Skip to main content

In Memoriam: David Sellar 27 February 1941 – 26 January 2019

Tue 26 February 2019

Alumni newsletter summer 2016 cover

Edinburgh Law School is saddened by the news that William David Hamilton Sellar, MVO, BA, LLB, LLD, FRHistS, FSA(Scot), passed away last month on 26th January at the age of 77 after a period of increasing ill-health.

A long-serving member of the Law School (formerly the Faculty of Law) who was elected an Honorary Fellow in 1997, Dr Sellar was also Lord Lyon King of Arms from 2008 to 2014.

Dr Sellar took up his appointment as a lecturer in the Department of Scots (later Private) Law in 1969 after a number of years as a legal assessor for the Scottish Land Court, and was promoted to senior lecturer in 1975. He was a renowned expert on the legal history of the Highlands and a respected genealogist who made a number of important contributions to those fields; an early article on ‘The Origins and Ancestry of Somerled’, for example, published in 1966, was seen as the definitive discussion on its subject for forty years.

Dr Sellar’s funeral was held on 23rd February 2019 in Warriston Crematorium and on that day the University flag was flown at half-mast over Old College in his honour.

He will be deeply missed by the Law School and our sincere condolences are with his family.

The Law School’s Prof Hector MacQueen has remembered him fondly in this memoir.