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Clan Anstruther

☀☀☀ Officially registered clan, with Clan Chief, registered with the Lord Lyon Court.

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  • Crest: Two arms in armour holding a pole-axe with both hands gauntleted Proper
  • Badge
  • Gaelic Name: Ànstruthair
  • Motto: Periissem ni periissem (I would have perished had I not persisted)
  • Plant Badge Sprig of Olive
  • Origin of Tartan:
  • Name Variations:
  • Lands
  • Seat: Anstruther, Fife; Balcaskie House, Fife. Balcaskie House was acquired by the Anstruther family in 1698 and remains a family residence to this day.
  • Castles Airdrie House and Newark Castle in Fife also belong to the Anstruthers.

NOTE Due to differences between English law and Scottish law, one son, Sebastian (born prior to his parents' marriage), inherited the Scottish title, becoming 9th Baronet of Balcaskie and 11th Baronet of Anstruther (both being Nova Scotia or Scottish Baronetages). Obituaries to Sir Ian noted, erroneously, that the Great Britain Baronetcy of Anstruther (1798) had passed to his other son Toby (born after Sir Ian's second marriage)

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Origins of the name

From the town of Anstruther, which was adopted as a familial name.

Origins of the Clan

Alexander I of Scotland granted the lands of Anstruther to William de Candela in the early 12th century. There are a number of suggested origins for William but research points to the Normans in Italy. It is known that William I of England sought assistance from William, Count of Candela, who sent his son. It is likely that this son was William de Candela, who received the grant of land from Alexander.

William de Candela’s son, also William de Candela, was a benefactor to the monks of Balmerino Abbey. The next generation, Henry Anstruther, no longer dropped de Candela in favor of Anstruther, being described as ‘Henricus de Aynstrother dominus ejusdem’ in a charter confirming grants of land to Balmerino Abbey.

Henry Anstruther accompanied Lois IX to the crusades and swore fealty to King Edward I of England in 1292 and again in 1296.

In 1483, Andrew Anstruther of Anstruther confirmed the right to a barony and fought against the English at the Battle of Flodden Field in 1513 during the Anglo-Scottish Wars.

His second son, David, fought at the Battle of Pavia in 1520 in the service of Francis I of France in the French Scots Regiment. This line ended with the death of the last Baron d’Anstrude in 1928.

Andrew’s great-great-grandson was chosen as a companion to the young James VI of Scotland, who appointed him Hereditary Grand Carver, a title still held by the head of the family today. In 1595 he became Master of the Household.

His son, William, accompanied James to London following the Union of the Crowns in 1603 where he was made a Knight of the Order of the Bath.

The next son Sir Phillip Anstruther led the Clan and fought as Royalists during the civil war and received Charles II at Dreel Castle after his coronation at Scone in 1651. However Phillip Anstruther was later taken prisoner after the Battle of Worcester in 1651.

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