Death of Lord Arbuthnott

John, the 16th Viscount of Arbuthnott, died on July 14.

Wednesday, 25th July 2012, 11:32 am

Lord Arbuthnott was a well-known figure through his active involvement in rural affairs, the Kirk and the local community.

The hereditary peer was also dedicated to building and developing his family home at Arbuthnott and to making contact with Arbuthnotts from across the world.

He and his wife, Mary, established the Arbuthnott Family Association in 1975 to allow members of the clan to chat, meet up and learn more about their family ties.

Lord Arbuthnott was born in 1924 and was educated at Fettes College, Edinburgh.

Because of the outbreak of World War 11, he went straight from school to the Royal Navy’s flying section, the Fleet Air Arm and served in the Far East and Pacific, climbing eventually to the rank of lieutenant and being awarded the Distinguished Service Cross.

After the war, Lord Arbuthnott resumed his education and went to Gonville and Caius College at Cambridge University, to study estate management.

In the same year as he graduated, 1949, the married Mary Oxley and the couple had two children, Keith and Susanna.

The chartered surveyor went on to work with the agricultural landservice division of the Ministry of Agriculture, before becoming a senior land agent of nature conservancy on Scotland.

As well as being invested as a fellow of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, he was also a fellow of Scotland’s top scientific body, the Royal Society of Edinburgh.

Lord Arbuthnott was president of the Scottish Landowners Federation, the BP Advisory Committee for Scotland and British Association for Shooting and Conservation.

He was a director and chairman of Aberdeen and Northern Marts and the investment firm Scottish Widows.

He was also heavily involved in voluntary and church activities and acted as Her Majesty’s Lord High Commissioner to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland.

The prestigious role allowed him to represent the Queen as he addressed the assembly during its opening and closing sessions and carried out other official duties.

Lord Arbuthnott also represented the Queen during his 22 year tenure as Lord Lieutenant of Kincardineshire.

In 1985 he was made a CBE and was later given Scotland’s highest order, the Knight of the Thistle.

Locally, Lord Arbuthnott was president of Stonehaven Sea Cadets and was chieftain of the inaugural Srumtochty Games, a role which he repeated for the 25th anniversary games in 2001.

A memorial service for the viscount, who died aged 87, will be held at a later date.