A bailie or baillie is a civic officer in the local government of Scotland. The position arose in the burghs, where bailies formerly held a post similar to that of an alderman or magistrate (see bailiff). Modern bailies exist in Scottish local councils, with the position being a courtesy title and appointees often requested to provide support to the Lord Provost or Provost - the ceremonial and civic head of the council - in their various engagements.[1][2]


The name derives from Old French and used to be synonymous with Provost, with several officials holding this role often at the appointment of the Church.[3]

The jurisdiction of a bailie is called a bailiary (alt. bailiery).

The office of bailie was abolished in law in Scotland in 1975, and today the position of bailie is a courtesy title.[2]


Notable Scottish bailies

As a title

As a surname

Outwith government

Scottish barons often appointed a Bailie as their judicial officer.

See also


  1. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on June 29, 2011. Retrieved March 8, 2011.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. "Page not found". Archived from the original on September 15, 2009.
  4. News Items
  5. "Support for the Lord Provost and Elected Members".
  6. "Bailie suits bill for elbowing out city defector Cardownie".
  7. "Page not found". Archived from the original on February 7, 2011.
  8. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  9. Foulds, Jenny (18 May 2017). "New West Dunbartonshire Council administration revealed". Daily Record. Retrieved 18 May 2017.
  10. Rodger, Richard (23 September 2004). "Steel, Sir James, baronet (1829–1904)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press.(Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
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