Mark attended Allan Glen's School, Glasgow 1972-1978 and was in the final year's private school intake before Glasgow Corporation forced it into the council-run comprehensive system. One of the younger members of the Labour dominated Glasgow Corporation at that time was a Labour Councillor, now the Rt.Hon. Sir Vince Cable P.C., M.P., former Leader of the Liberal Democrat party.
Mark's parents were actively involved in community activities and in particular the Boys' Brigade. The 101st Glasgow Company was based in Balshagray Parish Church, Broomhill, Glasgow which both were members of. Jack was an Officer in the Junior Section then called "the Life Boys" and Margaret was a Leader in the youngest Section known as "the Shipmates".
Between the ages of 5 and 8, Mark attended the Shipmates. Between the ages of 8 and 12, Mark attended the Life Boys. Between the ages of 12 and 18 Mark attended the Boys' Brigade. During his passage through the Boys' Brigade, Mark attained the various ranks and on leaving, was commissioned as an Officer in which role he served until his University studies had to take priority. In 1978 Mark received the highest award when he was appointed a "Queen's Man. In the same year, Mark led his team of 4 to success as Top-of-the-Form Champions at the United Kingdom and Ireland Final held in Southampton. The quiz was based on the then popular television quiz programme and followed a similar format with questions for individual members and team rounds. During his years in the Boys' Brigade, one of Mark's friends and colleagues was David Moyes who went on to play professional football at a number of clubs including Glasgow Celtic but is best known as a professional football manager at Preston North End, Everton and Manchester United, following in the footsteps of Sir Alex Ferguson, himself an ex-Glasgow Boys' Brigade member.
From an early age, Mark developed an interest in local and national politics. Between 1973 and 1996 he was actively involved in the Scottish Conservative and Unionist Association serving at many levels and in the 1980s was Chairman of the Northern Area, Scotland when Raymond Robertson (subsequently MP for Aberdeen South) and Jackson Carlaw C.B.E. (formerly Leader of the Scottish Conservative Party at Holyrood and currently MSP for Eastwood) served as Scottish Chairmen and the Rt.Hon. Dr Liam Fox (formerly Secretary of State for International Trade and Secretary of State for Defence in the Westminster Government) served as Scottish Vice Chairman.
Politics was in Mark's blood. A number of members of his extended family held political office in the United Kingdom and various Commonwealth Countries. Best known is probably the Rt.Hon. Thomas Johnston C.H., F.R.S.E. P.C.. who served as Secretary of State for Scotland in Winston Churchill's War Cabinet 1941-1945.
In 1982 while in the middle of studying for his honours examinations, Mark stood as the Conservative Candidate for the then Strathclyde Regional Council seat of Mount Vernon/Baillieston coming 2nd behind the sitting Labour councillor David Hay.
In 1987 Mark stood at the United Kingdom General Election as the Conservative Candidate for the Glasgow Shettleston Constituency coming 2nd behind the sitting Labour member David Marshall. The candidates in the adjacent seats were the Hon. Sir Bernard Jenkin and his future wife the Hon. Anne Strutt, now Baroness Jenkin. All 3 candidates were supported during the campaign at a public meeting held in Mark's old school Allan Glen's by guest of honour, the Rt.Hon. Edward Heath, Conservative Prime Minister 1970-1974.
Mark then read Law at the University of Glasgow graduating LL.B. (Hons.) in 1982 and Postgraduate Diploma in Legal Practice (Dip.L.P.) in 1983.
|Coat of Arms of John M Sutherland-Fisher|
In 1988 Mark was admitted a Serving Brother in the Most Venerable Order of the Hospital of Saint John of Jerusalem by order of HM the Queen. In 1992 he was promoted to the rank of Officer.
Scottish by birth, Mark's paternal family has lived in the Furness peninsula on the north-western tip of Lancashire in England (now forming part of Cumbria) since the Middle Ages. The Fisher family in addition to being major farmers in the area were involved in the extraction of iron ore and shipping. Mark's 3x great granduncle James Fisher founded the family shipping company now known as James Fisher & Sons plc in 1847. The last family member to run the company was Mark's 2nd cousin Sir John Fisher. Mark's 4x great granduncle James Fisher and his wife Jane Slater were leading lights in the foundation of the Mormon Church. Jane's sister Elizabeth Gaitskel is the 3x great grandmother of former Republican Presidential Candidate and current Senator for Utah Senator Mitt Romney.
Mark bears the Coat of Arms traditionally borne by his Fisher ancestors, reaffirmed in his Grant of Arms and Letters Patent.
Mark's maternal family is overwhelmingly Highland Scottish, his maternal grandfather being a direct male descendant of John Beg Sutherland 1st of Langwell and family through his father and Sutherland of Duffus family through his mother.
Mark is the current President of the Clan Sutherland Society in Scotland and previously served as President 1993-1996.
|Mark Sutherland-Fisher with his copy of The Earldom of Sutherland (1650)|
Mark has served as Genealogist of Clan Sutherland since 1993. Since 2012 he has also been editor of the e-newsletter of C.S.S.S. known as Sans Peur Times.
Mark has been co-administrator of the Sutherland DNA project at FTDNA since 2015.
Mark has written articles which have been published in the magazines and newsletters of a number of clans and history societies around the world.
Mark was elected to Membership of the Royal Stuart Society in January 2019.
In his former professional legal career Mark carried out the administrative requirements of the House of Lords to recognise John Mackenzie as Earl of Cromartie in succession to his late father.
Through his business Highland Family Heritage, Mark has accepted professional commissions to research genealogies on behalf of clients. Mark has also conducted background research on family genealogies and pedigrees to support authors and collaborated on their books. One example is "Edmonstone Chronicles" by Joan Wheeler La Grone, published in 2004 by WIN Publishers of Colorado, USA.
|Family Tree of the Dukes, Earls, Lairds and Chiefs of Clan Sutherland|
Mark has created the most comprehensive family tree of the Dukes, Earls, Lairds and Chiefs of Clan Sutherland 1100-2020 extending to some 31 generations and listing the various cadet lines of the family.
|Sutherland and Sinclair Family Letters from the mid-18th century (many to and from the West Indies)|
In June 2016 Mark was a guest speaker and contributor at the International Academic Conference at St Andrews University on the Role of the Flemish in 12th Century Scotland.
During his legal career Mark represented many well known figures who had homes in the Scottish Highlands. One such was Marion C Gibbons who along with her retired journalist husband Harry Scott Gibbons owned a small cottage in the Lairg area of Central Sutherland. It was there that Marion wrote the now famous "Hamish Macbeth" series of books. Originally set around East Sutherland, when turned into a successful television series starring Robert Carlisle in the main role, they were transported to the Applecross area of Wester Ross. Marion is better known under her pen names of M.C. Beaton and Marion Chesney. Marion dedicated the 2nd book in the Hamish Macbeth series "Death of a Cad" to Mark. He has often wondered if he was that cad!
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