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The Editor’s Open Response to Dunardry’s Letter
Dear Dunardry,

If you were not the Chief of a Scottish clan your letter would have been ignored, as the libels uttered by Gary Martin Beaver and Antonio Adolfo Boada on their websites have been consistently ignored. A man is known by the company he keeps, and in publishing the scurrilous fictions of Beaver and Boada you have sunk lower than one would have thought possible. But you are a clan chief nevertheless, and because that status gives you an undeserved credibility among your website’s readers it is possible to ignore neither you nor your website.

You ask why The Baronage Press operates “as UK company but in reality out of the Netherlands?” Baronage does not operate and has never operated out of the Netherlands. We used to have a postbox in the Netherlands at a post office two miles from my residence (not “hundreds of miles away” as claimed by the website you promote), this being the nearest post office with a six-day-per-week delivery service, but Baronage has never traded in or from the Netherlands. (An impartial observer would ponder why you asked the question and what you hoped to gain from its answer.) Nor has Baronage ever traded in or from Belgium.

You then wonder if Baronage is reacting to your having “posted the articles referring to Baronage Pree (sic) is in trouble with the law?” The fact that you admit in writing to posting some of the libels (in addition to publicising the URL of others) is, I am advised by our lawyers, extremely helpful. As for this specific charge ~ The Baronage Press and its Editor and staff are not and have never been in trouble with the law. As for the other charges made or implied in the documents you published, and on the pages of the website whose URL you published ~ these are all equally untrue.
It is unnecessary to work through the dozens of accusations made variously on your website and on the websites of your associates Beaver and Boada. I shall content myself with a look at those that immediately spring to mind and then shall invite you to consider what credence might therefore be accorded to the remainder. First there is the paedophilia. The website you publicise tells the story of my having written depraved letters inviting juveniles of both sexes to join me in unlawful sexual conduct, of then sending those letters to the wrong address, and of the unintended recipient then conscientiously forwarding them to that website so that they might be published as a warning to police and neighbours of the criminality of the Baronage Editor.
You, a Scottish chief, a man whose quality of intellect is expected to be consistent with the status of a chief, seemingly did not even pause long enough to recognise the implausibility of this tale (or did you just think it was too good a story to bury at a time when you wished to discredit Baronage and its Editor?) The morally sick cretin who invented this libel is so stupid that he failed to check the address he included in the letter, so it not only appeared misspelt and with the wrong zip code ~ it had the same misspelling and the same incorrect zip code he had previously published on another page of his website. You, a Scottish chief, evidently are willing to associate with and assist men who are both depraved and stupid.
What next? That Baronage has recently defrauded its readers of several million pounds ~ but how this might be done by a company whose externally audited accounts show it has not traded for four years will mystify all who do not share your peculiar intellect. That the Editor of Baronage (whose name it is said was John Hogarth) fled Scotland as a convicted criminal and lives in Belgium on false papers ~ an absurdity exploded as soon as an enquiring mind (not yours, obviously, Dunardry) checks the appropriate directories. That a criminal complaint has been filed by the FBI against The Feudal Herald and its Editor ~ but the FBI does not file criminal complaints, for such matters are handled by the U.S. Department of Justice. That the Editor is not the father of his children and his name is missing from their birth certificates ~ yet for a small fee paid to the Public Record Office anyone can confirm that this is not so.
That is sufficient. There is no truth in any of the dozens of inventions your site and the sites of Beaver and Boada have published. But whereas Beaver and Boada are well known for their fraudulent activities, and can be ignored, you are a Scottish chief and cannot be ignored. So what has prompted your participation is this defamatory campaign? Why have you brought down contempt on yourself and, because you are its Chief, on your Clan? What sort of man are you? Do you usually act so dishonestly and so stupidly? Are there other examples around that might provide answers to these questions? Well, actually, yes ~ there are several.
Picture of a knight's helm
Let us look first at the depiction of your armorial achievement as it appears on your website. There are several mistakes in it ~ the stags’ heads, according to the blazon you give, should be bucks’ heads; the chiefs should be engrailed, not undy; and the charges on the chiefs should be gold, not silver. However, it is the helm which interests us. It is a tournament helm conventionally symbolising the lowest ranks of nobility, but you have added a note alongside to state that it is the helm of a knight. This, the casual reader will infer, supports the idea that the Lord Lyon has recognised you as a knight ~ a rank you claim in the heading you have given the page “Coat of Arms - Sir Dugald MacTavish of Dunardry”. But the helm of a knight has a raised visor, as all students of heraldry know (and as all Scottish chiefs know), and the Lord Lyon has not recognised you as a knight. Nor will he. Your pretence is dishonest.
Now let us turn to your presentation of your disagreement with Alastair Campbell of Airds, Unicorn Pursuivant at the Court of the Lord Lyon. You appear to crystallize this around the following quotation from a letter he wrote to you in 1992 ~

“. . . . . . . until your status is defined - in particular whether or not you are to be Chief of the Clan Tavish (I would suggest this to be the more correct title) or a Chieftain of Clan Campbell.”

~ and you have argued that these words mean that Unicorn Pursuivant then regarded you as more correctly Chief of the Clan Tavish rather than as a Chieftain of Clan Campbell. However, the syntax of this quotation clearly implies comparison with something that is understood between writer and reader, between Alastair Campbell of Airds and you. Of course, you may have to take my word for this, as all who read your prose know your understanding of syntax to be weak, so I shall explain. With the choice between Tavish and MacTavish it is possible for one to be more correct than the other. With the choice between Chief and Chieftain it is not possible for one to be more correct than the other: one is correct and the other is wrong. Hence, as you know well from the previous exchanges, what Campbell of Airds was saying is that in his view it would be more correct, if MacTavish was to be ruled a separate clan, for you to be styled “Chief of Clan Tavish” than “Chief of Clan MacTavish”. You knew that, Dunardry, and so your argument is dishonest.

Arms of Thomson of That Ilk
Third on the list of examples that spring most readily to mind is your insistence on claiming to be Chief of the Thomsons on the basis of having been recognised by the Lord Lyon as Chief of the Name and Arms of MacTavish. The Lord Lyon has not ruled on which names are of the MacTavish Clan, explicitly or implicitly, and it is dishonest to act as if he has done so. Some Thomsons have recognised you as their Chief, and you have accepted them as your clansmen, but that in no way binds all other Thomsons. The Thomsons are recognised as “an honourable community”, which in their case is effectively a clan of members who do not all share a common origin, and arms were on record for Thomson of that Ilk in Lyon Office (see left) 227 years before those of your ancestors. Here, again, in concealing this, you have been dishonest.
We wrote to you a year ago to express our disappointment that a Scottish Chief was advising his followers to address him as Rt Hon. when he was neither a peer nor a privy councillor, and when the use of such a prefix gave the impression that the user was a peer ~ which you are not. We note now that the letter we have just received from you, in common with many of the letters you post on your website, is signed “MacTavish of Dunardry”. The Lord Lyon has recognised you as MacTavish of Dunardry, but you are not permitted to sign yourself in this manner. Such signatures are reserved to peers, as, from your vaunted reading of Scots Heraldry, the book by Sir Thomas Innes of Learney, late Lyon King of Arms, you know well. Page 243 quotes from the Act of 1672 ~

“. . . . . . . it is onlie allowed for Noblemen and Bishopes to subscrive by their titles ; and that all others shall subscrive by their Christned names, or the initiall letter therof with there sirnames, and may, if they please, adject the designations of their lands
. . . . . . . And the Lyon King-at-Armes and his Brethren are required to be carefull of informeing themselvis of the contraveiners heirof, and that they acquaint his Maiesties Councill therwith, who are hereby impoweered to punish them as persones disobedient to, and contraveiners of the Law”

But you knew this. (For “Noblemen” read “peers”, as this Act was written in England, where the term applies only to peers.) And yet you choose once again to disobey the law and to adopt the style of a peer, notwithstanding that you are not, and are most unlikely ever to be, a peer. Once again your pretences are dishonest.

Four examples, all chosen from your own writings, are sufficient for the present, and we can now view them set in the context of your complaint that the late Duke of Argyll “stated that he did not recognize Dugald MacTavish as a Chief.” While Baronage does recognise you as Chief of Name and Arms of MacTavish, I personally sympathise with the views of the late Duke, for what doubtless prompted his remark was his judgement that you do not behave as a chief is expected to behave by other chiefs and by Scotsmen in general. Your conduct in allying yourself to the fraudulent merchants Baronage has exposed, fraudulent merchants who retaliated with a campaign to defame the reputation of Baronage and its Editor, together with the consistent dishonesty of your own claims and personal aggrandisement, is shameful. There is nothing I can do about your false pretences. That is for your clansmen to decide in consultation with your son and heir. But in respect of your libels against me I can certainly proceed. Accordingly, unless, before April 15th 2002, I find that on your clan website you have withdrawn the libels, acknowledged explicitly that they were unfounded, and unreservedly apologised for them, on the next visit you pay to Scotland with your clansmen a writ for defamation to be answered in the Scottish courts will be awaiting you.

Yours sincerely,

MacTavish and the Thomsons
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