Merlin Hay, 24th Earl of Erroll

The Right Honourable
The Earl of Erroll

Born Merlin Sereld Victor Gilbert Hay
(1948-04-20) 20 April 1948
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

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

Earl of Erroll

He succeeded his mother, the countess, 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

He married Isabelle Jacqueline Laline Astell Hohler (b. Brussels, 22 August 1955), daughter of Major Thomas Sidney Hohler and heiress to the family of Astell, of Everton House, Bedfordshire,[3] in 1982. The Countess is a patroness of the Royal Caledonian Ball [4] and served as High Sheriff of Bedfordshire in 2015.[5]

The couple has two sons and two daughters:

Military and business career

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 continues to head the club, Puffin's Club, founded by his father. He is also President of ERADAR the Chamber for Electronic Business,[9] and Chairman of the Digital Policy Alliance (EURIM).[10]

He is a director of Lasseo, a not-for-profit technical standardization and interoperability membership organisation for smartcard technologies.[11]


Lord Erroll was one of 90 excepted hereditary peers elected to remain in the House of Lords following the House of Lords Act 1999. A programmer and system designer by trade he sits as a crossbencher and usually speaks on matters relating to cybersecurity and information technology. 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.[12] Most recently he was a member of the Information Committee from 2007 to 2012.


Notes and references


External links

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