The Conservative MSP Lord James Douglas-Hamilton, always known as Lord James, held a retirement ‘do’ last night in Edinburgh to mark his retirement from the Scottish Parliament at this May’s elections. It seems a good time was had by all; Sir Malcolm Rifkind MP gave a speech, which was typically fluent and witty, to a gathering of the great and good.
It’s funny what turns up on that wonderful auction site, ebay. This top hat belonged to the 1st Lord Pentland, who as John Sinclair (and, in fact, as Lord Pentland) was Secretary for Scotland from 1905-12, when he was rather unceremoniously sent to Madras as governor.
It seems his grandson, also John Sinclair (but not the 3rd Lord Pentland) now lives in New York City and recently sold off his grandfather’s remaining estate at auction. This top hot, together with a riding coat, a portrait (photographic) and various rather curious ornaments, inevitably ended up on ebay. And no, I’m not going to reveal how much I paid for it.