Well, he needn’t worry about his reception. Since the Gaelic-speaking kids did tell their friends what it was he said, and he took his belting without a squeak, I think his entire form now regards him as Robin Hood or Billy Jack.
— Lionel Menzies, An Echo in the Bone

Lionel Menzies is the principal at the village school at Broch Mordha in Inverness-shire.

Personal HistoryEdit

Little is known of Lionel's personal history. He is the principal of the village school that Jeremiah MacKenzie attends and is a member of the Freemason Lodge with his cousin Rob Cameron and Roger MacKenzie.

Events of the NovelsEdit

An Echo in the BoneEdit

In late September 1980, after two months in the village school at Broch Mordha, Jemmy catches a large rat hiding under the school's foundation and skins it. The school principal, Lionel Menzies, congratulates him and tells him not to do it again at school.

A week later, Jemmy says someting to another student in Gaelic, and one of the teachers violently grabs him by the ear and shakes him. Deeply humiliated, Jemmy calls the teacher names, again in Gaelic, and Mr. Menzies hears him. Jemmy receives three straps from the principal. The next day, Jemmy's father Roger MacKenzie comes to school. Mr. Menzies explains that he was sorry to belt Jemmy, as he likes the boy. However, he didn't have a choice as other students understood Jemmy's offensive remarks, and Menzies needed to support the teacher's authority.

Menzies and Roger meet again at the Old Inverness Lodge. Menzies asks Roger to do a little class about the Gaelic.

Written in My Own Heart's BloodEdit

On October 31, 1980, Brianna MacKenzie and her children are attacked at Lallybroch by Lionel's cousin Rob Cameron and three other accomplices.

Disturbed by the news that his own cousin poses a threat to Brianna's family, Lionel Menzies arrives at Lallybroch to talk to the MacKenzies. Seeing the attackers, he comes to Brianna's aid, and she and the children escape safely. Menzies later drives Brianna and the kids to Lallybroch, and helps her search the house.

In December 1980, Brianna prepares to go through the stones at Craigh na Dun and asks Lionel to keep an eye on Rob Cameron.

On December 21, Lionel arrives at the stone circle to warn the MacKenzies that Rob is close behind them and that they should hurry. He also gives them gems from his Masonic ring, to allow them safe passage through the stones.


Physical AppearanceEdit

Lionel Menzies is close to Roger MacKenzie's age. He is a slender, fair-skinned man with firm handshake and humorous eyes.[1] He wears spectacles and has slightly receding curly brown hair.[3]



  • Lionel is the diminutive of Léon,[4] the French form of Leon[5] which is derived from Greek λεων (leon) meaning "lion".[6]
  • Menzies is probably derived, like its Gaelic form Méinnearach, from the Norman name Mesnières [7] a locational from the place called "Mesnieres" in the province of Seine- Martime in Normandy, recorded in the 13th century as "Maneria", and hence a close association with the English spelling. The placename derives from the Latin verb manere, meaning "to reside", and hence would have described an early Roman settlement.[8]



  1. 1.0 1.1 An Echo in the Bone, Chapter 29
  2. Age as of the end of Written in My Own Heart's Blood.
  3. Written in My Own Heart's Blood, chapter 41
  4. Behind the Name: Lionel - accessed 05 June 2016
  5. Behind the Name: Léon - accessed 05 June 2016
  6. Behind the Name: Leon - accessed 05 June 2016
  7. Menzies - accessed via Wikipedia 02 July 2016
  8. Surname Database:Manners - accessed 02 July 2016

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