Merlin Hay

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Merlin Sereld Victor Gilbert Hay, is the 24th Earl of Erroll. He is a cross-bench member of the House of Lords, one of the hereditary peers elected to remain in the House of Lords. He is also Chief of Scottish clan Hay, and Lord High Constable of Scotland. Hay has enjoyed a successful career working in information technology, his main area of expertise is in internet security. Hay has worked on projects with smartcards and electronic purses, and has also worked in marketing and consultancy. [1] He was educated at Eton and Trinity College, Cambridge [2]

Merlin Hay's grandfather was Josslyn Hay, the 22nd Earl of Erroll, who was murdered in Nairobi on 24 January 1941. No one was ever convicted of the murder, although Sir Jock Delves Broughton, (grandfather of Tessa Keswick director of the Centre for Policy Studies) was tried and stood trial and was acquitted, he committed suicide the following year. His wife had been having a high profile affair with Josslyn Hay. A book published in 2000 claims that Hay was actually murdered as part of an MI5 plot according to a review of the controversial book:

At the time of his death, Erroll was the Assistant Military Secretary of Kenya and, at one stage, he had been a member of the British Union of Fascists. Trzebinski (the author) claims to have uncovered evidence that Erroll was targeted for assassination by the War Office on the grounds that he was a security risk. She points out that Erroll was murdered on the eve of the Abyssinian campaign in which British troops invaded Kenya's Italian-occupied neighbour. Other sources have suggested that he actively sold secrets to Mussolini's forces and was earmarked to be gauleiter of Kenya if an Italian invasion succeeded. [3]

Affiliations & Career History





  • Farmfax Ltd. Agricultural and Estate software and accounts systems 1977-1982
  • Erroll Computer Consultants Software development 1982-1994
  • Hayway Partners Marketing and training for micro entrepreneurs 1991-
  • CRC Ltd. Procurement 1993-2003
  • GiroVend Holdings Ltd. E-purse migration to Smartcard development 1994-1995
  • Evalue Ltd. E-procurement for Local Authorities 2002-
  • Fonem Ltd Voice recognition: automatic receptionist and call routing
  • Secret Sommelier Ltd. Weblog about wine 2005-
  • Adviser, Leonis Ventures (impact investment and business accelerator). In an investigation on the interests of members of the House of Lords by the Wall Street Journal, it was revealed Hay worked for Leonis Ventures. When the WSJ asked him about this he said he left Leonis last year and that the record of his involvement is "a somewhat defunct entry." It was removed on the 20 August 2014.[5][6]


  • Member of the Court of The Fishmongers’ Livery Company. 1989- (Prime Warden 2000-2001).
  • Trustee of the Fishmongers’ Company’s Charitable Trust.
  • Trustee of the Billingsgate Christian Mission Charitable Trust.
  • Trustee of the Mar Estate Trust (in the Cairngorms).1987
  • Territorial Army Volunteer Reserve (Royal Green Jackets) 1965-1966
  • Territorial Army (Artists Rifles). 1976-1990
  • Honorary Colonel RMP (TA). 1992-1997
  • Director of Moncreiffe & Co. Plc., a small whisky company co-founded by the family.
  • Patron of The Keepers of the Quaich, a PR body for the Scotch whisky industry. Grandmaster in 2001.
  • Vice-President of The Royal Caledonian Ball, which raises a substantial amount every year for Scottish charities.
  • Council of the British Red Cross Queen Mother’s Memorial Fund.
  • Council of The Highland Society of London

Hereditary and Ceremonial Roles

  • Hereditary Lord High Constable of Scotland.
  • Chief of Clan Hay, with connections in Scottish communities around the world.
  • Member of The Standing Council of Scottish Chiefs.
  • Delegate in the United Kingdom for the Order of St. Maurice and St. Lazarus of the Royal House of Savoy.
  • Member of the Queen’s Body Guard for Scotland, The Royal Company of Archers.



  1. GOVCERT.NL Speakers Erroll accessed 2nd December 2008
  2. The Earl of Erroll accessed 3rd December 2008
  3. Tatler, Book Review; March 2000 Did MI5 Kill Lord Erroll? accessed 3rd December 2008
  4. 'Furniture Industry APPG',, accessed 11 November 2015
  5. House of Lords Wall Street Journal, accessed 19 December 2014
  6. Interest amendments] Parliament.UK, accessed 19 December 2014
  7. Hitachi Science & Technology Forum Earle of Erroll accessed 3rd December 2008