Sunday 21 December 2014

(150) Anstruther of Balcaskie, baronets

Anstruther of Balcaskie
The Anstruther family have owned land in the East Neuk of Fife since the 12th century, and were based first at Dreel Castle in Anstruther. They have spawned numerous branches which have become established as independent gentry families, amongst the earliest of whom were the Anstruthers of Balcaskie. This branch of the family commences with Sir Robert Anstruther (1658-1737), 1st bt., third of the five sons of Sir Philip Anstruther (d. 1702) of Anstruther, all of whom were knighted or received baronetcies.  Sir Robert demonstrated loyalty to the Protestant succession in 1689-90 and was rewarded with a lucrative appointment as one of the joint receivers of inland excise in Scotland. In 1696 he became one of the first Directors of the Bank of Scotland, and he was also intermittently a MP, at first in the Scottish Parliament and after 1707 in the British parliament in London. He was made a baronet in 1694 and in 1698 was able to buy the Balcaskie estate near Pittenweem, where the house had been enlarged and modernised by Sir Robert Bruce in the 1660s and 1670s. His eldest son, Sir Philip Anstruther (1688-1763), 2nd bt., was bred to the law and was admitted to the Faculty of Advocates in 1711. He inherited Balcaskie in 1737 and enlarged the estate in 1745, before making some changes to the house in about 1750. Sir Philip must have spent a good deal of time in Edinburgh, but his eldest son, Sir Robert Anstruther (1733-1818), 3rd bt., although also trained as an Advocate, spent most of his time at Balcaskie and devoted himself to rural pursuits.  Like his father he added to the estate, buying a property at Watten in Caithness. The younger sons in each generation went mainly into the Army, and chiefly into the regiment named after their kinsman, Colonel Preston, and known later as Col. Anstruther's regiment or the Cameronians; after 1750 became the 26th Foot. The first Sir Robert had five sons in the army, including one who was killed at the Battle of Preston in 1715 and another who became a Lt-General and bought himself a small estate at Balgarvie (Fife); Sir Philip had three sons in the army, including two full Colonels, one of whom ended his days as Governor of Guernsey. 

The 3rd baronet's eldest son, Brig-Gen. Robert Anstruther (1768-1809), played a distinguished part in the Mediterranean campaigns of Sir Ralph Abercromby and in the Peninsuala War of 1808-09, but died 'of exhaustion' during the retreat to Corunna in 1809, and was buried alongside the hero Sir John Moore, who was killed at the Battle of Corunna. His younger brother, Sir Alexander Anstruther (1769-1819) was a barrister, who became a judge in India and when he returned to Scotland bought the small Thirdpart estate in Fife. Balcaskie passed to Brig-Gen. Robert Anstruther's son, Sir Ralph Abercromby Anstruther (1804-63), 4th bt., who came of age in 1825 and made alterations to the house and gardens between 1827 and 1834 and again in 1848 and 1856. Having inherited the estates and title as a child, his military career (in the Grenadier Guards) was brief, and it was left to his sons to continue the military tradition of the family. His eldest son, Sir Robert Anstruther (1834-86), 5th bt., was a Lt-Col. in the Grenadiers and saw action in Canada and Crimea, although he was invalided home from the latter conflict with dysentry.  After inheriting Balcaskie, he became MP for Fife and Lord Lieutenant of the county - the first member of the family to hold this office. In 1883 the estates consisted of 22,597 acres in Caithness and 2,121 acres in Fife, worth £9,062 a year. The principal seats were Balcaskie and Watten (Caithness).

Lt-Col. Sir Ralph William Anstruther (1858-1934), 6th bt., succeeded his father in 1886 and retired from the Royal Engineers shortly afterwards, although he continued to play an active role in local military affairs in Fife, as officer commanding a battalion of the Royal Highlanders. Like his father, he served as Lord Lieutenant of Fife, 1923-34.  His only son, Capt. Robert Edward Anstruther (1890-1921), died in his father's lifetime of wounds received in the First World War, so the heir to Balcaskie in 1934 was his young son, Sir Ralph Hugo Anstruther (1921-2002), 7th bt.  After Eton and Cambridge, Sir Ralph had twenty years in the Coldstream Guards, and then found a place in the Queen Mother's household, where he was Treasurer for nearly thirty years. In 1980 he succeeded a distant kinsman as 12th baronet of Anstruther, and as Hereditary Carver to the Sovereign in Scotland, but he was unmarried and without issue, so both the family baronetcies passed on his death to his second cousin once removed, Sir Ian Fife Campbell Anstruther (1922-2007), 8th and 13th bt. Balcaskie was vested in a trust, but became the home of Sir Ian's second son, Toby Anstruther (b. 1967) and his family.  Sir Ian was succeeded in his titles by his elder son, Sir Sebastian Paten Campbell Anstruther (b. 1962), who also inherited the estate his father had bought at Barlavington in Sussex.  The family's current wealth derives mainly from a substantial estate at South Kensington in London, which Sir Ian inherited unexpectedly from his mother's sister in 1960, and which includes Thurloe Square and Alexander Square.

Balcaskie House, Fife

Balcaskie House in 1994. Image: Nicholas Kingsley. Some rights reserved.

The earliest reference to the estate is in a royal charter of 1223, when it was held by the Balcaskie family, but it passed by marriage to the Strang family in about 1362.  It was probably David John Strang (fl. 1575-1613), who built an L-shaped tower house which is the earliest part of the present building to survive, since a monogram of his initials appears in the pediment above the garden entrance, but some authorities attribute this building to Alexander Moncrieff in the 1620s. The original building is still detectable by its thicker walls, and is now represented by the four-storey block with a crow-stepped chimney-gable at the western end of the north front, and about half of the south front. There was a projecting spiral staircase in a semi-circular tower on the west front.

In 1665 the estate was bought by Sir William Bruce, scion of a minor branch of the great Bruce clan, who had sought refuge from the Commonwealth regime in the 1650s as a merchant in Rotterdam, and who made himself useful to the future King Charles II by conveying messages to and from General Monck when the Restoration was being negotiated. As a result, Bruce was rewarded a baronetcy and a succession of posts in the Royal Works in the 1660s.  Unlike many placemen he appears to have developed a genuine interest in and talent for architecture, and Sir John Clerk of Penicuik described him as 'the chief introducer of architecture in this country'. By 1670 he was advising on the reconstruction of Thirlestaine Castle (Berwicks) and after his appointment as Surveyor-General of the Kings Works in Scotland in 1671 he was responsible for remodelling Holyroodhouse. He cut his architectural teeth, however, at Balcaskie in 1668-74, at Leslie House (Fife) in 1667-72, and perhaps at Panmure House (Angus), where he may have played a role in the late 1660s. Nothing is known of his architectural education, although it was undoubtedly informed by his travels as a merchant in the Low Countries and northern France in the 1650s, and probably also by the study of engravings of contemporary English and French design. His early works, such as Balcaskie, are markedly less innovative than the later ones such as Kinross House, although they do show interesting evidence of his architectural experimentation.

Balcaskie House: north front of 1668-74. The centre was raised and altered c.1750, when the Venetian window was inserted, and again c.1830 when the porch was added by William Burn.  Image: Nicholas Kingsley. Some rights reserved.

At Balcaskie, he made the house balanced and regular, although not entirely symmetrical, by constructing a new L-shaped block as a mirror image of the existing tower house.  The open centre of the resulting broad U-shape he filled with a two-storey block, probably flat-roofed and balustraded. The work was carried out in 1668-74 by John Hamilton, mason and Andrew Waddell and Alexander Paterson, wrights.

On the north front the old crow-stepped tower (which he may have heightened) is matched by another of the same height (but with only three storeys instead of four) placed at the other end of the facade. Outside these, he added the square towers with pyramidal roofs which also appear at the angles of the south front. Quite how the centre, between the two tower elements, was handled is not clear.  Perhaps almost by accident, Balcaskie came to have a pioneering double-pile plan, with two lines of rooms placed back-to-back: it was a model which Bruce was to re-use in more studied terms in many of his later houses.  It is also possible that Bruce was responsible for the curving walls and the compact side-pavilions to which they lead (although in my view these are more likely to be additions of c.1745-50, as John Gifford first suggested). If this Palladian layout is of Bruce's time, it is his greatest innovation, and especially remarkable as he did not buy a copy of Palladio's Quattro Libri until 1676: in all Britain only Stoke Bruern House and Berkeley House in London had such pavilions before 1674.

In about 1750 Sir Philip Anstruther altered the centre of the north front, raising it to three storeys, and inserting the Venetian window in the centre.  It seems most likely that the Palladian forecourt arrangement was also created at this time.  Further changes were made to the north front in 1830-32, when William Burn added a Jacobean porch, and inserted a window either side of the Venetian window to bring more light into the gallery he created or redecorated on the first floor. Burn also made a Jacobethan stair to the first floor to provide a formal access to this room.  

The main rooms of the 17th century house are on the south front, where there was a state apartment extending the length of the house.  It began at the west end with a double-cube ante room; next came a drawing room (now the library); then the state bedchamber (now the dining room), and finally a closet (now the breakfast room) in the south-east corner turret. The family rooms were on the second floor, where the Blue Room was probably Bruce's bedchamber and the Globe Room was probably his study.  Most of these rooms have rich decorative plasterwork, which is probably largely by the English master-plasterer George Dunsterfield and his assistant William Lindores, both of whom also worked for Bruce at Thirlestaine and Holyroodhouse, and whose bills are preserved. The Blue Room has a low-relief ceiling with moulded ribs and simple motifs of cherubs, roses and thistles, and also the initials of Bruce and his wife, Dame Mary Halket. The Globe Room has a large globe-shaped pendant wrapped in bands of zodiac signs.  The most elaborate ceilings are in the state rooms on the first floor: the library and dining room have painted central panels set in elaborate plasterwork surrounds. The paintings, representing Fame and Daedalus and Icarus respectively, are attributed to Jacob de Wet, several of whose bills survive in the family papers. The ceiling in the dining room is likely to be all of the 1670s, as Daedalus and Icarus is painted directly on the plaster, but the library ceiling appears to have been altered in the mid 18th century, judging by the mix of classical and more primitive motifs employed. The house was restored by Sir Ralph Anstruther in 1987, and again by the present owner.

Balcaskie House: south front. Image: © Jimmy Graham

On the south or garden front, the regularity of the house is a little less perfectly achieved, and the appearance is not helped by William Burn's alterations of 1830 for the 4th bt., which included lengthening the first floor windows and creating the balcony of cast iron which originally ran the whole width of the facade, but part of which has been removed in recent years. 

In 1856-58 David Bryce made further alterations to the western end of the house in his Scots Baronial style.  He provided a large new main staircase, which involved the destruction of the original spiral staircase of the Strangs tower house.  A bow window was also added to the western corner-tower on the south front.

Balcaskie House: west elevation, 1994. Image: Nicholas Kingsley. Some rights reserved.

Balcaskie House: the upper terrace and the axis aligned on the Bass Rock, 1994.
Image: Nicholas Kingsley. Some rights reserved.

Balcaskie House: the Lawn Terrace, showing the buttressing of the main terrace and one of the arches added by
W.S. Gilpin in 1827-32. Image: Nicholas Kingsley. Some rights reserved.

An important component of Sir William Bruce's scheme for Balcaskie was his layout of the grounds, with a series of three broad terraces descending from the house to the south, on an axis aligned on the Bass Rock, twelve miles away in the Firth of Forth: this arrangement still survives.  The first terrace has a massive retaining wall strengthened at regular intervals by broad buttresses. The two lower terraces were originally planted as orchards.  In 1827-32 Sir Ralph Anstruther, 4th bt., brought in William Sawrey Gilpin to make some changes. His most important additions were two broad flights of stone steps at either end of Bruce's massive retaining wall, linking the first two terraces, and the balustrade which tops the retaining wall. He also created a broad gravel walk between two stone arches along the top terrace. The parterre here was designed later, by William Andrews Nesfield, in 1847-48.

Descent: David John Strange (fl. 1575-1613); to son, John Strang, who sold 1615 to Alexander Moncreiff; to David Moncrieff (d. 1629); to nephew, John Moncrieff (d. before 1647); to son, David Moncrieff (d. 1658); to son, John Moncrieffe, who sold 1665 to Sir William Bruce (c.1630-1710), architect, who greatly extended the house; sold 1684 to Sir Thomas Stewart of Grandtully, who sold 1698 to Sir Robert Anstruther (1658-1737), 1st bt.; to son, Sir Philip Anstruther (1688-1763), 2nd bt.; to son, Sir Robert Anstruther (1733-1818), 3rd bt.; to grandson, Capt. Sir Ralph Abercromby Anstruther (1804-63), 4th bt.; to son, Lt-Col. Sir Robert Anstruther (1834-86), 5th bt.; to son, Lt-Col. Sir Ralph William Anstruther (1858-1934), 6th bt.; to grandson, Sir Ralph Hugo Anstruther (1921-2002), 7th & 12th bt.; to kinsman, Tobias (k/a Toby) Alexander Campbell Anstruther (b. 1968).

Anstruther family of Balcaskie, baronets

Anstruther, Sir Robert (1658-1737), 1st bt. Third son of Sir Philip Anstruther (d. 1702) of Anstruther (Fife) and his wife Christian, daughter of Gen. Sir James Lumsden of Innergelly, baptised 24 September 1658. A merchant-burgess of Anstruther and one of the receivers of the customs there and in Bo'ness; burgess of Edinburgh, 1689 and Aberdeen, 1698; joint general receiver of supply and inland excise for Scotland, 1691-1707; joint farmer of the excise for Scotland, 1696-97; MP for Anstruther Easter, 1681-82 and for Anstruther Wester, 1702-07 in the Scottish Parliament and for Fife, 1709-10 in the British Parliament. Director of the Bank of Scotland, 1696. He was created 1st bt. of Wrea and Balcaskie, 28 November 1694. He married 1st, c.1684, Sophia (d. 1686), daughter and heir of David Kinnear of Kilmany (Fife), and for a time assumed the name of Kinnear, c.1684-86; he married 2nd, 12 March 1687 at Edinburgh, Jean, daughter and heir of William Monteith of Wrea (West Lothian), and 3rd, 13 September 1703 at Edinburgh, his cousin, Marion (d. 1743), daughter of Sir William Preston, 2nd bt. of Valleyfield, and had issue:
(2.1) Sir Philip Anstruther (1688-1763), 2nd bt. (q.v.);
(2.2) Capt. William Anstruther (1691-1715), baptised in Edinburgh, 11 September 1691; an officer in the 26th Foot; killed at the storming of Preston (Lancs), 12 November 1715;
(2.3) Lt-Gen. Robert Anstruther (d. 1773) of Balgarvie (Fife); entered the army 1718 (Capt., 1718; Major, 1738; Lt-Col., 1745; Col., 1755; Maj-Gen. 1758; Lt-Gen., 1765) and fought at Dettingen, Fontenoy and Culloden; married, 11 August 1765 in Edinburgh, Lady Elizabeth (d. 1803 or 1804), daughter of Charles Maitland, 6th Earl of Lauderdale and widow of James Ogilvie of Inchmartin; died without issue; administration of goods (with will annexed) granted by PCC, 6 August 1773;
(2.4) Margaret Anstruther (b. 1694), baptised at Linlithgow, 19 June 1694; probably died unmarried;
(2.5) Christian Anstruther (d. 1760); married, 17 September 1716 in Edinburgh, Sir John Henderson (1686-c.1730), 3rd bt. of Fordel, and had issue two sons and four daughters; buried in Edinburgh, 5 February 1760;
(2.6) Lt-Col. George Anstruther (b. 1696; fl. 1755), baptised at Linlithgow, 23 May 1696; an officer in 26th Foot (Lt-Col., 1755);
(2.7) John Anstruther (b. 1701), born 3 January 1701; died young;
(2.8) Jean Anstruther (d. 1778); married, 3/9 January 1720, James Makgill (d. 1747) of Rankeillor (Fife), de jure 4th Viscount of Oxfuird, but died without issue, 1778;
(2.9) Alexander Anstruther (fl. 1716); an ensign in 26th Foot; died unmarried;
(3.1) Anne Anstruther (b. c.1704/5); married, 26 October 1729 at Largo (Fife) as his second wife, James Durham (1678-1744?) of Largo and had issue three sons;
(3.2) Isobel Anstruther (b. 1706), baptised 8 December 1706; probably died unmarried;
(3.3) Maj. Charles Anstruther (1707-64), baptised at Carnbee, 25 December 1707; served in the Army (Major, 1737) but was apparently later an advocate in Edinburgh; died without issue, 1764;
(3.4) Prestina Anstruther (b. 1709), baptised 13 August 1709; probably died unmarried;
(3.5) Agnes Anstruther (1713-86), baptised 3 December 1713; died unmarried, 16 June 1786.
He purchased the Balcaskie estate in 1698.
He died March 1737. His first wife died without issue in 1686. The date of death of his second wife is unknown. His widow died April 1743.

Anstruther, Sir Philip (1688-1763), 2nd bt. Eldest son of Sir Robert Anstruther (1658-1737), 1st bt. of Balcaskie, and his second wife, Jean, daughter and heir of William Monteith of Wrea, born 1688. A member of the Faculty of Advocates, 1711; one of the Principal Clerks to the Bills. Succeeded his father as 2nd bt., March 1737, and was served heir general, 2 February 1742.  He married, c.1732, Catherine (1697-1759), eldest daughter of Lord Alexander Hay of Spott (East Lothian), and had issue:
(1) Sir Robert Anstruther (1733-1818), 3rd bt. (q.v.);
(2) Alexander Anstruther (b. 1734), baptised 26 February 1734; died young;
(3) Catherine Anstruther (b. 1735), born 7 and baptised 10 April 1735; died young;
(4) Col. John Anstruther (1736-1815), born 13 and baptised 19 May 1735; served in the army, 1751-82 (Lt., 1756; Capt., 1762; Major, 1766; Lt-Col, 1773; Col., 1780; retired 1782) and surrendered the 62nd Foot at Saratoga, 1777; prisoner, 1777-78 when he was released as part of a prisoner exchange; officer in Fifeshire Corps of Fencible Cavalry, 1794-97 (Major, 1794; Lt-Col., 1796; Col., 1797); married, 24 December 1774, Grizel Maria (d. 1795), daughter of John Thomson of Charleton House (Fife) and had issue four sons and two daughters, from whom descend the Anstruther-Thomson family who will be the subject of a future post; died 10 February 1815 and was buried at Kilconquhar (Fife);
(5) Philip Anstruther (b. 1737; fl. 1765), born 7 and baptised 10 August 1737; married Anna Anderson and had issue two sons and two daughters;
(6) Col. William Anstruther (1738-1805), baptised 24 July 1738; served in the army from 1755-77 (Lt., 1757; Capt., 1766; retired, 1777); settled at Bergen (New Jersey) 1777-79 but was re-commissioned in Royal Garrison Battalion (Major, 1779) and served in Bermuda, c.1782; later commissioned in Independent Company of Invalids (Lt-Col., 1790; Col., 1795) in Jersey; Commandant of Guernsey, 1795-1805; married Isabella McLeod (c.1750-1836) and had issue two sons and four daughters; died 1805 and was buried in St. Peter Port (Guernsey);
(7) Capt. James Anstruther (1739-76), born 22 and baptised 25 July 1739; served in the Army from 1756 (Lt., 1759; Capt., 1770); died unmarried, 22 December 1776;
(8) Jane/Jean Anstruther (b. 1740), born 26 and baptised 27 November 1740;
(9) Christian Anstruther (1742-1803), baptised 28 February 1742; married, 22 May 1769, James Lumsdaine (d. 1820) of Innergellie, but died without issue; probably the person of this name buried at Cupar (Fife), 24 November 1803;
(10) Catherine Anstruther (1743-1826), born 11 and baptised 15 May 1743; died unmarried, 7 March 1826 at Pittenweem (Fife);
(11) Charles Anstruther (1746-78), born 13 and baptised 17 November 1746; died unmarried in Dominica, July 1778;
(12) Agnes Anstruther (b. 1748), born 13 and baptised 14 September 1748; probably died young.
He inherited the Balcaskie estate from his father in 1737 and acquired the neighbouring Carnbee estate in 1745. He made alterations to the house at Balcaskie, c.1750.
He died 27 May 1763. His wife died at Balcaskie, 11 February 1759.

Anstruther, Sir Robert (1733-1818), 3rd bt. Eldest son of Sir Philip Anstruther (1688-1763), 2nd bt., of Balcaskie, and his wife Catherine, daughter of Lord Alexander Hay of Spott (East Lothian), born 19 and baptised 21 April 1733. A member of the Faculty of Advocates and one of the principal Clerks to the Bills, but he lived principally at Balcaskie and devoted himself to country pursuits. He succeeded his father as 3rd bt., 27 May 1763. He married, 17 August 1763, Lady Janet (1742-70), youngest daughter of Alexander Erskine, 5th Earl of Kellie, and had issue:
(1) Janet Anstruther (1764-98), born 25 and baptised 28 May 1764; married, 28 September 1797, Sir Thomas Andrew Lumisden Strange (1756-1841), later Chief Justice of Madras (who married 2nd, 1806, Louisa Burroughes) and had issue one daughter (who died in infancy); died in Madras, 14 May 1798, reputedly of complications following childbirth;
(2) Catherine Anstruther (c.1765-1820); died unmarried, 22 September 1820 and was buried at St George, Hanover Square, 4 October 1820; administration of goods with will annexed granted, 14 March 1821
(3) Elizabeth Anstruther (1766-1839), born 30 October 1766; married, 23 February or 7 March 1787, Col. Colin Campbell (c.1761-1839) of Stonefield and had issue three sons; died 1839;
(4) Robert Anstruther (1768-1809) (q.v.);
(5) Sir Alexander Anstruther (1769-1819), kt. of Thirdpart (Fife), born 10 September 1769; educated at Wadham College, Oxford (matriculated 1785) and Lincolns Inn (called to bar 1792); barrister-at-law; went to India, 1798; Advocate-General in Madras, 1803-12; Recorder of Bombay, 1812-18; knighted, 9 April 1813; married, 14 March 1803, Sarah (d. 1865), daughter of Thomas Prendergast of Croan (Ireland) and widow of Capt. W. Selby of Hon. East India Co. service, and had issue four sons and five daughters; died 16 July 1819 in Mauritius; will proved 28 May 1821;
(6) Philip Anstruther (1770-96), born 4 October 1770; officer in the Royal Navy; died 23 July 1796.
He inherited the Balcaskie estate from his father in 1763 and purchased an estate at Watten (Caithness) in about 1780. At his death he was succeeded by his grandson, Sir Ralph Abercromby Anstruther (1804-63), 4th bt. (q.v.).
He died at Balcaskie, 2 August 1818. His wife died 14 October 1770.

Anstruther, Brig-Gen. Robert (1768-1809). Eldest son of Sir Robert Anstruther (1733-1818), 3rd bt., of Balcaskie, and his wife Lady Janet, youngest daughter of Alexander Erskine, 5th Earl of Kellie, born 3 and baptised 7 March 1768. Educated at Westminster School. An officer in the Army, 1788-1809 (Capt., 1792; Major, 1797; Lt-Col, 1797; Brig-Gen., 1808); served in Flanders, 1793-94 and West Indies, 1797-99; Quartermaster General in Mediterranean, 1800 under Gen. Sir Ralph Abercromby; Adjutant-General in Ireland, 1802; served in Peninsula Campaigns, where he fought at the Battle of Vimiera and commanded the rearguard of Sir John Moore's retreat to Corunna, 1809. Appointed a knight of the Crescent (Egypt). He married, 19 March 1799 at Margate (Kent), Lucy Charlotte (1778-1833), only daughter of Lt-Col. James Hamilton of Coldstream Guards, and had issue:
(1) Jane Anstruther (1801-65), born 13 January and baptised 21 June 1801; married, 21 January 1822, John Dalyell (d. 1843) of Lingo (Fife), provost of Cupar, and had issue three sons and two daughters; died 13 March 1865;
(2) Sir Ralph Abercromby Anstruther (1804-63), 4th bt. (q.v.);
(3) Charlotte Lucy Anstruther (1805-90), born 11 April in Dublin and baptised 11 May 1805; died unmarried, 5 January 1890;
(4) Capt. James Hamilton Anstruther (later Lloyd-Anstruther) (1806-82) of Hintlesham Hall (Suffolk), born 20 December 1806; JP and DL for Suffolk; Capt. in 46th Regiment; married 1st, 6 December 1838, Georgiana Charlotte (d. 1843), daughter of Hon. Lindsey Merrik Peter Burrell and had issue one son, from whom descend the Anstruther-Gough-Calthorpe baronets, who will be the subject of a future post; married 2nd, 1 November 1847, Hon. Georgiana Christiana Barrington (1810-81), fourth daughter of Rev. George Barrington, 5th Viscount Barrington, and had issue four sons; died 23 December 1882;
(5) Elizabeth Christian Anstruther (1808-1893), born 23 March and baptised 18 April 1808; married, 2 November 1837, Rev. William Henry Deane (1799-1854), rector of Hintlesham, and had issue three sons and two daughters; died 7 December 1893.
He died of exhaustion at Corunna, 14 January 1809, in the lifetime of his father, and was buried next to Sir John Moore. His widow died 2 February 1833.

Sir R.A. Anstruther
Anstruther, Capt. Sir Ralph Abercromby (1804-63), 4th bt. Eldest son of Brig-Gen. Robert Anstruther (1768-1809) and his wife Charlotte Lucy, only daughter of Lt-Col. James Hamilton, born in London, 1 March and baptised 13 May 1804; educated at Trinity College, Cambridge (MA 1822); Captain in Grenadier Guards (retired 1829). He succeeded his grandfather as 4th bt., 2 August 1818. Convenor of Fife, 1855-60; Rector of St. Andrews University, 1859-63. He married, 2 September 1831 at Lambeth (Surrey), Mary Jane (1811-86), daughter of Maj-Gen. Sir Henry Torrens KCB and had issue including:
(1) Lucy Charlotte Anstruther (1833-1903), born 12 April and baptised 13 June 1833; married, 12 August 1852, Capt. Sir Alexander Kinloch (1830-1912), 10th bt. of Gilmerton, and had issue three sons and two daughters; died 14 November 1903;
(2) Sir Robert Anstruther (1834-86), 5th bt. (q.v.);
(3) Henry Anstruther (1836-54), born 4 June 1836; served as a Lieutenant in Welsh Fusiliers and was killed at the Battle of Alma, 20 September 1854;
(4) Hamilton Anstruther (1842-73), born 11 August 1842; appointed commissioner to inquire into the jute industry in India, c.1872; died unmarried at Alexandria, 4 September 1873;
(5) Mary Anstruther (c.1845-1911); married, 20 June 1867 at St Paul, Kensington, Charles Hugh Berners (1842-1919) of Woolverstone Park (Suffolk), son of Capt. Hugh Berners, and had issue three sons and two daughters; died at Marseilles (France), 17 April 1911; will proved 2 August 1911 (estate £1,941).
He inherited the Balcaskie estate from his grandfather in 1818 and came of age in 1825. He made alterations to the house and gardens in 1827-34, 1848 and 1856.
He died 18 October 1863. His widow married 2nd, 14 November 1868 at Edinburgh, William Talbot Talbot-Crosbie (d. 1899) of Ardfert Abbey (Kerry), died 26 August 1886 and was buried at Ardfert.

Anstruther, Lt-Col. Sir Robert (1834-86), 5th bt. Eldest son of Sir Ralph Abercromby Anstruther (1804-63), 4th bt., and his wife Mary Jane (1811-86), daughter of Maj-Gen. Sir Henry Torrens KCB, born 28 August 1834 at Edinburgh. Educated at Harrow. Served in Grenadier Guards 1853-62 (Lt-Col., 1861) and saw action in the Crimea and Canada; MP for Fifeshire, 1864-80 and St. Andrews, 1885-86. Lord Lieutenant of Fife, 1864-86. He married, 20 July 1857 at Beckenham (Kent), Louisa Maria Chowne (d. 1913), daughter of Rev. William Knox Marshall, vicar of Wragby (Lincs) and prebendary of Hereford Cathedral, and had issue:
(1) Sir Ralph William Anstruther (1858-1934), 6th bt. (q.v.);
(2) Mary Evelyn Anstruther (1859-1921), born July 1859; died 2 January 1921;
(3) Henry Torrens Anstruther (1860-1926), born 27 November 1860; educated at Eton and Edinburgh University; advocate in Scotland, 1884; Liberal Unionist MP for St Andrews, 1886-1903; Government Whip, 1895-1903; member of administrative council of Suez Canal, 1903; JP for Buckinghamshire and Fife; married, 24 August 1889 (sep. 1912), Hon. Dame Eva Hanbury-Tracy DBE (1869-1935), eldest daughter of 4th Baron Sudeley and had issue one son and one daughter; died 5 April 1926;
(4) Admiral Robert Hamilton Anstruther CMG (1862-1938), born 10 June 1862; an officer in the Royal Navy (Lt. 1885; Commander, 1897; Capt., 1904; Commodore, 1912; Rear-Admiral, 1915; retired, 1916; Vice-Admiral, 1919; Admiral, 1924) who served as senior naval officer on Danube, 1900-02; North Sea Fisheries, 1902-04; Newfoundland fisheries, 1906-08; Hong Kong and coast of China, 1912-16; appointed CMG 1907 and awarded Order of Rising Sun (2nd class), Japan; married, 6 January 1890, Edith Flora (d. 1944), daughter of William Felton Peel and had issue one son; died 26 September 1938;
(5) Arthur Wellesley Anstruther CB (1864-1938), born 5 March 1864; Capt. in Fife Artillery Militia; private secretary to President of Board of Agriculture & Fisheries, 1892-98; Chief Clerk to Board, 1898-1902; Assistant Secretary to Board, 1902-20; author of the History of the family of Anstruther, 1923; married 1st, 26 April 1893, Hon. Mary Elma Cumming-Bruce (d. 1894), daughter of 5th Baron Thurlow; married 2nd, 21 October 1901 (Louisa Adele) Rose (d. 1962), daughter of William Hume Trapman of Charleston (South Carolina) and London and had issue two sons and one daughter; died 20 October 1938.
He inherited the Balcaskie estate from his father in 1863.
He died 21 July 1886. His widow died at Shamley Green (Surrey), 25 January 1913; her will was proved 3 April 1913 (estate £6,822).

Anstruther, Lt-Col. Sir Ralph William (1858-1934), 6th bt. Eldest son of Lt-Col. Sir Robert Anstruther (1834-86), 5th bt. and his wife Louisa Maria Chowne, daughter of Rev. William Knox Marshall, born 5 July and baptised at Beckenham. Educated at Eton; Hon. LL.D (St Andrews Univ). An officer in the Royal Engineers, 1877-90, serving in Egypt, 1883 and on the Bechuanaland expedition, 1884-85; later Lt-Col. commanding 6th Fifeshire Volunteer Battalion of Royal Highlanders and Hon. Col. of 6th/7th Battn. JP for Fife and JP and DL for Caithness; Lord Lieutenant of Fife, 1923-34. He succeeded his father as 6th bt, 21 July 1886. He married, 5 August 1885 at St Mark, North Audley Street, London, Mildred Harriet CBE (1863-1952), daughter of Edward Hussey of Scotney Castle and Lamberhurst (Kent), and had issue:
(1) Margaret Christian Anstruther (1887-1925), born 16 August 1887; died unmarried, 8 September 1925;
(2) Magdalen Janet Anstruther (1889-1953), born 19 April 1889; married, 14 August 1911, Lt-Col. Sir Thomas Wilfred Hargreaves John Erskine DSO (1880-1944), 4th bt. of Cambo and had issue two sons and six daughters; died 15 February 1953;
(3) Robert Edward Anstruther (1890-1921) (q.v.);
(4) Sarah Katherine Anstruther (1894-1952), born 28 September 1894; JP for Fife; died unmarried, 22 December 1952;
(5) Elizabeth Mildred Louisa Anstruther (1896-1932), born 29 April 1896; married, 20 October 1920, Maj. Julian Neil Oscar Rycroft DSO MC (1892-1928), only son of Maj-Gen. Sir William Henry Rycroft KCB KCMG and had issue two daughters; died 11 September 1932;
(6) Gertrude Mary Anstruther (1900-75), born 9 March 1900; Headmistress of St. James' School, West Malvern, 1948-60; Assistant Prof. of English, Hood College, Maryland, 1961-62 and Coffey College, Nevada, 1962-64; died unmarried, 10 April 1975.
He inherited the Balcaskie estate from his father in 1886. At his death his title and estates passed to his grandson, Sir Ralph Hugo Anstruther (1921-2002), 7th bt. (q.v.).
He died 30 September 1934. His widow died 25 April 1952.

Anstruther, Capt. Robert Edward (1890-1921). Only son of Lt-Col. Sir Ralph William Anstruther (1858-1934), 6th bt., of Balcaskie, and his wife Mildred Harriet, daughter of Edward Hussey of Scotney Castle (Kent), born 4 April 1890. Served in the Royal Highlanders from 1909 (Lt. 1912; Capt. 1914; Temp. Col.) and was twice wounded and awarded the MC and the Croix de Guerre with palms. He married, 16 June 1919 at Naas (Kildare), Margeurite Lily Blanche (1897-1992), only daughter of Hugo de Burgh of Ballinapierce (Wexford), and had issue:
(1) Sir Ralph Hugo Anstruther (1921-2002), 7th bt. (q.v.).
He died from the effects of his wounds, 22 July 1921, in the lifetime of his father. His widow died 12 July 1992.

Anstruther, Sir Ralph Hugo (1921-2002), 7th and 12th bt. Only child of Capt. Robert Edward Anstruther (1890-1921) and his wife Margeurite, daughter of Hugo de Burgh of Ballinapierce (Wexford), born 13 June 1921. His father died a month after he was born and since his mother disliked Balcaskie, he was brought up mainly at his grandmother's family home, Scotney Castle. Educated at Eton and Magdalene College, Cambridge (BA 1940). Major in Coldstream Guards, 1941-59; served in WW2 (wounded) and Malaya (mentioned in despatches); member of the Royal Company of Archers. Assistant Private Secretary to Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, 1959-64; Equerry, 1959-2002; Treasurer of Queen Mother's Household, 1961-98 and Treasurer Emeritus, 1998-2002. DL for Fife and Caithness. Succeeded his grandfather as 7th bt. of Balcaskie, 30 September 1934, and his distant kinsman as 12th bt. of Anstruther, 1980. Hereditary Carver to the Sovereign in Scotland. He was appointed MC 1943, CVO 1967, KCVO 1976, GCVO 1993. He was unmarried and without issue.
He inherited the Balcaskie estate from his grandfather in 1934 and restored the house in the 1980s.  At his death his titles passed to his second cousin once removed, Sir Ian Fife Campbell Anstruther (1922-2007), 8th and 13th bt (q.v.); Balcaskie having been made over some years earlier to Sir Ian's second son, Tobias (k/a Toby) Alexander Campbell Anstruther (b. 1968).
He died 19 May 2002.

Sir Ian Anstruther (1922-2007)
Anstruther, Sir Ian Fife Campbell (1922-2007), 8th and 13th bt. Second but only surviving son of Douglas Tollemache Anstruther (1893-1956) and his first wife, Enid (d. 1964), second daughter of Lord George Granville Campbell, born 11 May 1922. His early life was blighted by his parents' divorce and subsequent custody proceedings, 1924-38, and he was largely brought up by his mother's sister, Joan Campbell. Educated at Eton and New College, Oxford (BA 1942). Captain in Royal Corps of Signals, 1942-47; member of Royal Company of Archers.  Attaché at the British embassy in Washington DC (USA) and private secretary to Lord Inverchapel, the ambassador, 1947-51; historian and writer; author of works including I Presume, 1956 (a biography of H.M. Stanley); The Knight and the Umbrella, 1963 (on the Eglinton tournament); The scandal of the Andover Workhouse, 1973; Oscar Browning1983 (a biography); Coventry Patmore's Angel, 1992 (a biography of Patmore and his wife) and The Baronets' Champion, 2006. Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London; a major benefactor of the London Library, where he funded the Anstruther Wing, 1992, and of Cambridge University Library; founder of the Anstruther Literary Trust. He succeeded his second cousin once removed, Sir Ralph Hugo Anstruther, in the baronetcies of Balcaskie and Anstruther in 2002, and believed he had also inherited the British baronetcy created for the 4th bt. of Anstruther in 1798, although this had in reality become extinct in 1980. He married 1st, 7 March 1951 (div. 1963), (Geraldine) Honor (d. 2002), elder daughter of Capt. Gerald Stuart Blake MC of Clock House, Lindfield, Sussex, and 2nd, 15 November 1963, Susan Margaret Walker RIBA (b. 1930), daughter of Henry St. John Brading Paten, and had issue:
(1.1) (Emily) Kate Campbell Anstruther (b. 1953); married 1st. 1975 (div. 1986) Malcolm Harrison and had issue two sons and two daughters, and 2nd, 1988 (Andrew) Simon Basil Crosby of Hindleap Corner, Forest Row (Sussex), son of Andrew Basil Crosby MBE;
(2.1) Sir Sebastian Paten Campbell Anstruther (b. 1962), 9th and 14th bt. of Barlavington, born 13 September 1962; born before his parents' marriage but legitimated under Scots law by their marriage and thereby enabled to inherit his father's titles; inherited the Barlavington estate from his father, 2007; married, 1992, Pornpan (k/a Goy) Pinitwong of Thailand and had issue one son and one daughter;
(2.2) Lucy Anstruther (b. & d. 1964); died June 1964;
(2.3) Rachel Whittome Campbell Anstruther (b. 1965), born 28 August 1965;
(2.4) Harriet (k/a Hattie) Joan Campbell Anstruther (b. 1967), born 24 March 1967; writer and designer; married 1st, 19 July 1991 (div. 1995) Hamish Howard Anthony Summers, son of Anthony Gilbert Summers, and had issue one daughter; 2nd, 27 July 2002, Henry Bourne, son of Prof. Kenneth Bourne;
(2.5) Tobias (k/a Toby) Alexander Campbell Anstruther (b. 1968) (q.v.);
(2.6) Eleanor Thurloe Campbell Anstruther (b. 1971) of Chiddingfold, Dunsfold (Surrey), born 30 March 1971; married, 2005, Geoffrey A. Tanner.
He purchased the 3,000 acre Barlavington estate in Sussex in 1956 and unexpectedly inherited an estate in South Kensington (including Thurloe Square and Alexander Square) from his aunt, Joan Campbell, in 1960, which made him wealthy. He also bought an estate at Hascombe (Surrey) in 1972 and a house near St. Tropez (France) in 1973. At his death Barlavington passed to his elder son and Hascombe to his younger son. 
He died at Barlavington, 29 July 2007; his will was proved in 2008 (estate in excess of £35m). His first wife died 22 December 2002. His widow is now living.

Anstruther, Tobias (k/a Toby) Alexander Campbell (b. 1968). Second son of Sir Ian Fife Campbell Anstruther (1922-2007), 8th and 13th bt., born 16 December 1968. Chief of Clan Anstruther and Hereditary Carver to the Sovereign in Scotland. At the time of his father's death in 2007 it was widely reported that he had inherited his father's British baronetcy as the eldest son of his father born in wedlock, but this baronetcy had in fact expired in 1980.  He married, 1996, Kate, daughter of Thomas Pevsner (1926-2014) and granddaughter of Sir Nikolaus Pevsner, the architectural historian, and had issue:
(1) Madeleine Isobel Anstruther (b. 2000), born 9 April 2000;
(2) Alexander Thomas Anstruther (b. 2002), born 14 May 2002.
He was given the Balcaskie estate by Sir Ralph Hugo Anstruther, 7th and 12th bt., some years before his death, and inherited the Hascombe estate from his father in 2007. He has been an active director of the South Kensington estate.
Now living.


Burke's Peerage & Baronetage, 2003, pp. 111-14; W. Wood, The East Neuk of Fife: its history and antiquities, 1887, pp. 274 ff; G.E. Cokayne, Complete Baronetage, iv, 1904, pp. 366-67; H. Fenwick, Architect Royal: the life and works of Sir William Bruce, 1630-1710, 1970, pp. 11-14; A.A. Tait, The landscape garden in Scotland, 1980, pp. 228-30; G. Plumptre, 'Direct descent', Country Life, 26 November 1987, pp. 58-61; J. Gifford, The buildings of Scotland: Fife, 1988, pp. 84-87; P. Fitzalan Howard, 'Balcaskie House, Fife', Country Life, 25 May 1989, pp. 174-79; S.R. Evans, Masters of their craft, 2014, pp. 92-93.

Location of archives

Anstruther family of Balcaskie, baronets: deeds, family and estate papers relating to the Balcaskie estate and to Watten and Scarmclett (Caithness), 1223-late 20th cent. [St. Andrews University Library, msdep121]
Lloyd-Anstruther of Hintlesham Hall: deeds and papers, 16th-20th cents [Suffolk Record Office, Ipswich, HA74, HA167]; deeds and estate papers, 17th-19th cents [Hampshire Archives & Local Studies, 26M62]

Coat of arms

Argent, three piles issuing from the chief sable.

Revision and acknowledgements

This post was first published on 21 December 2014, and was updated 8 September 2017 and 14 March 2020. I am grateful to Archie Gilbert for a correction.

1 comment:

  1. Loved the story, loved the House. I am a doctor residing in the USA and want to move to the UK. As a single mother - raising my boy alone, I can't decide of any other gift for him but a decent life in such a peaceful greenland. Naira Matevosyan, Atlanta, GA


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