Sir William Arbuthnot 1st bart.

1766 - 18th Sep 1829


Third son of Robert Arbuthnot of Haddo-Rattray and his wife Mary (nee Urqhuart, 1739-1818). Nephew of John "Jock" Urqhuart of Carriacou (1750-1785) and William Urquhart of Craigston (1741-1796).

  1. Sailed to Carriacou in May 1783 to work for his uncle Jock Urqhuart. On Jock's death in 1785, William Arbuthnot was to manage Craigston and Meldrum, Jock's plantations which had been bequeathed to Jock's brother William of Craigston. The Urquhart's attorney, Edward Thornton, in 1786 sent William home with the news that "I find William too young and giddy to have the direction of so large a concern..." but William returned to Carriacou in 1787 and was paid a salary of £100 a year to manage the estates. Letters from William Arbuthnot to his uncle William Urquhart from 1787 to 1794 are held in the archives at Craigston Castle in Aberdeenshire.

  2. Married Ann Alves, daughter of John Alves of Shipland, MD, in Edinburgh, 12/09/1800. They had six sons baptised in Edinburgh: Robert Keith (1801); John Alves (1802); George Clerk (1803); Archibald Francis (1805); William Urquhart (1807) and James Edward (1809) (there was also a seventh son, Henry Dundas). Lord Provost of Edinburgh 1815-1817 and 1821-1823. Created baronet 1822 at a banquet in honour of George IV. Listed at 27 Queens Street in Edinburgh in the PO Directories from 1805 to 1812 and at 16 Charlotte Square from 1813 until 1829.

  3. Will of Sir William Arbuthnot, Secretary to the Honourable Board of Fisheries, Manufacturers and Improvements in Scotland proved 07/11/1829. He left £3000 to each of his six younger sons and his daughter Mary: his heir was his son Robert Keith Arbuthnot.


  1. H. Gordon Slade, 'Craigston and Meldrum Estates, Carriacou,1769-1841', Proc Soc Antiq Scot, 114 (1984), 481-537. See [accessed 05/03/2020].

  2. Marriage and baptisms of children from; [accessed 05/03/2020]; Edinburgh Post Office Directories, 1805-1829; John Alves Arbuthnot's baptism 03/10/1802 is recorded at, John Alves Arbuthnot in the Scotland, Select Births and Baptisms, 1564-1950 [database online]

  3. PROB 11/1762/203.

We are grateful to Stephen Lewis for his assistance with compiling this entry.

Further Information

Married but no further details

Associated Estates (2)

The dates listed below have different categories as denoted by the letters in the brackets following each date. Here is a key to explain those letter codes:

  • SD - Association Start Date
  • SY - Association Start Year
  • EA - Earliest Known Association
  • ED - Association End Date
  • EY - Association End Year
  • LA - Latest Known Association
1787 [EA] - 1794 [LA] → Manager

Managed Craigston and Meldrum for his uncle William Urqhuart

1787 [EA] - 1794 [LA] → Manager

Managed Craigston and Meldrum for his uncle William Urqhuart

Relationships (6)

Father → Son
Father → Son
Nephew → Uncle
First Cousins
Nephew → Uncle

Addresses (3)

16 Charlotte Square, Edinburgh, Midlothian (Edinburgh), Central Scotland, Scotland
47 Queen Street, Edinburgh, Midlothian (Edinburgh), Central Scotland, Scotland
Mains of Haddo, Crimond, Aberdeenshire, North-east Scotland, Scotland