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Coat of Arms

Recorded in the spellings of Hurst, Herst, Hearst, and Hirst, this is an English surname. It is either a topographical for someone who lived on a wooded hill, deriving from the Old English pre 7th century word "hyrst", or as a locational name from one of the various places called Hurst, in Berkshire, Kent, Somerset, and Warwickshire, or Hirst in Northumberland and the West Riding of Yorkshire. The.....

Heraldry Database: Guthrie


Surname:  Guthrie
Branch:  Guthrie
Origins:  Scottish
More Info:  Scotland

Background:  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 Fhlaithimh, meaning "descendant of Flaitheamh".

Motto:  Sto pro veritate, I stand for truth.
Arms:  Quarterly, 1st & 4th, Or, a lion rampant Gules armed and langued Azure; 2nd & 3rd, Azure, a garb Or.
Crest:  A dexter arm holding a drawn sword Proper.
Supporters:  Two knights armed at all points with batons in their dexter hands and the vizors of their helmets up Proper.

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The 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 1661.

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.

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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