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The Scottish Nation

GUTHRIE, a surname derived from lands in Forfarshire, belonging to a family of the name, the oldest in that county. The precise origin of the name is not known. An absurd story is told of its having originated in a fisherman proposing to “gut three” fishes for one of the early Scots kings who had taken shelter, with two attendants, in his hut, and had ordered two haddocks to be fried for them, as they were hungry, but this is a mere fable. In 1299, after Sir William Wallace had resigned the guardianship of Scotland and retired to France, the northern barons sent Squire Guthrie to him to request his return. Embarking at Aberbrothwick, he landed at Sluys, whence Wallace and his retinue were conveyed back to Scotland, landing at Montrose. In 1348, Adam de Guthrie with Walter de Maule were witnesses in a decreet of the burgesses of Dundee. According to Crawford (Lives of Officers of State,) the Guthries held the barony of Guthrie by charter from David the Second. Master Alexander Guthrie of Guthrie is witness to a charter granted by Alexander Seaton, lord of Gordon, to William, Lord Keith, afterwards Earl Marischal, dated 1st August, 1442, and he obtained the lands of Kincaldrum, in the barony of Lower Leslie and Sheriffdom of Forfar, to himself and Marjory Guthrie his spouse, by charter dated 10th April 1457, from George Lord Leslie of Leven, the superior. He had three sons.

The eldest, Sir David Guthrie of Guthrie, armour-bearer to King James the Third, and sheriff of Forfar in 1457, was constituted lord-treasurer of Scotland in 1461. In that office he continued till 1467, when he was appointed comptroller of the exchequer. In 1468 he obtained a warrant under the great seal, to build a castle at Guthrie, which is still the residence of the family, the domain of Guthrie having been continued to the present day in the same family unfettered by any deed of entail. The following year he was nominated lord register of Scotland, and in 1472 he was one of the Scots commissioners, who met those of England, on 25th April of that year, at Newcastle, and concluded a truce till the month of July 1473. In the latter year he was appointed lord-chief-justice of Scotland. He founded and endowed a collegiate church at Guthrie for a provost and three prebends, (afterwards augmented to eight by his son,) dedicated to the Virgin, which was confirmed by a bull from Pope Sextus the fourth, dated at Rome, 14th June 1479.

      His eldest son, Sir Alexander Guthrie, with his eldest son, three sons-in-law, David, William, and George Lyon, and a nephew, Sir Thomas Maule, fell at Flodden in Sept. 1513. Sir Alexander’s second son, also names Alexander, obtained from his father the lands of Kincaldrum and Lower, and was the great-grandfather of David Guthrie, a subsequent inheritor of the estate of Guthrie. George, the third son, received the lands of Kincreich, as his portion. John, of Hilton, the youngest son, was ancestor of John Guthrie, bishop of Moray, of whom afterwards. Sir Alexander was succeeded by his grandson, Andrew Guthrie, who married a daughter of Gardyne of Gardyne, and had a son, Alexander Guthrie of Guthrie, one of the barons who subscribed the articles agreed upon in the General Assembly on 25th July 1567, for the support of the Reformed religion in Scotland. He was also one of those who, the same year, signed the bond for upholding the authority of the young king, James the Sixth. This laird of Guthrie was assassinated at his house of Inverpeffer by his cousin, Patrick Gardyne of Gardyne, a feud having arisen between them. His second son, William Guthrie of Gagie, at the instigation of his mother, a daughter of Wood of Bonnytown, in revenge for the murder of his father, slew the murderer and his brother, as they were coming from Arbroath, for which slaughters he obtained a remission under the great seal, 6th July 1618. He was the father of Francis Guthrie, afterwards laird of Guthrie.

      The eldest son, Alexander Guthrie of Guthrie, was one of the twenty-five gentlemen pensioners appointed by command “to attend the king’s majesty at all times in his riding and passing to the fields.” His eldest son, Alexander, having no issue male, was succeeded in the estate by his brother, William Guthrie of Memys, on whose death, his cousin, David Guthrie, above referred to, became laird of Guthrie. With his son, Alexander, he disponed the estate to his brother, Patrick Guthrie. The son of the latter, who succeeded in 1636, disponed the lands to his kinsman, John Guthrie, bishop of Moray. This prelate was first ordained minister of Perth. In 1619 he was one of the clergy nominated on the high commission which was then renewed, to force compliance with the five articles of Perth; and in the following year he was translated to Edinburgh. In 1623 he was consecrated bishop of Moray, in which see he continued till the abolition of Episcopacy in Scotland by the Glasgow Assembly of 1638. By an act of the same Assembly he was appointed to make his public repentance at Edinburgh for having, in 1633, preached in a surplice before King Charles the First, in the High church of that city, under pain of excommunication. As he did not comply with the demand, the sentence was duly carried into effect. He resided at Spynie castle (now in ruins), the palace of the bishopric, till 1640, when he was forced to surrender it to Colonel Monroe. Retiring to his own estate of Guthrie, he died there before the Restoration. He had a daughter, Berthia, married, in 1647, t Francis Guthrie of Gagie, who, in consequence, got the lands of Guthrie, and in his line they have continued ever since. He was the son of William Guthrie, 2d son of Alexander Guthrie of Guthrie, as above mentioned. The 5th in direct descent from him, John Guthrie of Guthrie, married July 22, 1798, Anne, daughter of William Douglas of Brigton, and with 5 daughters had 2 sons, John and William, both at one time officers in the army He died Nov. 12, 1845. His elder son, John Guthrie of Guthrie, deputy lieutenant of Forfarshire, born July 23, 1805, married, July 23, 1844, Harriet, daughter of Barnabas Maude, Esq., and granddaughter of Joseph Maude, Esq., of Kendal (See Maude of Kendal n Burke’s Commoners); issue, 1st. Harriet Maude, born Oct. 18, 1850; 2d, Edith Douglas, born March 20, 1852; 3d, Mary Berthia, born Sept. 10., 1853; 4th, John Douglas Maude, born March 5, 1856.


      The family of Guthrie of Haukerton, in the same county, is a branch of the family of Guthrie of Guthrie. Sir James Guthrie, baron of Haukerton, younger brother of Sir David Guthrie, armour-bearer to king James III., held the office of royal falconer in Angus, whence arose the name of the barony. Harrye Guthrie, 9th baron of Haukerton, on the abolition of the heritable jurisdictions in Scotland in 1747, relinquished that title. His eldest daughter, Euphemia, marrying Wright of Duddingston, was mother of Thomas Guthrie Wright of Duddingston. His son, Matthew Guthrie, left two daughters, the elder of whom, Anastasia-Jessye, married in 1807, Thomson Grahame Bonar, Esq., of Camden, Kent, with issue.


      The family of Guthrie of the Mount, Ayrshire, ended in an heiress, Christina, only surviving child of Alexander Guthrie, Esq. She married Geoffrey, 2d Lord Oranmore and Browne, in the Irish peerage, Dec. 31, 1859, and his lordship, in consequence, assumed the name and arms of Guthrie only.

GUTHRIE, HENRY, author of ‘Memoirs of Scottish Affairs, Civil and Ecclesiastical,’ was born in the beginning of the 17th century, at Coupar-Angus, of which parish his father, Mr. John Guthrie, a cadet of the ancient family of that name, was minister. After taking his degrees in arts at the university of St. Andrews, he became a student of divinity in the New college there. Afterwards appointed chaplain in the family of the earl of Mar, through the earl’s recommendation, he obtained a presentation to the church of Stirling, to which he was episcopally ordained. He was well affected to the government, but disapproved of the measures adopted by the king in 1637, for introducing the liturgy into Scotland. In 1638, after the abolition of Episcopacy, Mr. Guthrie subscribed the Covenant. Though he has received from his biographers great credit for the moderation of his views, his conduct was so far from being conciliatory, that he was looked upon with some suspicion by the more zealous of his brethren. He rendered himself conspicuous by his opposition to some of their favourite measures, by his harsh proceedings against the Brownists, or Congregationalists, and also by getting an act passed, in the Assembly of 1641, against private meetings for religious exercise. On Sunday, October 3, 1641, he had the honour of preaching before the king in the Abbey church of Holyrood. In the Assembly of 1643, when a letter was presented from the English divines at Westminster, with the declaration of the English parliament. Proposing to extirpate Episcopacy “root and branch,” he made a speech, which is given in his Memoirs, urging that “this church, which holdeth presbyterian government to be juris divini,” could not entertain the proposal, and recommending the Assembly “to deal with the English commissioners present, to desire the parliament and divines assembled at Westminster to explain themselves, and be as express concerning that which they resolved to introduce as they had been in that which was to be removed.” His proposition, however, did not even meet with a seconder.

      In 1648, when the Scots parliament declared for the engagement, and ordered a levy of 30,000 foot and 6,000 horse, to obtain the liberation of the king from his imprisonment in the Isle of Wight, Mr. Guthrie and some others preached in favour of the design, though it had been condemned by the General Assembly, as it contained no provision for the maintenance of the national religion. No notice of their conduct was taken at the time, but after the defeat of the Scots army under the duke of Hamilton, the Assembly proceeded to depose those of the clergy who had been guilty of “malignancy,” that is, of adherence to the royal cause; and among the rest Mr. Guthrie and his colleague, Mr. John Allan, were, on November 14, 1648, dismissed from their charges. He lived in retirement at Kilspindie in Perthshire, till after the Restoration; and when Episcopacy was revived by act of parliament, in 1661, he was restored by law to his former charge at Stirling, which, indeed, had become vacant by the martyrdom of Mr. James Guthrie for his zealous attachment to the cause of the Covenant. The Rev. Mr. M’Gregor Stirling, in his edition of Nimmo’s History of Stirlingshire, says that he was invited by the magistrates to resume his pastoral functions at Stirling, but declined on account of bad health. Although he had formerly signed the Covenant, Mr. Guthrie, it appears, like some others of the temporizing clergymen of those days, did not hesitate to take the oath of supremacy, whereby the Covenant, both national, as explained by the Glasgow Assembly of 1638, and the league with England, in 1643, was declared of no obligation, force, or effect for the future.

      Being well known to the earl of Lauderdale, who had then the sole management of affairs in Scotland, and who, like himself, had once been a Covenanter, his lordship recommended him, in 1664, for the bishopric of Dunkeld, then void by the death of Bishop Halliburton, who had only held the see for two years. He was soon after consecrated with the usual ceremonies, and his appointment was ratified by letters patent under the great seal, January 31, 1665. He held the see till his death, which took place in 1676. His only work is:

      Memoirs of Scottish Affairs, Civil and Ecclesiastical, from the year 1637 to the Death of King Charles I. London, 1702, 8vo. 2d edition, Glasgow, 1747, 12mo. Though professing to be an impartial relation, it is not always entitled to that character.

GUTHRIE, JAMES, a faithful and zealous minister of the Church of Scotland, and one of the first who fell a sacrifice for religion after the Restoration, the son of the laird of Guthrie, was born previous to 1617. He was educated at St. Andrews, and having gone through the regular course of classical learning, he commenced teaching philosophy in that university, and was highly respected both for his calmness of temper and able scholarship. He had been brought up an Episcopalian, and in his early youth held highly prelatical views, but after he went to St. Andrews, by conversing with Mr. Samuel Rutherford and others, and especially by his joining the weekly meetings for prayer and conference, he was led to adopt Presbyterian principles, to which he ever after faithfully adhered, and sealed his attachment to them with his blood. Having passed his trials, he was, in 1638, ordained minister of Lauder, where he remained for several years. In 1646 he was one of the ministers selected by the committee of Estates to attend the king at Newcastle. In 1649 Mr. Guthrie was translated to Stirling, where he continued till unjustly put to death by a profligate and tyrannical government. Throughout his ministerial career he displayed great zeal and boldness in defence of the Covenant.

      In 1650, in consequence of the hostility which the earl of Middleton had always shown to the Covenant, and his connection with an unsuccessful attempt made in that year to disturb the peace of the kingdom by an intended rising in the north in favour of the king. Mr. Guthrie proposed to the commission of the General Assembly that that nobleman should be excommunicated. This being agreed to, Mr. Guthrie himself was appointed to pronounce the sentence of excommunication, at Stirling, on the ensuing Sabbath; which he did accordingly, taking no notice of a letter he received on the morning of that day to delay the sentence. Although the commission of the Assembly, at their next meeting on January 1, 1651, released Middleton from the censure of the church, he continued ever after to entertain a rooted enmity to Mr. Guthrie, and was the principal cause of his being subsequently condemned to death.

      He openly preached against the resolutions in favour of Charles the Second, concluded on by the more moderate clergy at Perth, December 14, 1650, and became the leader of the opposing party called Protesters. For their conduct in this respect, he and his colleague, Mr. Bennet, were, by a letter from the chancellor, cited to appear before the king and the committee of Estates at Perth n the subsequent February, and on the 22d of that month they came before the Estates, and delivered in a protestation to the effect, that while they freely acknowledged his majesty’s jurisdiction in all civil matters, they declined his authority in questions purely ecclesiastical; and on the 28th they presented another protestation, much the same as the former, though expressed in stronger terms. Both these documents will be found in Wodrow’s Church History. After this the king and committee thought proper to dismiss them, restricting them in the meantime to Perth and Dundee, and the prosecution was allowed to drop; but Mr. Guthrie’s declining the king’s authority in matters spiritual at this time was made the principal article in his indictment a few years thereafter. An intimation had been given that all who were not satisfied with the resolutions should be cited to the General Assembly, as liable to censure, and at the Assembly which met at Dundee in the subsequent July, the protesters appeared and protested against this course of procedure, denying the freedom and lawfulness of the Assembly itself. For this, James Guthrie, Patrick Gillespie, and James Simpson were deposed; but, protesting against the sentence, they continued to preach as usual.

      Soon after the Restoration, Mr. Guthrie and some of his brethren who had assembled at Edinburgh, with the object of drawing up a supplication to his majesty, were apprehended and imprisoned in the castle. From thence he was removed to Dundee, where he remained till before his trial, which took place at Edinburgh, February 20, 1661, when he was arraigned for writing a paper called the Western Remonstrance, a pamphlet, styled ‘The Causes of the Lord’s Wrath,’ and the Humble Petition, dated August 23, 1660; also for disowning the king’s authority in ecclesiastical matters, and for some treasonable expressions he was alleged to have uttered in 1650 or 1651. When brought to trial on April 11, he defended himself with such eloquence, knowledge of law, and strength of argument, as utterly amazed his friends and confounded his enemies. He was, however, found guilty of high treason, and condemned to death; his head to be fixed on the Netherbow, his estate to be confiscated, and his arms torn. On receiving sentence he thus addressed the judge: “My lord, my conscience I cannot submit, but this old crazy body and mortal flesh I do submit, to do with it whatsoever you will, whether by death, or banishment, or imprisonment, or any thing else, only I beseech you to ponder well what profit there is in my blood. It is not the extinguishing me or many others that will extinguish the Covenant and work of reformation since the year 1638. My blood, bondage, or banishment will contribute more for the propagation of those things than my life or liberty could do, though I should live many years.” During the interval between his sentence and execution, he is described as having enjoyed perfect composure and serenity of mind. On the last night that remained to him in this world he had some friends to supper, when he called for some cheese, which he had not used for several years, having been forbidden it by his physicians on account of the gravel, to which he was subject; and jocularly said he was now beyond the hazard of that complaint. On the scaffold he conducted himself with the utmost fortitude and magnanimity, and addressed the people, assembled on the occasion, for a full hour, “with the composedness,” says Bishop Burnet, “of a man delivering a sermon, rather than his last words. He justified al he had done, and exhorted all people to adhere to the Covenant, which he magnified highly;” declaring that he would not exchange that scaffold for the palace or mitre of the greatest prelate in Britain. He gave a copy of his last speech and testimony to a friend to be delivered to his son, then a child, when he came of age. Just before he was turned over, he lifted the napkin off his face, and cried, “The Covenants, the Covenants, shall yet be Scotland’s reviving.” His execution took place on June 1, 1661; and his head remained fixed on the Netherbow Port till 1688, when Mr. Alexander Hamilton, then a student of divinity at the university of Edinburgh, at the hazard of his life, took it down and buried it, after it had stood a public spectacle for twenty-seven years. Mr. Hamilton was afterwards minister of Stirling for twelve years. Besides the papers already mentioned, for which he suffered, Mr. Guthrie wrote several others, particularly one against Oliver Cromwell, in consequence of which he was subjected to some hardships during the protectorate. In 1660 he published ‘Some Considerations concerning the Dangers which threaten Religion and the Work of Reformation in Scotland;’ which was reprinted in 1738, with his last Sermon preached at Stirling. A Treatise on Ruling Elders and Deacons, written about the time he entered upon the ministry, is prefixed to one of the editions of his cousin, Mr. William Guthrie’s ‘Christian’s Great Interest.’

GUTHRIE, WILLIAM, a distinguished divine, and author of the standard treatise entitled ‘The Christian’s Great Interest,’ was born at Pitforthy, Forfarshire, in 1620. His father, a cadet of the ancient family of Guthrie, was proprietor of the lands of Pitforthy, and his mother was a daughter of the house of Easter-Ogle. He was the eldest of eight children. His brother Robert was licensed for the ministry, but died early. Alexander, another of his brothers, became minister of Strickathrow, in the presbytery of Brechin, about 1645, and died in 1661. John, his youngest brother, obtained the parish of Tarbolton, in Ayrshire, from which he was ejected at the Restoration, and died in 1669.

      William, the subject of the present notice, distinguished himself at school by his rapid acquirement of the Latin and Greek languages. He studied at the university of St. Andrews, under the guardianship and direction of his cousin, the celebrated James Guthrie, then professor of philosophy in the New college there, and one of the earliest victims of the persecuting and tyrannical government of Charles the Second. Having taken the degree of M.A., he applied himself to the study of theology, under the famous Samuel Rutherford, at that period professor of divinity at St. Andrews. In order more effectually to dedicate himself to the service of God in preaching the gospel, he made over his estate of Pitforthy to one of his brothers, and was licensed by the presbytery of St. Andrews in August 1642, being at that time in the 22d year of his age. He was soon after appointed tutor to Lord Mauchline, eldest son of the earl of Loudon, then chancellor of Scotland. About a year after he had entered this nobleman’s family, he happened to preach in the parish church of Galston, on a preparation day previous to the celebration of the Lord’s Supper, when some inhabitants of the recently erected parish of Fenwick, then without a pastor, chanced to be present, and they were so much pleased with his sermon that they recommended him warmly to their neighbours as one well qualified to be their minister. Though opposed in their choice by Lord Boyd, the patron of the parish, they were supported by the heritors; and a call having been moderated to him, he was ordained by the presbytery to the pastoral charge of Fenwick on November 7, 1644. He speedily acquired great popularity as a preacher, and persons from various places at a distance were in the habit of coming almost regularly to hear him, so that he soon had a crowded congregation. As Fenwick had formed part of the extensive and overgrown parish of Kilmarnock, most of his parishioners had hitherto been destitute of the common means of moral and religious instruction, and in consequence were sunk into a state of extreme ignorance and neglect of the ordinances of the gospel. But in the course of a few years his labours wrought a remarkable improvement in their character and condition. He did not limit his ministerial duties to the pulpit, but made it a practice regularly to visit his people in their houses. He rendered even his amusements and recreations subservient to the great object he had in view. As his health required much rural exercise, he was greatly attached to fishing and fowling, and in his dress as a sportsman he had often more influence in persuading the persons whom he met in the fields, or at the river’s side, to attend church, and embrace a religious life, than he would have had in his proper character as a minister. While angling for trout he did not forget his duty as a “fisher of men.” It is related of him, that in his sporting habiliments he once called upon a person whom he was anxious should perform family worship, but who declined it on the ground that he could not pray. On which Mr. Guthrie prayed himself to the family’s great surprise. On going away he engaged them to come to the church next Sabbath, when, to their consternation, they discovered that it was the minister himself who had been their visitor. There was another person in his parish who had a custom of going a fowling on the Sabbath day, and neglecting the church. On Mr. Guthrie asking him what he could make by that day’s exercise, he replied that he could make half-a-crown. Mr. Guthrie told him that if he would go to church on Sabbath he would give him as much; and by that means got his promise. After sermon, Mr. Guthrie said to him, that if he would come back next Sabbath day he would give him the same, which he did; from that time he became a regular attendant at the church, and was afterwards a member of his session.

      In August 1645, Mr. Guthrie married Agnes, daughter of David Campbell, Esq. of Skeldon, in Ayrshire, a remote branch of the Loudon family. Shortly after he was chosen by the General Assembly to attend the army as chaplain. On the defeat of the Scottish army at Dunbar he retired with the troops to Stirling, from thence he went to Edinburgh, and soon after returned to his parish. In consequence of his great talents and success in preaching he received calls from Linlithgow, Stirling, Glasgow, and Edinburgh; but he preferred his country charge to them all. When the church unfortunately divided into the two parties of Resolutioners and Protesters, Mr. Guthrie joined the latter; and in the Synod held at Glasgow in April 1661, when the days of persecution had begun, he presented the draught of an address to the parliament, for the better securing the privileges of the church, and the purity of religion in Scotland. The Synod approved of it, but the divisions among the clergy, and the great distractions of the times, caused it to be abandoned.

      Before the Restoration Mr. Guthrie had had an opportunity of doing a kind service to the earl of Glencairn, when that nobleman was in prison on account of his attachment to the royal cause, which his lordship had not forgotten, and by his god offices Mr. Guthrie escaped much of the evils that now overtook many of his brethren. But the time at length came when, like other faithful Presbyterian ministers, he was to be driven from his charge by the orders of Dr. Alexander Burnet, archbishop of Glasgow, one of the most intolerant and haughty of the Episcopalian clergy of that age. Lord Glencairn in vain attempted to intercede with that proud prelate in behalf of Mr. Guthrie; to his request that the latter should, for the present, be overlooked, he peremptorily and disdainfully answered, “It cannot be; he is a ringleader and a keeper up of schism in my diocese.” A commission was immediately made out for Mr. Guthrie’s suspension; and the archbishop had to bribe one of his curates with the paltry sum of five pounds to put it in execution. The Wednesday before its enforcement was observed by his parishioners as a day of humiliation and prayer. He met his people for the last time on the morning of the Sabbath following, being the day fixed upon by Archbishop Burnet for the execution of his suspension, and after addressing his congregation with more than his usual earnestness and fervour, he took farewell of them amid the tears and blessings of all present. He dismissed the congregation by nine ‘clock, says his biographer, “and nothing now remained but to wait the arrival of the curate. The people had quietly dispersed, and the stillness of the hallowed day prevailed around the manse and church. The bell sounded not as usual to disturb the placidity of the scene. At length the trample of horses was heard, soldiers appeared with their helmets gleaming in the distance, and at the head of the party was seen a rider in black, as the messenger of final separation between this great and good man and his mourning parishioners. They soon alighted and entered the manse, where they found Mr. Guthrie ready to receive them. The curate presented his commission from the archbishop of Glasgow, and he went through the ceremony of preaching the church vacant, and discharging Mr. Guthrie from the exercise of his ministry there, without any molestation, and to no other congregation than the party of soldiers who had accompanied him.” This took place July 24, 1664, and Mr. Guthrie remained for some time in the parish, but never preached. On the death of his brother, to whom he had, on entering the ministry, assigned his estate, he returned to Pitforthy, his paternal home, in the autumn of 1665. His health, however, had been latterly declining, and he was now seized with a severe attack of the gravel, which had afflicted him for years, accompanied by gout and ulcer in the kidneys. After suffering the severest pain, in the midst of which he comforted those around him with the expressions of love, gratitude, and resignation to the will of God, which continually fell from his lips, he died in the house of his brother-in-law, the Rev. Lewis Skinner of Brechin, October 10, 1665, in the 45th year of his age. His valuable and excellent work, ‘The Christian’s Great Interest,’ would, perhaps, never have seen the light but for the circumstance that a volume, containing imperfect notes of a series of sermons preached by him from the 55th chapter of Isaiah, had been printed surreptitiously at Aberdeen, with a most ostentatious title-page. He, therefore, deemed it only an act of justice to the public and himself to publish a correct and genuine edition of these sermons, which he did under the above title. It soon became a great favourite both at home and abroad, and was translated in the Dutch, German, and French, and even into some of the Eastern languages. In the Memoir of his life in the ‘Scots Worthies,’ it is mentioned that there were also some discourses of Mr. Guthrie’s in manuscript, of which seventeen were transcribed by John Howie, and published in 1779. The most of Mr. Guthrie’s papers were, in 1682, carried off from his widow by a party of soldiers who entered her house by violence, and took her son-in-law prisoner, when they fell into the hands of the bishops. In 1680 a work was published purporting to be “the heads of some Sermons preached at Fenwick in Aug. 1662, by Mr. William Guthrie,” which being wholly unauthorized by his representatives, was disclaimed by his widow in a public advertisement, a copy of which is preserved among Wodrow’s Collections, in the Advocates’ Library. To the Memoir of Mr. Guthrie, prefixed to his ‘Christian’s Great Interest,’ we have been mainly indebted for the materials of this notice. His life has also been written by the Rev. William Muir, the editor of ‘The History of the House of Rowallan.’ Mr. Guthrie had six children, of whom only two daughters survived him. One was married to Mr. Miller of Glenlee, in Ayrshire; and the other, in December 1681, to the Rev. Patrick Warner, whose daughter Margaret became the wife of Mr. Robert Wodrow, minister of Eastwood, near Glasgow, the indefatigable author of the ‘History and Sufferings of the Church of Scotland.’

GUTHRIE, WILLIAM, an industrious historical and miscellaneous writer and compiler, the son of an Episcopal minister, and a cadet of the ancient family of Halkerton in Forfarshire, was born at Brechin, according to one account, in 1701, or, to another, in 1708. He was educated at King’s college, Old Aberdeen, where he took his degrees, and afterwards followed for some time the profession of a schoolmaster. He is said to have been induced to remove to London, owing to a disappointment in love, or, as some accounts state, in consequence of his Jacobite principles preventing him holding any office under the then government. He arrived in the metropolis some time before 1730, and, commencing author by profession, he seems at first to have found employment from Cave the printer; for among his earliest occupations was the compilation of the parliamentary debates for the Gentleman’s Magazine, previous to Dr. Johnson’s connection with that periodical. Guthrie’s name seems to have become very popular with the booksellers, for it is prefixed to a great variety of works; in the writing of most of which he appears to have had little or no part. In the list of works to which his name is attached is included, ‘A New System of Modern Geography, or a Geographical, Historical, and Commercial Grammar.’ this well-known work, however, by which his name is now chiefly preserved, was not written by Guthrie, but is believed to have been compiled by a bookseller in the Strand of the name of Knox. The astronomical information contained in it was supplied by James Gregory.

      Mr. Guthrie was the author of a great many political papers and pamphlets, which came out anonymously. In 1745-46 he received a pension of £200 a-year from the Pelham ministry, for defending the measures of Government with his pen; and, in 1762, he renewed the offer of his services to the Bute administration. He was also placed in the commission of the peace for Middlesex, although it is said he never acted as a magistrate. In compiling the ‘English Peerage’ he was assisted by Mr. Ralph Bigland, and each article was submitted to the revision of the representative of the noble family treated of, yet, notwithstanding all their care, the work is full of errors. Boswell informs us that Dr. Johnson considered Guthrie of importance enough to wish that his life had been written. He also mentions that Guthrie himself told him that he was the author of a beautiful little poem, ‘The Eagle and Robin Redbreast,’ printed in the collection of poems called the ‘Union,’ where, however, it is said to have been written by Archibald Scott, before 1600. Guthrie died March 9, 1770, and was interred in Marylebone churchyard, where a monument, with a suitable inscription, was erected by his brother to his memory.

      The works which bear his name are:

      A General History of England, from the Invasion of the Romans under Julius Caesar to the Revolution in 1688; including the Histories of the Neighbouring People and States, so far as they are connected with that of England. London, 1744-51, 3 vols. Fol.

      Morals of Cicero. Translated into English. London, 1744, 8vo.

      The Friends; a Sentimental History. 1754, 2 vols. 12mo.

      Cicero’s three Dialogues upon the Character and Qualifications of an Orator; with Notes, historical and explanatory. Lond. 1755, 8vo.

      Orations of Marcus Tullius Cicero. Translated into English; with Notes, historical and critical, and arguments to each. Lond. 1754, 3 vols, 8vo.

      Marcus Tullius Cicero his Offices, or his Treatise concerning the Moral Duties of Mankind; his Cato Major, concerning the means of making old age happy; his Laelius, concerning friendship, his Moral Paradoxes; the Vision of Scipio, concerning a future state; his Letters, concerning the duties of a Magistrate, With Notes, historical and explanatory. Translated into English. Lond. 1755, 8vo.

      Marcus Fabius Quintillianus his Institutes of Eloquence; or, The Art of Speaking in Public, in every character and capacity. Translated into English, after the best Latin editions. With notes, critical and explanatory. London, 1756, 2 vols. 8vo.

      A Complete History of the English Peerage; from the best authorities. Illustrated with elegant copperplates of the Arms of the Nobility, blazoned in the Herald’s Office, by the proper Officers; copperplates of the Premiers in their Parliamentary Robes; and at the conclusion of the history of each Family, vignettes and other ornaments proper for the subject. Lond. 1763, 4to.

      A General History of the World, from the Creation to the present time; including all the Empires, Kingdoms, and States, their Revolutions, Forms of Government, Laws, Religions, Customs and Manners, the Progress of Learning, Arts, Sciences, Commerce, and Trade. Together with their chronology, Antiquities, Public Buildings, and Curiosities of Nature and Art. Lond. 1764-67, 12 vols, 8vo.

      A New System of Modern Geography. London, 1770, 8vo. Various editions by different compilers.

      A General History of Scotland, from the earliest accounts to the present time (1746). This work was published in numbers, and completed, Lond. 1767, 10 vols. 8vo.

      Chronological Table. Lond. 1774, 8vo.

      Cicero’s Epistles to Atticus; with Notes, historical, explanatory, and critical. 3 vols. 8vo.

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