Harry Anstruther was born in 1860, the second son of Sir Robert Anstruther, fifth Baronet Anstruther of That Ilk. He was elected a Member of Parliament, being the Liberal Unionist member for the St Andrew's District (Fife) 1886-1903. During that time he served as a Junior Lord of the Treasury (1895-1903) and became First Liberal Unionist Whip. He retired from politics in 1903, being appointed the government representative on the Administrative Council of the Suez Canal Company. He was a J.P. for Buckinghamshire and Fife in Scotland and an Alderman of London County Council from 1905 to 1910.
In 1889 he married the eldest daughter of the fourth Lord Sudeley. They lived in Little College Street, London, in the lee of the Houses of Parliament and kept a country house in Hertfordshire. His daughter, Joyce - the writer Jan Struther, later wrote of him " ... he was a gentleman of the old style, a man of the world who had been closely associated with all the most outstanding personalities of his day. On the other hand, he was a born handyman. He could have earned his living - and led, I think, a far happier life - as a jobbing carpenter."
"The second son of Sir Robert Anstruther, fifth Baronet, will be seven-and-thirty next month. In the ordinary course he went to Eton; thence he went to Edinburgh University and became an Advocate; next he became a Member of Parliament; and then he married the eldest daughter of the fourth Lord Sudeley.
He is a Liberal Unionist who has sat for the St Andrew's District since 1886; while he has been a Junior Lord of the Treasury for two years. He is also a Lieutenant in the Fife Light Horse Volunteers.
He is now the First Liberal Unionist Whip; and though he knows more of the gossip of the Lobby than most people, he is the hardest of men to get anything out of. Politically he does a Whips duty so well that he is otherwise undistinguished; yet his opponents are as friendly towards him as his supporters, and his constituents address him as Harry to his face.
He has a clever wife who is also very pretty. He is quite pleased when he is taken as a whipper-in, which is the result of his attitude; and he is altogether a very deserving person whose fault is that he is not Conservative enough in his views. He is the tidiest man ever invented: so tidy that he always hides his things; and he is known in the House as *Pincher.
* (Catching back-benchers who had failed to obey a three-line whip or had in some other way failed to follow the party line.)
From Who Was Who, 1916-1928
ANSTRUTHER, Henry Torrens, member of the Administrative Council, Suez Canal Company, since 1903; J.P. Co. Bucks and Co. Fife; Alderman, L.C.C., 1905-10; 2nd son of Sir Robert Anstruther, 5th Bt., M.P.; Director of the North British Railway Company, 1900-23; Born 1860; married 1889 Hon. Eva I. H. Hanbury-Tracy; one son, one daughter. Educated at Eton; Edinburgh University. Advocate, Edinburgh,1884; M.P. (Liberal Unionist) St Andrew's District, 1886-1903; a Lord of the Treasury, 1895-1903.
For the last ten years of his life he lived alone. He and his wife had begun to live separate lives from about 1912. He died in March 1926 as the result of an accident. E. E. C. Perriman, a house guest at that time, wrote in the Anstruther Guest Book as follows:- "H.T.A. had bad knock on the "narrows" caused by double decker towing motor bus. Turned turtle. Brought to GCH in dazed condition ... " Harry Anstruther had been accustomed to riding out in a horse and trap. The horse had panicked, the trap overturned. He died a short time afterwards, aged 66. He was buried in the churchyard of St. John's, Whitchurch in a grave marked by a block of granite from his native Scotland.