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The Constitution & Rules

  We are of course aware that some non-Arbuthnott visitors copy the content of this page.
While you are welcome to do so provided you copy this request, a voluntary contribution to
the Association's funds would be greatly appreciated. Please would you send 50 to
The Arbuthnott Family Association, Cairnhill Cottage, Foreside, by Forfar, Angus, Scotland DD8 3TQ


The name of the Association shall be The Arbuthnott Family Association.





  In these rules:
  a. The name Arbuthnott includes the name Arbuthnot. The former spelling implies no greater correctness over the latter. Arbuthnott includes surnames incorporating Arbuthnott or Arbuthnot.
  b. Where the context so admits, the masculine gender includes the feminine, and the singular includes the plural and vice versa.

The word "family" refers to all Arbuthnotts, whether or not they are members of the Association.





  a. To foster, maintain and strengthen links between members of the family throughout the world.
  b. To encourage and organise gatherings of the family.
  c. To uphold the traditions of the Arbuthnott Family and to protect its crests and coats of arms from abuse as defined under the Laws of Arms of Scotland and England.
  d. To assist members of the family to recognise their common ancestry and to encourage appreciation of the family's origin in the parish of Arbuthnott in Kincardineshire, Scotland.
  e. To maintain genealogical records of the family. To publish genealogical and other news of members of the family.
  f. To acquire and preserve records, works and relics that are of interest to the Arbuthnott Family as a whole.
To maintain a website for the family, publishing on it the privacy policy (if any), as adopted and varied by the Council, which pertains from time to time.




  a. Membership shall be at the discretion of the Council, which shall not be required to give a reason in refusing an application.  No person shall be refused membership by virtue of race, religion or creed. All members of the Association shall be free to raise the current privacy policy at any meeting, but shall be bound by the policy adopted at the conclusion of any such meeting.
  b. Subscriptions shall be submitted to the Hon. Treasurer of the Association or of the appropriate branch.
  c. Subscriptions shall be due on the 1st January annually or on admission. The Subscription of a new member admitted after the lst October shall be held to cover the year from the following 1st January.
  d. A member whose subscription falls in arrears by more than three months shall, unless a sufficient reason be made known to the Council, cease to be a member of the Association.
  e. Class and Subscription.
    i) Life members shall pay a subscription of 35.00
    ii) Ordinary members shall pay 5.00 in their first year of membership and 5.00 in each subsequent year, and shall be aged over 18 years.


Honorary members




  a. The Association's governing body shall be the Council. It shall consist of the Association's officers, and the branches' representatives.
  b. The Council shall meet at such times and places as the Chairman, failing whom the Vice-Chairman, may determine. It shall meet not less than once a year. Four of its members shall constitute a quorum.
  c. The Council shall have the power to co-opt up to four people to the Council.
  d. The Council shall have the power to set up committees, whose members shall be appointed from members of the Council, and to delegate business to such committees.
  e. The Council shall have the power to enrol people to the Association as Honorary Members, for their goodwill towards the Association.
The Council (or its Surrogate) shall determine the content of the publications referred to in Rule 3e and the privacy policy referred to in Rules 3.g. and 4.a.




  a. The Officers of the Association shall be:
    i) President. The Chief or Head of the Family, the Viscount of Arbuthnott, unless he is not a member of the Association.
    ii) Chairman.
    iii) Vice-Chairman.
    iv) Hon. Secretary - who shall convene and keep records of the proceedings of the meetings of the Association and of the Council, cary on the general correspondence of the Association, and maintain the roll of the members of the Association.
    v) Hon. Treasurer - who shall receive and disburse all moneys due to or by the Association; keep the accounts of the Association; and submit the accounts to the first meeting of the Council in each year, to the Annual General Meeting of the Association, and to members of the Council on request.
    vi) Hon. Genealogist who shall fulfill Rule 3e on behalf of the Association, by maintaining records.
    vii) Hon. Historian and Archivist - who shall fulfill Rule 3f on behalf of the Association.
    viii) Hon. Webmaster - who will maintain the principal website on behalf of the Association.
    ix) Hon. Editor - who shall fulfill Rule 3e on behalf of the Association, by publishing news.

The Officers, other than the President, shall be elected annually at the Annual General Meeting of the Association. If this is not held they shall be elected by postal ballot.


Either the Chairman or the Vice-Chairman shall be resident in either Scotland or England.


No person shall hold more than three offices simultaneously


If an officer ceases to hold office other than at the end of the year of office, the remaining officers shall have the power to make an appointment to fill the vacancy.

  f. The Officers of the Association shall have the right to attend and speak at all meetings of the Association and its branches. This right does not, in itself, give them the right to vote at all such meetings. 




  a. Each paid-up member of the Association shall be entitled to one vote at each meeting of the Association.
  b. Members may vote by proxy on any subject mentioned in the notice convening the meeting.

The Chairman shall have one vote and also a casting vote.





  a. The Association shall meet annually at a place decided by the Council. At this meeting the annual report of the Council and the Hon Treasurer's audited statement of accounts shall be presented, and the office-bearers for the ensuing year shall be elected by ballot.
  b. Each branch of the Association may submit motions to this meeting provided that they reach the Hon Secretary thirty days before the meeting.
  c. Nominations for the offices must be proposed and seconded by paid-up members of the Association and must reach the Hon. Secretary not less than thirty days before the meeting.




  a. Banks.  The Association's funds shall be lodged in the name of The Arbuthnott Family Association with a Bank approved by the Council.

Ordinary Revenue.    The ordinary revenue received from subscriptions shall be applied in defraying necessary outlays of the Association, The Council shall propose for approval at the Annual General Meeting the subscription levels which they expect will cover the Association's expenses.



Extraordinary Revenue.    Donations and legacies shall be treated as extraordinary revenue and may be devised for a special purpose, subject to the approval of the Council.   The Council may make appeals for donations, in order to fulfill Rule 3f. Extraordinary revenue shall be held separately from ordinary revenue and may be managed or invested by Trustees appointed by the Council. Such Trustees would be not less than three in number, would be subject to annual re-election by the Council, and would be required to give their unanimous consent in buying or selling any assets.





  a. The Council may institute or recognise branches of the Association in the United Kingdom and overseas. Membership of the branches shall be confined to members of the Association.
  b. Branches may make their own rules regarding any matters not provided for in the rules of the Association. The rules of each branch shall be subject to the Council's approval.
  c. Each branch shall have a minimum of five members, shall meet not less than once a year, shall have a Chairman, an Hon. Secretary and an Hon. Treasurer, and shall submit a copy of the minutes of each meeting to the Hon. Secretary of the Association. Branch officers shall be subject to annual election.
  d. Each branch shall state its designation on all its literature and cheques.

Members of the Association shall have the right to choose which branch they join.


Each branch shall be entitled to elect one representative to the Council, and may apply to the Council for a greater representation in the event that it has more than twenty members. Representatives shall be subject to annual election and each may, with the consent of the branch, send a substitute to the Council's meetings. The names of the representatives must reach the Hon. Secretary by the 30th June in each year.

  g. Each branch shall be entitled to receive from the Hon. Treasurer, or to retain, half of its members' subscriptions. Overseas branches may, with the authority of the Council, collect larger subscriptions than those stated in Rule 4e, and shall remit the sterling equivalent of half of the subscriptions stated in Rule 4e to the Hon. Treasurer of the Association.
  h. Each branch shall provide for the distribution and collection of communications with the Council.

The Council shall have the power to disband a branch after giving reasons why a branch should be disbanded and inviting the branch to show cause why it should not be disbanded. The assets of the disbanded branch shall belong to the Association.





  a. Members resigning shall give notice to the Hon. Secretary, but shall be liable for the subscription for the current year. Life members who resign shall not be entitled to any refund of their subscription.

The Council may require the resignation from the Association of any member whose conduct is inconsistent with the Association's objects, provided that the member is given an opportunity of showing cause why he should not be asked to resign.






Resolutions proposing an amendment to the Constitution may be submitted to the Hon. Secretary at any time. They must be carried by a majority of the members of any one branch or signed by not less than fifteen members of the Association.

Such resolutions shall be referred to all members or branches and shall be submitted to the next Annual General Meeting. The Council may submit amendments on its own initiative. Amendments shall be incorporated into the Constitution if two third's of the members voting on the subject vote in favour.

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Last brought up to date  18:52  03 January 2024
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