The Family of Arbuthnott

The Family Starts to Disperse

The exodus may have begun earlier, but the first records of the migration of Arbuthnots occur in the sixteenth century. In early times it was only safe to live under the protection of a powerful family. Those who first settled in distant rural areas usually did so through marriage to such a family, for example the Keiths or the Forbes.

Young men were sent to Aberdeen, Edinburgh and even France for their education. They set themselves up in business or the professions through the friendships and connections they made. Some may have gone as craftsmen. The successful became burgesses, some bought land and, as the generations went by, they moved further afield.

One branch of Arbuthnots from the Peterhead area of Aberdeenshire was to become particularly distinguished. Its members were to found, or to bring to great prosperity, at least three banking houses. Also two of them were to be created baronets. One, Sir William Arbuthnot, Bt., Lord Provost of Edinburgh, was so honoured by George IV at a banquet in 1822, and the other, Sir John Arbuthnot, Bt., was among the last baronets to be created in 1964. Perhaps the most renowned of them all, however, was Dr John Arbuthnot, physician to Queen Anne, friend of Pope and Swift, and creator of the character 'John Bull'. It is worth dwelling in some detail on the close relations of this famous man.

The Family of Dr John Arbuthnot...

Information about the family
Arbuthnott Family Association HomePage

Hon Mrs Christy Bing 1977 - 2000