Robert Gayre

Robert Gayre

George Robert Gayre of Gayre and Nigg (6 August 1907 - February 10 1996) was a Scottish anthropologist who founded Mankind Quarterly. An expert on heraldry, he also founded The Armorial, and produced many books on this subject.

Education and military service

Born in Cornwall and an Anglican, he earned an MA from University of Edinburgh, then studied at Exeter College, Oxford.

Gayre served with the British Expeditionary Force in France in 1939, as a Lieutenant-Colonel in the Royal Artillery afterwards becoming Educational Adviser to the Allied Military Government of Italy, based in Palermo, where he fought for the exclusion of left-wing text-books and communist influence from the Italian education system. He was thereafter Director of Education to the Allied Control Commission for Italy, based in Naples; and Chief of Education and Religious Affairs, German Planning Unit, Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force. After the war he spent a considerable amount of time in India where he was instrumental in the establishment of the Italo-Indian Institute.


Both Gayre and Sir Thomas Innes of Learney were authors of books on heraldry. As Chief of Clan Gayre, Gayre appended "of Gayre and Nigg" becoming Grand Almoner, and Hereditary Commander of Lochore, of the Order of St. Lazarus of Jerusalem.

His 1959 book Heraldic Standards and Other Ensigns: Their development and history is considered an important work on the subject, and he contributed on the topic to Encyclopædia Britannica.

Mankind Quarterly and publications on race

Gayre was editor of Mankind Quarterly from 1960 to 1978, and was honorary editor-in-chief thereafter.

In 1968 he testified on behalf of members of the Racial Preservation Society who were charged under the Race Relations Act for publishing racialist material. They prevailed in their defense. In his evidence to the court Gayre described blacks as being "feckless" and he maintained that scientific evidence showed that blacks "prefer their leisure to the dynamism which the white and yellow races show."

Selected bibliography

  • Teuton and Slav on the Polish Frontier: : A diagnosis of the racial basis of the Germano-Polish borderlands, with suggestions for the settlement of German and Slav claims. Eyre and Spottiswoode (1944) ASIN: B0007J1KXK
  • Italy in Transition: Extracts from the private journal of G.R. Gayre. Faber and Faber Ltd (1946) ASIN: B0006DB91U
  • Gayre's Booke: Being a History of the Family of Gayre. Phillimore (1948) ASIN: B00069X8L8
  • Wassail! In Mazers of Mead: An Account of Mead, Metheglin, Sack and Other Ancient Liquors, and of the mazer cups out of which they were drunk, with some ... upon the drinking customs of our forebears. Phillimore (1948) ASIN: B0007IYD4O
  • Heraldic Standards and Other Ensigns: Their development and history. Oliver and Boyd (1959) ASIN: B0007IV3L0
  • The Nature of Arms: An Exposition of the Meaning and Significance of Heraldry with Special... 1961, Oliver and Boyd
  • The Nature of Arms: An Exposition of the Meaning and Significance of Heraldry with Special... 1961, Oliver and Boyd
  • Heraldic cadency;: The development of differencing of coats of arms for kinsmen and other purposes. Foreword by the Duke of Salandra and Serracapriola. Faber and Faber (1961) ASIN: B0007IUYCE
  • The House of Gayre and an account of Minard castle. The Armorial (1960) ASIN: B0007KCG46
  • ''The Bantu homelands of the northern Transvaal Duquesne University Press (1962) ASIN: B0007ETDFW
  • More Ethnological elements of Africa. Armorial (1972) ASIN: B0007AILLS



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