Published: 04/06/2013 12:57 - Updated: 04/06/2013 13:03

Death of colourful Highland Laird

Lord Burton has died
Lord Burton has died

LORD Burton, the Highland laird who reputedly provided the inspiration for the popular "Monarch of the Glen" TV series, has died aged 88 after a long illness.

He lived on the family’s ancestral estate, Dochfour, near Loch Ness, but was admitted in recent weeks to Highview House Nursing Home in Inverness where he died on Thursday night.

Lady Burton said her husband had never fully recovered from a car accident he had two years ago jnearthe family home.

The funeral arrangements will be announced following the return of the eldest of his four surviving children, Evan, who lives in Australia.

A colourful character, Lord Burton once accused bus loads of "townies" of destroying Britain’s finest trout fishing by using illegal fishing techniques.

He was a vocal opponent of the controversial headquarters of Scottish Natural Heritage at Craig Dunain, while another campaign close to his heart was dualling the A9 to reduce the number of fatal accidents.

His widow recalled him as being fully involved in local matters. "I remember the endless meetings he went to — I didn’t realise how many there would be!" said Lady Burton who added the canal crossing was another subject which interested him.

"He was very keen it should be a tunnel and not a bridge."

Lord Burton served on the former Inverness-shire County Council between 1948 and 1975 and the former Inverness District Council between 1984 and 1992. He was Grand Master Mason of Scotland between 1994 and 2000. He also started the Pony Club in Inverness and ran it for 25 years.

Lord Burton married his first wife, Elizabeth Ursula Forster, in 1948 but they divorced in 1977. She died 10 years ago. They had six children of whom four survive, sons Evan and Alexander Baillie and daughters Philippa McCowan and Georgina Seymour. Two other daughters died as adults.

He married his second wife, Coralie Denise, in 1978. The two shared an interest in outdoor pursuits such as shooting and hunting.

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