Arbuthnott Family Association (UK)
Newsletter, May 2001

The pictures shown on this site are deliberately mushy.
We seek to encourage non-members to subscribe for the newsletter.

Greetings to all, as we slowly emerge from a prolonged hibernation after the coldest and most snowbound winter for 54 years. Happily, this has been followed by a warm and sunny Spring and now the daffodils and other Spring flowers are at their best and the fields have been ploughed and sown. As Locals will know the Foot and Mouth disease has not come within 150 miles of North East Scotland and is generally on the wane, which is something else to be thankful for.

Membership News

We have renewed contact with several members of long standing during the year. In particular, we have had an e mail from Niccolo Capponi, son of Count Neri Capponi, whose sister, Tessa is an original Life member. His grandmother was Elnyth Arbuthnot, who married Count Ferrante Capponi in 1924. The family live in Florence.

New Members

We are pleased to welcome as a new member, Denise Tunnicliffe, who has the distinction of being the first member to join by using the Application Form on the A.F.A. web site. Denise is pictured on the right and is dressed in an Arbuthnott tartan kilt, made for her by Piob Mhor of Blairgowrie, on the advice of the Secretary. Piob Mhor have done a good job for other members and the Secretary would be happy to make similar arrangements for any other member.

A very recent member is Richard Arbuthnot, a son of our late and much missed former Treasurer, Jake Arbuthnot. Richard has joined from Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, where he is working as a Management Consultant. He also applied through the Web.

We are also pleased to welcome a new USA member, Father Scott Archer, from Fairbury, Illinois. He visited Arbuthnott House earlier this year with one of his parishioners, whose sister and Scottish husband live in Edinburgh. Scott is shown left with his hosts, John and Mary Arbuthnott, and his guide for the day, Hugh Arbuthnott, at the front porch.

Natal, South Africa

On the right are some of the Natal Gatherers outside the Museum at Richmond, centre of the Byrne Settlement. At far right is Anthony, holding his file covering all aspects of the Gathering. Beside him is Brian Hawksworth, whose ancestor married Eva, the eldest daughter of James and Jane Arbuthnot.

Anne and I attended the inaugural Gathering of the Southern African Branch in Kwazulu Natal on 16/17 September, 2000. This was the 150th anniversary of the landing at Durban of James and Jane Arbuthnot, who left their farm near Peterhead and went to Natal under the Byrne Settlement Scheme in 1850.

The Gathering was attended by no less than 99 direct descendants of James and Jane, and another 71 people who were relatives of Arbuthnots or well-wishers also attended one function or another. The programme included a visit to the original Byrne settlement village, a dinner for 90 at the Durban Club, a visit to the sugar growing area south of Durban ( to where the family later moved), a Thanksgiving Communion Service presided over by the former Bishop of Natal, a family lunch in a Nature Reserve, and a visit to the Arbuthnot family graveyard at Equeefa..

The weekend was brilliantly organised by Anthony Arbuthnot, who was the inspiration behind the setting up of the Southern African Branch. The Family Association are most grateful to him for his efforts and we look forward to meeting the SA Arbuthnots on future occasions. One of them is a BA pilot and they have suggested hiring a Jumbo Jet to come to the Arbuthnott Gathering in 2002. That came out towards the end of the delicious meal with plenty of excellent South African wine at the Durban Club, which was another highlight of the weekend. So seeing will be believing, but it is a great idea.

After the Gathering , Anne and I made a fascinating tour of Spion Kop, Ladysmith, Rorke’s Drift, three well organised State game parks and a private Riverside Game Lodge on the Mozambique border. On the way back to Durban we called in on Tony and Wendy Udal at "Wendy’s Country House", a very superior B&B near the coastal resort of St .Lucia. We had met them at the Gathering. The Udal/Arbuthnot connection goes back a long way. It was a very memorable holiday, not least for the hospitality of the South African Arbuthnots and their cousins.

Gary Arbuthnot World Class Flute Player

Gary was born in Northern Ireland in 1972. He studied at the Royal Academy of Music in London and at McGill University in Montreal and later with James Galway. He has won a number of International Flute Competitions and recent broadcasts have included performances for BBC Radio 3, Classic FM and BBC, ITN, Canadian and Sky television.

Keep your eyes and ears open for this exceptional Arbuthnot musical talent. Well done Gary!

Messages from the Genealogist

1. Please check the web site for any errors or omissions

2. If you have an e-mail address, or know of an "Arbuthnot(t)" who does, please would you e-mail details to This assumes that you or the others are willing to go public.

3. The Events page could do with more support.


We are delighted to offer our congratulations to Clare Arbuthnott, elder daughter of Keith and Jilly, on her engagement to Hugh Craigie-Halkett. The wedding is set for August.

Forthcoming Events

The five yearly Gathering based at Arbuthnott will take place on the weekend of 17/18 August, 2002. The date has been chosen at the request of overseas members so that we can go to the Edinburgh Tattoo. We shall advise members of the details in early 2002, but will have to make arrangements for a block booking in October this year

The AGM of the UK Branch will take place this year on 15 June at the " King’s Arms",

11a Northington Street, WC1. Nearest tubes Holborn 12 minutes walk/Chancery Lane 10 minutes walk. The format will be more informal than in recent years. Dress Smart casual/Casual. We will have our own room ,albeit a small one, upstairs Here we will be served a light buffet supper, followed by the Meeting. Drinks will be obtainable in the Bar on the ground floor at all times. Drinks can be carried up to the room. All drinks will be for own account. The buffet will not exceed 10 per head. Members and any guests should arrive from 6.30 pm onwards.The buffet will be available from 7.00pm and the meeting will be around 7.30/8.00 pm. There is no closing time. The room is free. Metered Car parking is available in one of the side streets off Northington Street or nearby Gray’s Inn Road. Italian and Indian restaurants are nearby for those who wish to supplement the buffet before going home.

Would those members who intend to come please advise me names and numbers by 11 June latest , so that final arrangements can be made. Tel/Fax is 01307 860230, e-mail Hugh S Arbuthnott, otherwise, Cairnhill, Forfar, Angus DD8 3TQ.

Other Gatherings

The picture (right) shows Christy and Peter Bing at a Canadian Gathering at Cornwall, Ontario with Eileen Arbuthnot, Chairman of the Canadian Branch.

he picture below, shows a group at the USA gathering in Omaha , Nebraska. At left, above and below are Al and Joyce Arbuthnott Treasurer and Secretary, respectively of the Canadian Branch. Second row in dark glasses is Liz Hunt, then Chairman of the US Branch. "White Beard" is Allan Arbuthnot, new US Chairman, who will be host at Lake Alfred, Florida in May,2002

The US Gathering in Omaha, Nebraska was very well organised. There were fewer in attendance than usual, but I am assured by Christy and Peter that the tours of Boy’s Town(of Spencer Tracey fame), the Strategic Air Command Museum and the Henry Doorly Zoo were fascinating and those who could not make it missed a great weekend.

We are very sorry to record that Liz’s husband, Neal Hunt, died in January this year. He was a great supporter of the Association and a regular participant along with Liz at the Arbuthnott Gatherings in Scotland.

Yours sincerely,
Hugh S Arbuthnott
Cairnhill, Forfar, Angus DD8 3TQ
Tel/Fax 01307 860230

1999 Newsletter
2000 Newsletter

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