Sir Robert Anstruther (1st Bt.) bapt.1658 - d.1737

The Anstruther family has been ranked highly among the Barons of Scotland for more than eight hundred years. The Scottish King, Alexander I, granted the lands of Anstruther in Fife to William de Candela. It is known that in the year 1100, William de Candela was Lord of Anstruther. At that time it was customary for nobles to adopt their surnames from their lands; but it was rare to find a Scottish Baron who possessed a family name as well as his territorial designation. One of the few who had this distinction was William, Lord of Anstruther.

William de Candela possessed this barony in 1153. The name Candela came from Candel in Dorset, England, which had been given to the Norman family of Malherbe after the Conquest. William's grandson was the first to use Anstruther as a surname.

The Lords of Anstruther

Note from Dick Payne, June 2011
I have contacted you before on this issue. I recently heard from another Anstruther researcher who cited your web site as a source for his information. When I look at it I think you have a serious error in your material on Sir Robert Anstruther at:
The Second Son
Sir Robert Anstruther , of Wheatley, Yorkshire (jure uxoris). (d. 1645) - was appointed Gentleman of the Bedchamber to King James I and Privy Councillor to King Charles I. He was Ambassador to Denmark (1620) and to Germany (1627, 1629 and 1630) He married Mary Swift, daughter of Sir Edward Swift and the sister of Viscount Carlingford. He was buried at Westminster Abbey.
Their daughters were Christian Anstruther who married Sir J. Henderson Bt., of Fordel and Jean Anstruther who married James Makgill, of Rankeillor.
The Sir Robert Anstruther who died in 1645 was born 23 Apr 1578 in Anstruther, but the two girls you list were the daughters of the above Sir Robert's grandson, Sir Robert Anstruther of Balcaskie, 1st Bt ( See: ) He is #3 on the list of sons you list for the sons of Sir Philip Anstruther.
Searches for the two men show:
"John Henderson was born on December 16, 1686. He was the son of Sir William Henderson and Jean Hamilton. John Henderson married Christian Anstruther. John Henderson died in 1729/30." and " A contract for the marriage of Jean Anstruther and James Makgill was signed on 20 January 1720.2 " The four lived forty or fifty years after Sir Robert, d. 1645.
The Peerage website given above shows the two girls are daughters of Sir Robert of Balcaskie and Jean Monteith.
My research on Sir Robert Anstruther, d 1645, shows four children that I found mentioned in period documents:

 Contemporary copy of the Inquisition Post Mortem into the lands of Robert Anstruther, late of Wheatley, kt CWM/44 13 Jan 1645/6

 "Robert Anstruther, esq., is son and next heir, and was aged about 15 years 7 months and 4 days on the day of his father's death."

 His brother, Philip, the most famous member of the family was heir to their uncle, Sir William Anstruther. After Robert's death, his brother became his heir. (I do not think there was much left to the estate.) He is the Sir Philip who died in 1702 that you give, in error, as the eldest of six sons of Sir Robert.


there are a number of items on Robert's efforts to provide marriage portions for his two sisters:

First Party: Robert Anstruther, esquire, of St James, Middlesex.

. . .

Third Party: George Austin of Shalford, Surrey and Thomas Kecke, esquire, of the Middle Temple, London.

Fourth Party: Elizabeth Anstruther [later Elizabeth Austin] and Sarah Anstruther, sisters of (1).

 Other researchers show other children (perhaps copied from you), but these four are all I could find mentioned in government documents.

 I also think Sir Robert Anstruther had another daughter from a first marriage. Sir Robert was born 23 Apr 1578. This would make him 39 years of age when he married Mary Swift on 22 Apr 1617.

According to Berry's 1630's Sussex Genealogies a possible ancestor of mine, Thomas Payne of Petworth married Margaret, d. of Robert Wheatley , of Wheatley, co. York. The only Robert Wheatley (see below) I have been able to find is Sir Robert Anstruther who acquired the Wheatley property about the time the Genealogies were prepared.


Robert Anstruther probably came to London with James I about 1603 (His brother is said to accompanied James.) age about 25. Old enough to have a daughter who could be the mother of a child born in 1625 who I think is in my direct line.

 Thomas Payne was an Inner Temple attorney living in London who would have had the opportunity to meet and marry the daughter of Robert, but I have no further proof.

 General and heraldic dictionary of the peerage and baronetage of the British .. 1914 Burke page 108

2. Robert (Sir), of Wheatley, co. York (jure uxori*), gentleman of the bedchamber to James I., privy councillor to Charles I., ambassador to Denmark in 1620, to Germany In 1627, 1629, and 1680. He m. Mary, dau. of Sir Edward Swift, and sister of Viscount Carlingford. He was ow. in Westminster Abbey 9 Jan. 1644-6, leaving issue,

Although you have a beautiful web site, I believe you are doing a disservice to other Anstruther researchers by having incorrect material on your site.

 Regards,  Dick Payne


Various origins have been attributed to him but he is probably descended from the Normans in Italy. William the Conqueror sought help from them and it is known that William, Count of Apulia, sent a son. Thus William de Candela had already a noble name and in 1100, he was one of the most powerful Barons in Fife.

He lived through the reign of King David I of Scotland and did not die until the start of the reign of King Malcolm IV who became King in 1153. William de Candela's son, also William, was a benefactor of Balmerino Abbey giving to the monks the site presently occupied by the Scottish Fisheries Museum in Anstruther. He died in the reign of King William The Lion which began in 1165.

Henry, in the next generation discontinued using the name Candela and is described as "Henricus de Aynstrother dominus ejusdem" in a charter (1221) confirming grants to Balmerino during the reign of King Alexander II. He was also the benefactor to the monastery of Dryburgh. His son, Henry de Anstruther, Lord of Anstruther, was also a generous benefactor of the forementioned monasteries. He accompanied Loius IX (St. Louis) to the crusades. In his old age, he was forced to swear fealty for his barony of Anstruther to the English King, Edward I, in 1292 and then again, in 1296.

His son William de Anstruther, Lord of Anstruther, lived in the reign of Robert I. He confirmed the donations of his ancestors to the Abbey of Dryburgh. His son, Henry de Anstruther, of Anstruther, was father of Richard de Anstruther, of Anstruther, who lived to a great age and died in the reign of King James I of Scotland. His son, Robert de Anstruther, of Anstruther, who died in the reign of James III of Scotland, married Elizabeth Balfour, a daughter of the ancient Fifeshire house of Balfour (later raised to the peerage under the title of the Lords Balfour, of Burleigh).

In 1483, his eldest son Andrew Anstruther, of Anstruther obtained confirmation of the barony and fought with King James IV at Flodden in 1513. He married the widow of David Hepburn, of Waughton. She was Christina Sandilands, daughter of Sir James Sandliands and the Princess Joanna of Scotland, daughter of King Robert II . (His youngest son fought at the battle of Pavia in 1520, in the King of France's Scots Regiment.) He seems to have married secondly, Janet Borthwick - with Royal consequences ...

His eldest son, John Anstruther, of Anstruther ... was granted back the lands ... in 1517, after they had been in the King's hands for over two years. He had charters dated 1527 and 1542. He married firstly (Margaret) a Douglas of Loch Leven - ancestors to the Earls of Morton. He married secondly Elizabeth Spens, of Wormiston. His son, Andrew Anstruther, was killed during his father's lifetime, in 1547, at the Battle of Pinkie. He had married Margaret Abercrombie, daughter of Thomas Abercrombie, of Abercrombie.

Their son was John Anstruther, of Anstruther, who suceeded his grandfather in 1548. He later had a son, James - born to Margaret Clephane - daughter of George Clephane, of Carslogie (a family now represented by the Marquess of Northampton). Sir James Anstruther (d. 1606) was chosen as a companion of the young King James VI, who in 1585 appointed him Hereditary Grand Carver. (This office is still held by the head of the family, Sir Ian Fife Campbell Anstruther.) In 1595, Sir James Anstruther became Master of the Royal Household. He married (1571) Jean Scott, daughter of Sir Thomas Scott, of Abbotshall.

It is significant that another Scott family daughter, Elizabeth Scott - father, Sir Thomas Scott - widow of John Knatchbull - married (as his first wife) Sir Richard Smythe of Leeds Castle, Kent. Sir Richard Smythe was a son of Sir Thomas "Customer" Smythe - of the Smyth/e family originally from Wiltshire.

Sir James Anstruther and Jean Scott had two daughters - Jean Anstruther and Margaret Anstruther and two sons. The eldest son, William Anstruther, of Anstruther, (d. 1649) was confirmed as heir to his father in 1606 in the barony of Anstruther. He was appointed a Gentleman of the Bedchamber to James I. Knight of the Bath (1603). He married (1601) Euphemia Wemyss, daughter of Sir Andrew Wemyss of Myrecairnie, Fife, (a Lord of Sessions). He died leaving no heir and was suceeded by his nephew, * Sir Philip Anstruther.

The Second Son, Sir Robert Anstruther , of Wheatley, Yorkshire (jure uxoris). (d. 1645) - was appointed Gentleman of the Bedchamber to King James I and Privy Councillor to King Charles I. He was Ambassador to Denmark (1620) and to Germany (1627, 1629 and 1630) He married Mary Swift, daughter of Sir Edward Swift and the sister of Viscount Carlingford. He was buried at Westminster Abbey.

Their daughters were Christian Anstruther who married Sir J. Henderson Bt., of Fordel and Jean Anstruther who married James Makgill, of Rankeillor. They had six sons, of whom, the eldest son, * Sir Philip Anstruther (d. 1702) fought on the Royalist side in the civil war. He was a zealous and devoted soldier and held a command in the King's army. He was taken prisoner at the Battle of Worcester. He was heavily fined by Cromwell and his estates were sequestered. They were returned to him at the time of the Restoration. He received Charles II at Dreel Castle after his coronation at Scone in 1651. He succeeded his uncle. The ruins of Dreel Castle may still be seen by the mouth of the Dreel Burn in Anstruther Easter, Fife. Charles II described its tower room as "a craw's (crow's) nest".

Sir Philip Anstruther married Christian Lumsden, daughter of General Sir James Lumsden, of Innerhelly (who distinguished himself in the service of Gustavus Adolphus, King of Sweden). Sir Philip Anstruther and Christian Lumsden had 7 sons of whom (qv below) two lived to become baronets and three others knights.

TOP of page

1. Sir William Anstruther, of Anstruther, his heir - M.P. (1681-1707). He marrried (1677) Lady Helen Hamilton (daughter of the 4th Earl of Haddington). He died in 1711. Created Lord of Sessions (1699) with the title of Lord Anstruther. Scottish judge and supporter of the Prince of Orange, he was the uncle of Sir John Anstruther (1753-1811), the Anglo-Indian judge who managed the impeachment of Warren Hastings.

Their son, Sir John Anstruther, of Anstruther, was born in 1678. 1st Bt of Anstruther (1700). M.P. for Fife (1721) Carmichael Anstruther linkHe married (1717) Lady Margaret Carmichael, eldest daughter of the 2nd Earl of Hyndford, ("in right of whom the family of Anstruther have inherited as heirs general the estates and representations of the Earls of Hyndford") which is when the estates of Carmichael in Lanarkshire came into the hands of the Anstruthers. Sir John died ca.1754 and was suceeded by his son, Sir John Anstruther - 2nd Bt. of that Ilk, and Bt. Anstruther - married Janet Fall. (q.v.- Key link to lineage of Carmichael Anstruther)

2. Sir James Anstruther of Airdrie, married Katherine Skene. They had one son, General Philip Anstruther, M.P. He died unmarried.

3. Sir Robert Anstruther of Balcaskie - 1st Bt. Anstruther

4. Sir Philip Anstruther of Anstrutherfield - married Elizabeth Hamilton, daughter and heir of James Hamilton. There were children of the marriage - among whom were Philip Anstruther and Christian Anstruther who married John Stewart, 6th Earl of Traquair. Sir Philip died in 1722.

Lady Elizabeth Anstruther, daughter of James Hamilton,
wife of Sir Philip Anstruther of Anstrutherfield.
Detail from portrait - Studio of Sir Peter Lely.

5. Sir Alexander Anstruther married (1664) Jean Leslie, titular Baroness Newark (d.1740). There were children of the marriage among whom were William 3rd and Alexander 4th titular Lords Newark. Sir Alexander Anstruther died in 1743.

See also Anstruther/Leslie connection with Manners family - via the following link:

Alexander Leslie, '4th Lord Newark' (b c1711, d 10.03.1791)
  m. (c1743) Elizabeth Price (d before 04.1799)
  (A) John Leslie, '5th Lord Newark' (d unm 12.06.1818, Lt. Colonel)
  (B) Philip Anstruther (b 1747) had issue
  m. (27.10.1777) Frances Manners (b 25.03.1753, d 15.10.1792, dau of John, Marquess of Granby)

TOP of page

St. Monance Castle - Fife
Photograph streamed from Monance Castle Website by courtesy of Nola Crewe

St. Monance Castle - Fife - a former Leslie/Anstruther family holding

The Leslie family and the Anstruthers, between them, owned St. Monance Castle from 1649 - when it was purchased by the Leslies from the Sandilands family - until the mid 19th Century. Click on the image to visit the St. Monance Castle Web-site for extensive details about the castle's history and present projects associated with it.