Sir William Macpherson of Cluny TD

It is with much regret that we report that Master Macpherson (Sir William Macpherson of Cluny TD) sadly died on Sunday 14 February, aged 94. The Inn’s flag flew at half-mast on Monday 15 February, in his memory.

Master Macpherson was called to the Bar in 1952 and took Silk in 1971. He was appointed as a Recorder in 1972 and as a Judge of the High Court of Justice, Queen’s Bench Division, 1983 where he served until his retirement in 1997. He chaired perhaps one of the most important public inquiries to have taken place in the last twenty years, namely the Stephen Lawrence Inquiry which resulted in the publication of the Macpherson Report in 1999. He was a captain in the Scots guards before commanding the 21st Special Air Squadron Regiment of the Territorial Army and becoming an honorary colonel between 1983 and 1991. He remained a member of the Royal Company of Archers, the ceremonial guard for the Queen in Scotland, until 2006.

Master Macpherson was elected a Bencher of the Inn in 1978. Every two years he arranged a match against Blairgowrie Golf Club as part of the Inner Temple Golfing Society’s Scottish Tour. The last match took place in 2012. After the match, he would host a party at his Castle in Blairgowrie in the evening at which there was always much merriment! He was Captain of the ITGS in 1989-1990. 

Master Laws, who had been his pupil, commissioned a portrait of him in his year as Treasurer in 2010. It was painted by Bryan Organ and hangs in the Drawing Room as a fitting recognition of a member of the Inn who practised for many years at the Bar both as Junior and Queens Counsel, served with distinction as a High Court Judge and President of the Northern Circuit.

His funeral will be held on Friday 26 February. In accordance with the family’s wishes there will be no memorial service.