James Mackay, Baron Mackay of Clashfern facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts

The Lord Mackay of Clashfern

Official portrait of Lord Mackay of Clashfern crop 2.jpg
Official portrait of Lord Mackay of Clashfern
Lord Clerk Register
Assumed office
27 April 2007
Monarch Elizabeth II
Preceded by The Earl of Wemyss
Personal details
Political party Conservative
Alma mater University of Edinburgh
Trinity College, Cambridge

James Peter Hymers Mackay, Baron Mackay of Clashfern (born 2 July 1927) is a British advocate. He served as Dean of the Faculty of Advocates, Lord Advocate, and Lord Chancellor (1987–1997). He is an active member of the House of Lords where he sits as a Conservative.

Early life

James Mackay
James Mackay

Mackay was born in Edinburgh. He won a scholarship to George Heriot's School, and then studied mathematics and physics at the University of Edinburgh. He taught mathematics for two years at the University of St Andrews before moving to Trinity College, Cambridge on a scholarship. He then returned to Edinburgh University where he studied law.


Mackay was elected to the Faculty of Advocates in 1955. He was appointed a Queen's Counsel in 1965 and was Sheriff Principal for Renfrew and Argyll from 1972 to 1974. In 1973 he became Vice-Dean of the Faculty on Advocates and also served as its Dean, the leader of the Scots bar.

In 1979, Mackay was appointed Lord Advocate, the senior law officer in Scotland. Since his retirement, Mackay has sat in the House of Lords. He is the Editor-in-Chief of Halsbury's Laws of England, the major legal work which states the law of England, first published in 1907.


Mackay was appointed a Knight of the Thistle by the Queen Elizabeth II on 27 November 1997. In 2007 the Queen appointed Lord Mackay to the office of Lord Clerk Register. Mackay became a Fellow of The Royal Society of Edinburgh in 1984. In 1989, Mackay was elected Honorary Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge. Mackay also received an Honorary Doctorate from Heriot-Watt University in 1990. In 1994, he was awarded an Honorary Degree (Doctor of Laws) by the University of Bath.

James Mackay, Baron Mackay of Clashfern Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.