ANSTRUTHER (afterwards CARMICHAEL ANSTRUTHER), Sir John, 2nd Bt. [GB] (1785-1818), of Elie House, Fife.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1790-1820, ed. R. Thorne, 1986
Available from Boydell and Brewer



20 Aug. 1811 - 28 Jan. 1818

Family and Education

b. 1 June 1785, 1st s. of John Anstruther*. educ. Eton 1799; Christ Church, Oxf. 1803; L. Inn 1806. m. 11 Jan. 1817, Jessie, da. of Maj.-Gen. David Dewar of Gilston, 1s. (posth.). suc. fa. as 5th Bt. [S] and 2nd Bt. [GB] 26 Jan. 1811; kinsman Andrew Carmichael, 6th Earl of Hyndford [S], to his entailed estate and took additional name of Carmichael 18 Apr. 1817.

Offices Held

Receiver-gen. bishops’ rents [S] and heritable carver to the King [S] 1811-d.


Anstruther’s father, thinking a Scottish education ‘decidedly bad’ for him, and Edinburgh ‘a very bad place for a young Scotchman of any consequence’, as it would make of him ‘a country gentleman, the worst of all things’, proposed for his son the English education he would have wished for himself. He sent him to Oxford, with the bar in mind, though he had the prospect of inheriting his uncle’s estate.

On his father’s death, Anstruther succeeded to his seat in Parliament on the family interest. Canning wrote of him, 9 Nov. 1812, to his friend Bagot: ‘Sir J. Anstruther I know W[ellesley] reckoned upon last year—I doubt—government gave him his father’s office’.1 This referred to a sinecure worth £400 p.a. Lord Wellesley may have expected Anstruther to continue his father’s association with him and was doubtless encouraged by Anstruther’s voting for a stronger administration, 21 May 1812. Nevertheless, he had voted against sinecure reform, 4 May, and he appeared on the Treasury list after the election of 1812; and while he voted for Catholic relief, 2 Mar., 13 and 24 May 1813 and 21 May 1816, his few other surviving votes were with government (on the army estimates and property tax in March 1816, the civil list 24 May and the public revenue bill, 17 and 20 June 1816): except that he was in the minorities against the diffusion of Christianity in India, 22 June, 12 July 1813, and in the minority against the agricultural horse tax, 14 June 1816. Soon after Anstruther’s marriage, Lord Kellie wrote of him, ‘From what I can judge I have a notion that he wishes to be out of Parliament, though he has not just said so’.2 On 22 May 1817 he took a month’s leave.

Anstruther died of typhus, 28 Jan. 1818, his son and heir being born nine days later.3

Ref Volumes: 1790-1820

Author: R. G. Thorne


  • 1. Bagot mss.
  • 2. SRO GD51/1/198/10/70.
  • 3. Gent. Mag. (1818), i. 647.