The Family of Arbuthnott


Table 6.  Robert Arbuthnot and his wife Elizabeth Nevin went to Canada from Co.Antrim in about 1834. They had one son, Robert who married Ellen Miller. They had five sons and a daughter who, between them, established the Eastern Ontario branch of the family. Their daughter, Esther, known as Ann, married James Kyle.

Table R.  The Hon. Alexander, ninth son of the 7th Viscount emigrated to Canada with his wife Jean (or Jane) Mather and their infant son, John. Alexander died in 1870.  He had no male heirs other than John who had predeceased him in 1858, but he had numerous descendants from his four daughters, many of whom live in British Columbia. One of them, Margaret, married John Stringer and had, by him, three sons and two daughters. Their most distinguished descendant may be Arthur John Stringer, a renowned Canadian poet and writer.

South Africa

Table MIn 1850 James Arbuthnot, son of William Arbuthnot of Dens, Aberdeenshire, emigrated to the Bryne Settlement of Port Natal. He had six sons, William, McDuff, Hubert, Fitzjames, St.George and Crofton. He also had two daughters, Eva and Susan. This branch of the family still thrives in the area. Catherine Taylor lives in Cape, South Africa. She is the granddaughter of the Rev. William Arbuthnot of Arbuthnot House, Peterhead and her mother was the last of the branch of the family to be born and brought-up there. Mrs Taylor was the Member for Wynberg in the South African Parliament for eleven years.

Table KHer mother's cousin David Arbuthnot went to South Africa in 1929 as an extra A.D.C. to Lord Athlone and Princess Alice and lived there until his death in 1985.


Many Arbuthnot(t)s spent their working lives in India, initially as merchants, then in the Army or working for the Indian Civil Service. Among others George Arbuthnot of Elderslie (Table J), brother of Sir William Arbuthnot, Bart., went first to Ceylon and then to Madras, India, where he was taken on as partner in the firm Lautour & Co., Bankers. He later became head of the firm and renamed it 'Arbuthnot & Co.'. The bank crashed spectacularly in 1906. The firm of Arbuthnot, Gillanders & Co was and remains well thought of. Arbuthnot Latham & Co is a different merchant bank, which was founded by descendants of Sir William and family members continued to have a hand in running the company until 1984.

Most of those who worked in India retired to Britain, but some married locally (or didn't) and some families remained there. Such liaisons were never recognised by the families at the home and were recorded in the baptismal registers with the name of the local girl left blank.   Two of the sons of the 8th Viscount of Arbuthnott had six Eurasian children including five sons. We have recently posted detail on Table E;  some of their descendants live in the Bangalore area of Madras.

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Hon Mrs Christy Bing 1977 - 2000