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Charles, Lord Lyell affectionately remembered in Kirriemuir funeral service

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A “life lived to the full” was celebrated at the funeral of Charles, Third Baron Lyell in Kirriemuir on Tuesday.

Figures from the Angus aristocracy, past and present parliamentary colleagues of the former Conservative whip in the House of Lords and many friends from Angus and beyond joined members of Lord Lyell’s family at the service in Kirrie’s Old Parish Church to say farewell to the peer, who died earlier this month after a short period of illness, aged 77.


The service was conducted by the Rev. Malcolm Rooney of the Glens and Kirriemuir Old Parish Church, Ninewells hospital chaplain Monsignor Aldo Canon Angelosanto and Father Neil Gallagher, during which the packed congregation remembered a man described as a unique character.

Educated at Eton College and Christ Church, Oxford. Lord Lyell of Kinnordy was made a House of Lords whip on the formation of the 1979 Conservative government.

He also served in the Northern Ireland Office as a parliamentary Under Secretary of State and with the passage of the House of Lords Act 1999 was then elected as one of the 92 hereditary peers to remain in the House.

The Old Parish Church eulogy was given by fellow peer and long-time friend, Lord Glenarthur, who told mourners: “The word respected does not do him anything like justice.

The Lord Glenarthur delivers the eulogy
The Lord Glenarthur delivers the eulogy

“Charlie really was a unique character, full of fun with a wonderful sense of humour, and consequently a great ability to make friends and generate laughter wherever he went.

“His sense of the ridiculous, perhaps even when discussing serious matters with political rivals, and his friendship towards them could lower tensions and help bring out the humanity and common purpose in both.

“He treated everyone the same – there was no side to him nor anything remotely stuffy about his attitude,” Lord Glenarthur told the service.

Lord Lyell was the third-longest serving parliamentary peer at the time of his passing, which the service heard described as a “massive achievement.”

The congregation was also told of Lord Lyell’s devotion to his late mother, Sophie, Lady Lyell and his deep involvement and close affection for the Kirriemuir community, as well as sporting interests including skiing and swimming, and a love of Porsche cars – always red.

His lifelong love of football – in particular Forfar Athletic and Everton – was also covered in Lord Glenarthur’s affectionate address, with the congregation including figures from The Loons and Lord Lyell’s all-time footballing hero, Archie Knox, a legend with the Angus outfit before he went on to become assistant manager with The Toffees.


Lord Lyell’s ashes are to be scattered at both Station Park and Goodison Park and the late peer’s ability to raise a smile endured to the final moments of the funeral service, in the choice of music for his journey from the Old Parish kirk.

The theme of 1960s hit television series Z Cars rang out as his coffin was taken from the church, a tune synonymous with Everton since the club’s title-winning season of 1962-63 when the cast of the programme became a good luck charm for the Liverpool outfit after cheering them on.

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