Obituary: Ivor Reginald Guild, lawyer, 90

Lawyer Ivor Reginald Guild has died at the age of 90
Lawyer Ivor Reginald Guild has died at the age of 90
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Ivor Reginald Guild, respected lawyer and arts patron known as the Duke of Princes Street, has died, aged 90.

Born in Dundee on April 2, 1924, Ivor Guild was the second son of a stockbroker with a distinguished First World War record.

He went to prep school at Cargilfield, Cramond, and then to Rugby.

In 1942, having been medically failed for call-up service, he went to New College, Oxford, and then Edinburgh University to study law.

He became a Writer to the Signet and was a partner in the well-known legal firm of Shepherd and Wedderburn, for 43 years.

Through that he became a director of several investment trusts and was honoured with a CBE in 1985.

His interests outside business were manifold. He became a member of the Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers in 1954.

He was a devoted supporter of Edinburgh’s St Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral and served as Registrar of the Episcopal Synod of the Episcopal Church in Scotland and Chancellor of the Dioceses of Edinburgh and St Andrews.

He became a fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 1991 and attended the Speculative Society of Edinburgh, one of the oldest debating clubs in the world, and edited a bicentenary history in 1968.

He was a Baillie of Holyrood House with responsibility for Queen’s House for 15 years until the opening of the Queen’s Gallery.

He was also involved with the Lyon Court of Arms and served as chairman of the Museum of Antiquities for four years before it was brought into the National Museum. He was also a patron of the Royal Edinburgh Botanic Garden.

A bachelor, he was a permanent resident of the New Club for more than 50 years, which led to him being dubbed the ‘Duke of Princes Street’. He had his own suite at the club and rarely left it except for its holiday closures and his occasional travels and visits.

He said he had been persuaded to rent rooms at the club by the secretary at the time and “lazily” remained for five decades. He once said: “A great advantage was that I could walk to work in seven minutes. It’s very pleasant and central. I also have a good view of the fireworks at the end of the Festival.”

He was so much a feature of the club that he was immortalised in watercolour for the wall on the occasion of its bicentenary in 1987.

He never drove, but walked everywhere with a brisk, fast step.

Ivor’s siblings, Nigel and Valerie, both settled abroad, Nigel in Kenya and Valerie in South Africa. Nigel died many years ago; Valerie lives on in Cape Town and Ivor travelled out several times to visit her.

He died on January 3 while visiting Berlin, but had instructions there should be no funeral.