Owner of Bass Rock and aristocrat

born: April 9th, 1926

died: December 26th 2018

Sir Hew Hamilton-Dalrymple, 10th Baronet, who has died aged 92, was a landowner in East Lothian whose family estates included the bird sanctuary Bass Rock in the Firth of Forth; he was a soldier, company director, JP and deeply involved in the public life of his ancestral district.

He began his career in the Grenadier Guards and retired from the Army in 1962 in the rank of major, though he subsequently served, for ceremonial purposes, in the Royal Company of Archers (the Queen’s Bodyguard in Scotland), of which he became Captain-General, and served as Gold Stick for Scotland from 1996-2004.

Hamilton-Dalrymple was also a long-standing representative of the Crown in East Lothian, as a Deputy Lieutenant (1964-87), Vice Lord-Lieutenant (1973-87) and finally, from 1987-2001, as Lord-Lieutenant.

The Dalrymple title, part of the Baronetcy of Nova Scotia, and gazetted as “of North Berwick, Haddingtonshire” was created in April 1697 for Hew Dalrymple, Lord North Berwick, who was President of the Court of Session and third son of the philosopher, lawyer and statesman Viscount Stair, whose work had a huge influence of the study and interpretation of Scots law.

Two of that Hew’s brothers, James and David, also became distinguished lawyers, and baronets; another, Thomas, was physician to Queen Anne. The eldest son, John, Master and later first Earl of Stair, became infamous for having signed the order that led to the massacre of Glencoe.

The first baronet’s descendants, most of them also called Hew, served (until the fifth baronet) as MPs for Haddington; after the fourth baronet served (from 1803-7) as MP for Ayrshire, he adopted the name Dalrymple-Hamilton. A branch of the family based at Bargany in South Ayrshire continues to use that surname, but the 10th baronet’s grandfather, Sir Walter, 8th baronet (1854-1920), reversed the order to Hamilton-Dalrymple.

Hew Fleetwood Hamilton-Dalrymple was born on April 9th 1926, the son of Sir Hew Clifford Hamilton-Dalrymple, 9th Bt, and his wife Anne (née Thorne). He was educated at Ampleforth College, in North Yorkshire and in 1944, at the age of 18, joined the Grenadier Guards. The Army was a family tradition; almost all of his predecessors in the baronetcy had spent at least some time as officers.

He served in India during the period leading up to partition in 1947 and ten years later proceeded to the Staff College at Camberley. He was Deputy Assistant Adjutant-General, HQ 3rd Division, from 1958-60 and then the Grenadiers’ Regimental Adjutant from 1960 before retiring in 1962 in the rank of major. He succeeded in the baronetcy on the death of his father in 1959.

Hamilton-Dalrymple then took up directorships with Scottish and Newcastle Breweries, where he remained until 1986, serving as vice-chairman for the last three years, and with the Scottish American Investment Company from 1967-93 (as chairman from 1985 to 1991).

His tireless charitable work and his model performance of his duties as DL, JP and later Lord-Lieutenant led to his being appointed CVO (1974), KCVO (1985) and eventually GCVO.

He married, in 1954, Lady Anne-Louise Keppel, daughter of the 9th Earl of Albemarle, with whom he had four sons, Hew, John, Robert and William. She died two years ago; their youngest son William is a well-known travel writer, historian and art critic, while the eldest, Hew, succeeds in the title as the 11th baronet.