener
Ex-Lord Cornet Gordon R. Gray

General Committee

  • President
  • Vice President
  • Secretary
  • Treasurer
  • Minute Secretary
  • Ex-Lord Cornet Danny McGuinness
  • Ex-Lord Cornet Tom Waddell
  • Ex-Lord Cornet Gary Winning
  • Lord Cornet Ian Douglas
  • Lord Cornet Elect Derek McGuinness

Representative on Lord Cornet Elect Selection Committee
Ex-Lord Cornet Danny McGuinness

Kirkin’ of the Lord Cornet Elect Adviser
Ex-Lord Cornet David H. Strachan

Correspondence

Secretary

Ex-Lord Cornet Kenneth R. Lean
10 Woodlands Drive
Lanark
ML11 9FS

Tel : (01555) 665287

Treasurer

Ex-Lord Cornet David H. Strachan
21 Lockhart Avenue
Lanark
ML11 9ZQ

Tel : (01555) 665192

Constitution and Rules

1. The name of the Club shall be called The Lord Cornets’ Club.

2. (a) Objects of the Club shall be to maintain interest throughout the year in the riding of the Marches.

(b) To guide and advise the Lord Cornet in the execution of his duties, and support “The Kirkin’ of the Lord Cornet Elect Ceremony” held on the Sunday of Lanimer Week within such church or place of worship as may be decided by the Members in General Meeting.

(c) To invite Border Standard Bearers and Lasses to the Lanimer Day Celebrations and to entertain the visiting Standard Bearers and Lasses.

(d) To organise social functions such as Dances, Dinners, Outings and any other entertainments to raise funds.

3. Membership of the Club shall be confined to Lord Cornet, Ex-Lord Cornets and Lord Cornet Elect. The Chairman of The Royal Burgh of Lanark Community Council, The Chairman of Lanark Lanimer Committee to be Hon. Members of the Club during their term of office and a minister of Lanark to be the Club Chaplain and an Hon. Members of the Club. An Annual General Meeting of the Club can decide such persons as maybe deemed fit to be Hon. Members.

4. (a) Office-Bearers shall consist of President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer, Minute Secretary and five members of Committee.

(b) Any two members of the Club shall be appointed President and Vice-President at the Annual General Meeting.

(c) The Secretary, Treasurer, Minute Secretary and five members of Committee shall be elected annually at the Annual General Meeting.

5. (a) The Minute Secretary shall keep a Minute Book in which shall be entered all the proceedings of the Club.

(b) The Secretary shall conduct the correspondence and convene all Club meetings when instructed to do so by the President or Committee.

(c) The Treasurer shall have power to operate on the funds of the Club and shall keep a record of all his transactions and shall produce such records at the Annual General Meeting.

(d) Two Auditors shall be appointed from the Club.

6. (a) The Annual General Meeting shall be held on the third Friday in February for the Consideration of Reports, Election of Office-Bearers and for the transaction of General Business.

(b) The Secretary shall give to members at least 7 days notice of this meeting along with a note if the business.

7. (a) The President with the agreement of the General Committee shall have powers to vary the dates of any meetings or to call any additional meetings should circumstances demand.

Meetings will be held on the first Tuesday of March, the first Tuesday of April, the second last Tuesday of May, the last Tuesday of June, the first Tuesday of October and the first Tuesday of December.

(b) Three members of any committee shall form a quorum.

(c) One third of the club membership shall form a quorum at any meeting of the club.

8. All Members except Honorary Members shall pay an Annual Subscription which shall be fixed and shall be payable at the Annual General Meeting.

9. All emblems shall be worn at all Social Functions. Club Badges and Ties will not be given out to non-members of the Club, but Club Rosettes may be purchased to be given to visiting or visited Cornets.

10. (a) Any member wishing to alter or amend any of the Rules shall submit his proposal in writing to the Secretary, not less than 14 days prior to the Annual General Meeting. The Secretary shall notify the members in writing of the proposed alteration(s) and amendment(s) at least 7 days prior to the date of the Annual General Meeting.

(b) Any alteration(s) or amendment(s) to the Rules shall require the consent of Two-Thirds of the members present at the Annual General Meeting.

Meeting Dates

3rd March 2020
Lord Cornets’ Club Meeting

7th April 2019
Lord Cornets’ Club Meeting

19th May 2020
Lord Cornets’ Club Meeting

30th June 2020
Lord Cornets’ Club Meeting

6th October 2020
Lord Cornets’ Club Meeting

20th November 2020
Lord Cornets’ Club Annual Dinner

1st December 2020
Lord Cornets’ Club Meeting

19th February 2021
Lord Cornets’ Club Annual General Meeting