The name almost certainly derives from the barony of the same name near
Forfar, but it has also been suggested that it is a corruption of Guthram, the
name of a Scandanavian prince. The first of the name on record in Scotland, one
Squire Guthrie, appears in 1299. He had been sent to France to request the
return of William Wallace, who had retired there having resigned the
guardianship of Scotland. Squire Guthrie was evidently successful as Wallace
did indeed return.
The Guthries of Guthrie received their estates by charter from David II (1329-71). In 1457 Sir David Guthrie of Guthrie was Armour- Bearer to King James III and the Sheriff of Forfar; he became Lord Treasurer of Scotland in 1461 and continued in this office until 1467 when he was appointed Comptroller of the Exchequer. In 1468 he obtained a warrant under the Great Seal to build Guthrie Castle near Friockheim in Angus, which remains standing to this day.
Although the Guthries of Guthrie were the main line of the family many off-shoots existed, some of them mentioned in an old rhyme: "Guthrie o' Guthrie And Guthrie o' Gaigie Guthrie o' Taybank An' Guthrie o' Craigie" An old tale without substance gives an alternative derivation for the name. One of the early Scottish Kings had taken shelter, along with two attendants, in a fisherman's hut. The King, knowing his attendants would be hungry, asked the fisherman to prepare two fish for them, but the fisherman offered to feed the king as well and "gut three"; and so, the legend insists, the name stuck.
Thanks to James Pringle Weavers for the following information
GUTHRIE: This name is considered to be Scandinavian or Gaelic in origin, and was a territorial definition in Angus by 1000 A.D. Known to have been in situ by the 13th century, the Guthries' early status is uncertain but, by around 1380, a David de Guthrie held Royal Charters granting Pitendriech, Guthrie, Kenie and Morloun. By this time, he and others of the name held lands spanning Angus from Brechin, to Forfar and Airlie. The Guthries of Kincaldrum, south of Forfar, became the progenitors of the House of Guthrie of Guthrie of whom Sir David of that Ilk, built the tower of Guthrie "with ane iron yett", under a Greal Seal warrant from James III in 1468. Under patronage of the Earl of Crawford he had served in James II's bodyguard and was much esteemed at court. He was Master of the Rolls 1469-73, and Lord Justice General 1473-77, after which he founded and endowed the collegiate church of Guthrie, confirmed by Papal bull from Pope Sextus IV in 1479. His eldest son, Sir Alexander, with his heir, fell at Flodden in 1513.
When Sir David became Baron of Guthrie his brothers continued the line of Kincaldrum, and later acquired Hiltoun and other lands, and to these Houses at a later date the survival of the Guthrie line depended. In the religiously troubled times of the 17th century the Guthries were true to their reputation of 'holding a sword in one hand, a bible in the other', for members of the various Houses frequently held opposing views. John, Bishop of Moray (of the Hiltoun family) refused to obey the General Assembly and withstood a seige in Spynie Castle until he was betrayed and taken prisoner to Edinburgh. After release he bought Guthrie Castle from a kinsman and, as his son had been executed for supporting Montrose, he was succeeded by his daughter who married Guthrie of Gagie. The last male chief, Col. Ivan Guthrie of the Ilk, died in 1964 and was succeeded by his daughter Moyra,(d.1984), and her daughter Rosanagh who, each in turn, forsook their married names and resumed Guthrie.
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