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Baillie & the Boys
A bailie or baillie is a civic officer in the local government of Scotland. The position arose in the burghs, where bailies formerly held a post similar to that of an alderman or magistrate (see bailiff). Modern bailies exist in Scottish local councils, with the position being a courtesy title and appointees often requested to provide support to the Lord Provost or Provost - the ceremonial and civic head of the council - in their various engagements.
The name derives from Old French and used to be synonymous with Provost, with several officials holding this role often at the appointment of the Church.
The jurisdiction of a bailie is called a bailiary (alt. bailiery).
The office of bailie was abolished in law in Scotland in 1975, and today the position of bailie is a courtesy title.
Notable Scottish bailies
As a title
- Alasdair MacMhaighstir Alasdair, Bailie of Canna
- Mary Barbour, Glasgow Corporation's first woman Baillie (1924-1927)
- Alexander Comyn, Earl of Buchan, Bailie of Inverie, Knoydart
- Dr George Coull FRSE, Bailie of Edinburgh
- Sir John Lauder, 1st Baronet, Bailie of Edinburgh
- Thomas Watt, Bailie to the Baron of Cartsburn, grandfather of James Watt
- Bailie William Landale, winner of the silver cup at the first open championship held at St Andrews Old Course in 1754, see Timeline of golf history (1353-1850)
- "Baillie Vass" - the Aberdeen Evening Express accidentally used a picture of Sir Alec Douglas-Home over a caption referring to a baillie called Vass. Private Eye then affected to believe that Home was an imposter.
As a surname
Scottish barons often appointed a Bailie as their judicial officer.