‘Duke of Princes St’ leaves £26m legacy

A LAWYER styled the “Duke of Princes Street”, who lived in a private members’ club on the famous Edinburgh thoroughfare for almost 60 years, left £26 million in his will.

Tuesday, 1st December 2015, 11:19 am
Ivor Guild was worth £26m when he died. Picture: Dan Phillips
Ivor Guild was worth £26m when he died. Picture: Dan Phillips

Ivor Guild lived at the New Club, where Sir Sean Connery stays when in Edinburgh, for 57 years after being offered a room by the management.

A well-known city figure, he could be seen walking on Princes Street most days with a hat and raincoat in all weathers.

Mr Guild died aged 90 in January after suffering a stroke at a restaurant in Berlin. The Dundee-born bachelor owned barely any possessions, did not drive and rarely bought new clothes.

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However, his recently published will reveals an estate worth £26,020,030.

After leaving small gifts of £3,000 each to his 11 godchildren, he instructed that the remainder should be split between a niece and two nephews who live overseas. It is thought Mr Guild had inherited money from his father Colonel Arthur Guild, a stockbroker and Dundee’s jute baron.

He also had a long career as a solicitor with Edinburgh firm Shepherd and Wedderburn and invested in stocks and shares.

In an interview Mr Guild, one of only nine people listed on the electoral roll as living on Princes Street, told why he had chosen to continue renting a room at the New Club rather than buy his own property. He said: “The secretary persuaded me to move in in the dim past and I’ve lazily remained. The idea was that there was nothing worse than an empty club and if there are residents there, they give it a permanent life. People come from afar and spend the night at the club.

“A great advantage was that I could walk to work in seven minutes. It’s very pleasant and central and you can get anywhere easily. My room windows look west so I have a fine view of Rose Street and I can see the western extremity of the Castle. I also have a good view of the fireworks at the end of the Festival.

“At my age, any change is undesirable.”

Mr Guild had no kitchen so ate out every day. He was immortalised in watercolour for the club’s bicentenary in 1987.

As well as his legal career, he had been a director and chairman of several leading investment trusts. He held a number of high offices in the Scottish Episcopal Church, and was procurator-fiscal to the Lyon Court for 34 years.

He served on government committees, including the Council on Tribunals and the Interception of Communications Tribunal. In 1985 he was appointed a CBE and was elected a fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 1990.