Younger is a Scottish convention, style of address, or description traditionally used by the heir apparent to a Lairdship in some capacity. The most famous holder of this title was Hugh le Despenser, 1st Lord Despenser (1286–1326), also referred to as Hugh the Younger. Cnditions where a person may achieve this title include the following circumstances:
- A current Laird;
- Someone whose name includes a territorial designation (i.e. a family who were previously Laird's but who are no longer – this applies mainly to Armigerous Families who had a territorial designation which formed part of their name. Their arms being registered with the inclusion of the territorial designation, having become landless, still retain the full name – including the territorial designation – pertaining to the Grant of Arms)
- A Scottish Chieftainship (the head of a cadet branch of a Clan which has a Chief)
- A Clan Chief.
- A Scottish Baron, only if also a Laird (as above) and recognised by the Lord Lyon as such.
The style of using the term "Younger" applies equally to a woman who is heir in her own right as to a man. The style of "Younger" is a curtesy neither a title and not a peerage and does not carry voting rights either in the Parliament of Scotland or the Kingdom of England. The abbreviation of Younger is Yr. The wife of such an heir may adopt this style also. When a person bearing this suffix becomes the Laird in their own right or succeeds to the Coat of Arms of a now landless family or inherits the Chieftainship of a cadet branch or the Chiefship of the Clan, they then drop the suffix and the next heir apparent may add the style to their name.
Forms of Address
- The written style of address of the heir to a laird is (for example) "John Smith of Edinburgh, Younger" or if abbreviated "John Smith of Edinburgh, Yr." or in the case of the heir to a chief "James Salmond of that Ilk, Yr." or "James Salmond of Salmond, Yr."
- If a female is the heir in her own right, then she is styled in the same way as a male.
- The wife of the heir may adopt the same style as her husband and would be addressed in writing as Mrs John Smith of Edinburgh, Younger (she might use her own forename but this might imply that she was divorced).
- An heir can also be referred to and addressed as "The Younger (of) [x]", for example "The Younger (of) Edinburgh".
- If a laird has any younger sons they are styled as "Mr [Forename] [Surname]". The younger son of the Laird would not have the territorial surname unless he was the nominated heir presumptive.
- Duckett, B. (2003). s and Forms of Address: A Guide to Correct Use. Reference Reviews.