The Registry of Scots Nobility seeks to provide a reference for Scottish titles that were primarily created under the Scottish crown prior to the Act of Union. All the titles in the registry are part of the Scots Nobility. It will be noted that peerages of Scots created after the Act of Union have been either titles of the peerage of Great Britain or peerage of the United Kingdom. Similarly, baronets created after the Act of Union are likewise treated. Life peerages are not included in the registry for although they are a great honour, they do not fulfil one of the main requirements of all titles of nobility, namely that they may be passed on to an heir or in the case of a barony an heir or another person (as directed by the will of the Baron).
It is also important that the distinctive nature of Scots Nobility and Scots Titles be acknowledged. Prior to the Act of Union the Scots Baronage not only had important legal and social roles but also had a role in the Scots Parliament. It is useful to note that in the voting of the Act of Union in 1707, the members who were Barons and the Peerage were listed quite separately from the Members elected from the Boroughs and Towns. In other ways the Scots Peerage is different from the British Peerage. The Scots Nobility has Lords rather then Barons for the lowest level of the Scottish Peerage (as we have noted Barons in Scotland whilst part of the Scots Nobility are not part of the Peerage). It will also be noted that a far greater number of Scottish Titles can independently pass through the female line. This reflects Scots law whereby often the female heirs are treated more generously than in England.
One of the less fortunate aspects of the Act of Union has been the mixing of the Scottish and English Nobility. Many traditions which had been maintained for centuries ceased under the new arrangements. The removal of the Scottish Court to London under the James VI (James 1 of England) set a trend that continued until the Scottish revival in the nineteenth century. The famous levee of George IV being one of the first occasions of a mass gathering of Scots Nobility and also the established Clan hierarchy. It is important to understand that whilst the Clan hierarchy and the Scots Nobility were often blended together as in the Duke of Argyll being Chief of the Clan Campbell, this was by no means the norm, the majority of Scottish Clan Chiefs are not peers and often not Barons. The Scots Nobility therefore as centred in Edinburgh, Stirling, Falkland from the thirteenth to the seventeenth century would not have involved clans tartans and all the current accoutrements associated with Scots culture.