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Guthrie is an English-language surname with several independent origins. In some cases the surname is derived from a place in Scotland, located near Forfar, which is derived from the Gaelic gaothair, meaning "windy place". Another origin of the name is from the Scottish Gaelic MagUchtre, meaning "son of Uchtre". The personal name Uchtre is of uncertain origin. Another origin of the surname Guthrie is as an Anglicisation of the Irish Ó Fhlaithimh, meaning "descendant of Flaitheamh".
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he lands known as Guthrie lie in the Angus, and the family who took this as
their name is one of the oldest in that county. The name's origin is not known.
There is a fable that the lands were named by an early Scots King after a
fisherman 'gut three' fish to serve to his hungry monarch. A more likely origin
lies in the Gaelic 'gaothairach', 'windy place'. King William the Lion granted
the lands of Gutherin to the Abbey of Arbroath around 1178. The family, who were
royal falconers, subsequently purchased these lands. In 1299 the Laird of Guthrie
was sent to France to invite Sir William Wallace to return to Scotland. The
embassy was successful, and Guthrie landed with wallace at Montrose.
The early family charters are lost but it seems certain the family obtained the
Barony of Guthrie by charter from David II. Alexander Guthrie of Guthrie
witnessed a charter by Alexander Seaton, the lord of Gordon, to Lord Keith, in
August 1442. In 1446 he acquired the lands of Kincaldrum near Forfar and became
baillie of Forfar. Sir David Guthrie of Guthrie was armour bearer to the King and
Captain of the guard, later being appointed Lord Treasurer of Scotland in 1461.
In 1468 he obtained a charter under the great seal to build a castle at Guthrie
and this remained the residence of the chiefs until very recently. In 1473 he
became Lord Chief Justice of Scotland. He greatly increased the family estates,
and founded a collegiate church at Guthrie, the dedication of which was confirmed
in a Papal Bull of 1479. His eldest son, Sir Alexander Guthrie, fell at Flodden
in September 1513. The Guthries were quick to support the reformed religion, and
in 1567 signed a bond upholding the authority of the infant King James VI against
that of his mother, Queen Mary. At this time the Lairds of Guthrie were feuding
with their neighbours, the Gardynes, and Alexander Guthrie was assassinated at
Inverpeffer. The Guthries retaliated in like manner, ultimately being saved from
the consequences of their action by a royal pardon granted in 1618. Alexander
Guthrie was one of the twenty-five gentlemen pensioners and an early ceremonial
bodyguard commanded 'to attend the King's Majesty at all times in his riding and
passing to the fields'.
The estate then passed through cousins until, in 1636, John Guthrie, Bishop of
Moray, became the eleventh chief. He had been ordained at Perth, and had become
minister of St. Giles in Edinburgh in 1621. In 1523 he was consecrated Bishop of
Moray and took up residence at Spynie Castle, the palace of the bishopric. The
king's attempts to alter the style of workship in the Scottish Church eventually
led to the outbreak of open hostilities, and in 1640 the bishop was forced to
surrender his castle to forces under Colonel Monroe. He retired to his own
estates of Guthrie, where he died in June 1643. His third son, Angre Guthrie,
fought with the great Montrose and was taken prisoner at the Battle of
Philiphaugh. He was sentenced to death and beheaded by the Scottish guillotine,
'the maiden', at St. Andrews in January 1646. His daughter, Bethia, married her
kinsman, Francis Guthrie of Gagie, and thus the title and estates remained in the
Guthrie Family. James Guthrie, a scion of the chiefly house, was a Covenanter
minister who became one of the movement's early martyrs. Ordained the minister of
Lauder in 1638, he moved to Stirling in 1649, where he preached openly againsts
the King's religious policies. He was in due course summoned before the Church of
Scotland's General Assembly, whose authority he challended, and for this was
stripped of his office. He continued, however, to preach with great zeal, until
he was arrested in February 1661. The trial was a farce and its outcome
predetermined: James Guthrie was sentenced to death and was executed in June
The Guthries of Halkerton were another branch of his family who held their barony
by right of the office of royal falconers in Angus. The title and office were
only relinquished in 1747 under the terms of the Heritable Jurisdictions Act of
that year. John Douglas Guthrie of Guthrie served in the cavalry during the
Egyptian campaign of 1882 and married Mary, daughter of Duncan Davidson of
Tulloch. Lieutenant Colonel Ivan Guthrie of Guthrie, the last chief to live at
Guthrie Castle, was born in 1886. A distinguished soldier, he commanded the 4th
Battalion the Black Watch and was awarded the Military Cross. The present chief
resides in England and Guthrie Castle has been sold.
Name Variations: Guthrie, O'Guthrie, Gaigie, Craigie, Taybank, Gottraw, de Guthrie.
References:One or more of the following publications has been referenced for this article.The General Armory; Sir Bernard Burke - 1842.
A Handbook of Mottoes; C.N. Elvin - 1860.
Scottish Clans and Tartans; Neil Grant - 2000.
Scottish Clan and Family Encyclopedia; George Way of Plean and Romilly Squire - 1994.
Scottish Clans and Tartans; Ian Grimble - 1973.
World Tartans; Iain Zaczek - 2001.
Clans and Families of Scotland; Alexander Fulton - 1991.
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