Henry Keith, Baron Keith of Kinkel

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The Right Honourable
The Lord Keith of Kinkel
Royal Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom.svg
Lord of Appeal in Ordinary
In office
10 January 1977 – 30 September 1996
Monarch Elizabeth II
Preceded by The Lord Kilbrandon
Succeeded by The Lord Hope of Craighead
Personal details
Born Henry Shanks Keith
(1922-02-07)7 February 1922
Died 21 June 2002(2002-06-21) (aged 80)
Nationality British
Occupation Judge
Profession Barrister

Henry Shanks Keith, Baron Keith of Kinkel GBE PC (7 February 1922 – 21 June 2002) was a Scottish judge.

The son of James Keith, Baron Keith of Avonholm, Harry Keith was educated in the Edinburgh Academy, at the Magdalen College, Oxford, where he graduated with a Master of Arts and the University of Edinburgh, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Law. In the Second World War, he commanded the Scots Guards and was mentioned in despatches, reaching the rank of Captain. In 1951, he was called to the Bar from Gray's Inn and was made a Queen's Counsel in 1962, and a Bencher in 1976.

He appointed as Sheriff of Roxburgh, Berwick and Selkirk in 1970, succeeding David Brand.[1] He was Lord of Session under the judiciary title Lord Keith from 1971 to 1997.

On 10 January 1977, he was appointed Lord of Appeal in Ordinary and was made additionally a life peer with the title Baron Keith of Kinkel, of Strathummel in the District of Perth and Kinross, following in the footsteps of his father, Lord Keith of Avonholm. One year before he had been invested to the Privy Council. In 1996, he retired as Lord of Appeal and in 1997, he was awarded the Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the British Empire. It was humorously said within legal circles that wherever there was a negligence case, Lord Keith would always say 'no' to damages.

Lord Keith was a special guest of the 20th Tactical Fighter Wing Judge Advocate Office at RAF Upper Heyford, England. To celebrate Law Day 1981, with the United States Air Force 20th TFW Legal Department, Lord Keith provided an insightful defense of the Common Law thrust to protect the Rights of the Individual.

In 1955 he married Alison Brown, now Lady Keith of Kinkel; they had four sons and a daughter, Deborah. The family lived at Loch Tummel, near Pitlochry, Perthshire.

Lord Keith died in 2002.


  1. The Edinburgh Gazette: no. 18900. p. 635. 24 July 1970. Retrieved 7 January 2016.