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The Scottish Nation

ANSTRUTHER, a surname derived from the lands of Anstruther, in the county of Fife, on a portion of which the burgh of Anstruther-easter, of which the laird of Anstruther is superior, is built. The family of Anstruther of Anstruther is very ancient, having been settled in Fife in the very early periods of Scottish history. During the reign of David the First, William de Candela, obviously of Norman origin, possessed the lands of Anstruther, as appears from a charter granted in favour of the monks of Balmerinoch, by his son William, wherein he is designated "Filius Willielmi de Candela, domini de Anstruther." Henry his son first assumed the name of his lands, and in a charter of confirmation of his father’s grant, dated in 1221, he is styled " Henricus de Ayni— strother, dominus ejusdem, Filius Willielmi," &c. From these early proprietors the family of Anstruther are lineally descended.

      About the year 1515 Robert Anstruther and David his brother, younger sons of Robert de Anstruther, the sixth in descent from the original William de Candela, having gone to France, were promoted to be officers of the Scots guards in the service of the French king. David married a lady of distinction in France, and his descendant, Francis Caesar Anstrnther, contracted into Anstrude, was by Louis the Fifteenth, in 1737, raised to the dignity of a French baron, by the title of Baron de Anstrude of the seigniory of Barry.

      Sir James Anstruther, the twelfth in direct descent from William de Candela, was, in 1585, appointed heritable carver to James the Sixth. In 1592, he had the honour of knighthood conferred upon him, and was appointed one of the masters of the household to his majesty. He died in 1606.

      His son, Sir William, succeeded to his father’s offices, and was, besides, appointed one of the gentlemen of the bedchamber. On James’ accession to the English throne, he accompanied his majesty to London, and at his coronation was created a knight of the Bath. He was also in great favour with Charles the First, by whom he was appointed gentleman usher of his majesty’s privy chamber. He died in 1649; and was succeeded by his younger brother, Sir Robert, who was, by Charles the First, appointed one of the members of the privy council, and one of the gentlemen of his majesty’s bed-chamber. He was an able diplomatist, and frequently employed in negociations of state, both by James the Sixth and Charles the First. In 1620, he was sent ambassador extraordinary to the court of Denmark, to borrow money from King Christian, with power to grant security for it in the king’s name. At this time he got from the Danish king, in a compliment, a ship’s load of timber for building his house in Scotland. In April 1627, he was commissioned as minister plenipotentiary, to treat with the emperor and the states of Germany, at Nuremberg, about the concerns of the elector palatine, and other affairs of Europe. He was also appointed by Charles the First, and Frederick, king of Bohemia, elector palatine, their plenipotentiary to the diet at Ratisbon, for settling all differences between the Roman emperor Ferdinand and the elector palatine. His commission for this purpose is dated at Westminster 2d June 1630, and is signed by King Charles and Frederick, and has both their seals appended. He went also as ambassador to the meeting of the princes of Germany at Hailburn.

      His second son, Sir Philip, succeeded to the Anstruther estates. He was a zealous and gallant cavalier, and had a command in the royal army at the battle of Worcester, where he was taken prisoner. He was fined in a thousand merks by Cromwell, and his estates were sequestrated till the Restoration in 1660. He married Christian, daughter of Major-general Lumsden of Innergelly, and had five sons, two of whom were created baronets, and the other three knights. He died in 1702.

      Sir William Anstruther, the eldest son, represented the county of Fife in the Scottish parliament, in 1681, when James duke of York was his majesty’s high commissioner in Scotland, and strongly opposed the measures of the court. He sat in parliament for the county of Fife till 1709, and took an active part in the proceedings, those more particularly for securing and establishing the Protestant religion, and the government, laws, and liberties of the kingdom. In 1689 he was appointed by William the Third one of the ordinary lords of Session, and soon after was made one of his majesty’s privy council and of Exchequer. In 1694 he was created a baronet of Nova Scotia. From Queen Anne, he received a charter dated at Kensington, 20th April 1704, of the baronies of Anstruther and Ardross, and many other lands, and of the heritable bailiary of the lordship and regality of Pittenweem; and of the office of searcher, and giver of coquets for the ports of Anstruther and Elie. The same charter constitutes him heritably, one of the cibi cidoe, or carvers, and one of the masters of the household to her majesty and her successors within the kingdom of Scotland; offices which belonged to his predecessors, and which his descendant, the present baronet, continues to hold. On the 9th November of the same year he was nominated one of the lords of Justiciary, in the room of Lord Aberuchil. He married Lady Helen Hamilton, daughter of John, fourth earl of Haddington, and died at Edinburgh in January 1711. He was the author of a volume, entitled ‘Essays, Moral and Divine,’ interspersed with poetry, published at Edinburgh in 1701, in 4to. Its contents are, 1st, Against Atheism. 2d, Of Providence. 3d, Of Learning and Religion. 4th, Of trifling studies, stage plays, and romances; and 5th, Upon the incarna tion of Jesus Christ, and redemption of mankind. The work does not seem to have done much credit to his literary powers, as his friends did all they could to dissuade him from publishing it; and after his death, his son bought up every copy that could be found, for the pmpose of suppressing it. (Campbell’s History of Scottish Poetry, page 141.) He was succeeded by his son Sir John, after mentioned.

      Sir James Anstruther of Airdrie, the second son of Sir Philip, was an advocate, and principal clerk of the Bills. His son, Philip, adopted a military life, and rose to the rank of lieutenant-general in the army, but dying unmarried, his estates went to his cousin, Sir John Anstruther of Anstruther. Sir Robert Anstruther of Balcaskie, the third son of Sir Philip, acquired the estate of Balcaskie, and was created a baronet of Nova Scotia in 1694, the same year as his elder brother, Sir William.

Sir Philip Anstruther, the fourth brother, was made a knight. He was designed of Anstruther-field, from lands he so named near Inverkeithing.

      Sir Alexander Anstruther, knight, the fifth brother, married in 1694, Jean Leslie, Baroness Newark, daughter and heiress of David second lord Newark, and was father of William, third lord Newark, and Alexander, fourth lord. The title of Lord Newark, which became dormant on the death of the latter in 1791, was claimed in 1793, by his eldest son, but unsuccessfully. (See NEWARK, Lord.)

      Sir John Anstruther of Anstruther, the son of Sir William, married, in 1717, the lady Margaret Carmichael, eldest daughter of James second earl of Hyndford, and on the failure in the male line of that noble house, and the title becoming extinct in 1817, their descendant, Sir John Anstruther of Anstruther, succeeded to the entailed estates of the earldom, and assumed the name of Carmichael. (See HYNDFORD, Earl of, and CARMICHAEL, surname of.) Sir John died in 1746, and was succeeded by his son, also named John.

      Sir John, the third baronet of this branch of the family, was the author of a work on drill husbandry, published in 1796, which is understood to have been useful at the time of its publication, but is chiefly remembered from a bon mot connected with it. On its appearance one of Sir John’s friends jocularly remarked that no one could be better qualified to write on the subject, as there was not a better drilled husband in the county of Fife. Sir John married, in 1750, Janet, daughter of James Fall, Esq. of Dunbar. She was a very superior woman, and seems to have had a considerable influence with her lord. Sir John died in July 1799.

      His eldest son, Sir Philip, succeeded. He married in 1778, Anne, only child of Sir John Paterson, of Eccles, baronet, and assumed in consequence the additional surname of Paterson. He died without issue in 1808.

      He was succeeded by his brother, the Right Hon. Sir John Anstruther, of Cassis in Staffordshire, a distinguished lawyer, who had been created a baronet of Great Britain, 18th May 1798, when appointed chief justice of the supreme court of Judicature in Bengal. He married Maria, daughter of Edward Brice, Esq. of Berner’s Street, London, and had issue two sons and a daughter. He retired from the Bench in 1806, and died in 1811.

      Sir John, his eldest son, died in 1817. His only son, a posthumous child, born 6th February 1818, and named John after his father, inherited the titles and estates at his birth. He was accidentally killed while on a shooting excursion in November 1831, and the baronetcies and possessions of the family reverted to his uncle, Sir Windham Carmichael An— struther of Elie and Anstruther, the eighth baronet of Nova Scotia, and fourth of Great Britain.

      Sir Robert Anstruther, above mentioned, the founder of the Balcaskie branch, was thrice married. His first wife, whose name was Kinnear, an heiress, died without issue. His second wife, Jean Monteith Wrea, also an heiress, brought him six sons and two daughters; and by his third wife, Marion, daughter of Sir William Preston of Valleyfield, he had one son and two daughters. He was succeeded by his eldest son, Sir Philip, whose eldest son, Sir Robert, born 21st April 1733, married Lady Janet Erskine, youngest daughter of Alexander, fifth earl of Kellie, and had three sons and three daughters. Robert, the eldest, was the celebrated General Anstruther. He was born 3d March 1768, and entered at a very early period of life into the army. His first commission was in the Guards, and in 1793 he accompanied his regiment to Holland. In 1796 he joined the Austrian army in the Brigau, under the Archduke Charles then at war with France; and in one of the victories gained by the Austrians, he received a wound in the left side. In 1797 he returned home, purchased a company in the 3d Guards, and was appointed deputy quarter-master-general. In 1798 he went upon a diplomatic mission to Germany, whence he returned in the spring of the ensuing year, and in the autumn of 1799 he embarked with the expedition to the Helder. In 1800 Captain Anstruther went to Egypt as quarter-master-general to the army, under the command of Sir Ralph Abercromby, at which time the order of the Crescent was conferred upon him by the Turkish monarch. In 1802 he was appointed adjutant-general in Ireland. In 1808 he went to Portugal as brigadier-general, and distinguished himself at the battle of Vimiera. In the subsequently disastrous campaign in Spain, under the gallant Sir John Moore, General Anstruther commanded the rear-guard of the army, which he brought safely into Corunna on the night of 12th January 1809; but survived only one day the extraordinary exertions he had made, and the fatigue he had endured during the retreat. He died 14th January 1809, and lies interred in the northeast bastion of the citadel of Corunna. Sir John Moore by his own desire was buried by the side of General Anstruther. He married 16th March, 1799, Charlotte Lucy, only daughter of Col. James Hamilton, grandson of James, fourth duke of Hamilton, and had issue Sir Ralph Abercromby Anstruther, Bart., who succeeded his grandfather in August 1818, one other son and three daughters.

Anstruther from the Dictionary of National Biography

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