Robert Anstruther (diplomat)

Sir Robert Anstruther of Anstruther (1578-1645), was a courtier and diplomat.

Robert Anstruther was a son of John Anstruther(d. 1606) and Jean Scott.

John Anstruther was the king's carver and Master of the Household, his father, also John Anstruther (d. 1610) outlived him. His eldest son, William Anstruther of Anstruther was a gentleman of the king's bedchamber, but had no heirs, so, in time, the Anstruther estates came to Robert's eldest son, Philip Anstruther.

Robert Anstruther was a page at the court of Christian IV of Denmark in 1598.[1]

Anstruther was a cup-bearer to James VI and I, a Privy Councillor to Charles I, and an ambassador in both reigns.

Anstruther remained popular at the Danish court, and a story was told that king placed his crown on the table as a wager in a drinking game. Anstruther won when the drunk king fell under the table. The courtiers crowned Anstruther and he proclaimed a set of new laws. On his next visit to Denmark, the king surprised him by calling him to the royal presence immediately (in a "great amaze", presumably before he recovered from his sea-sickness medication), and got him drunk and found his private instructions, and put him on a ship back to England. There the confused ambassador was confronted by King James.[2]

He married Mary Swift, a daughter of Sir Robert Swift, in 1617.

The painter and tapestry designer Francis Cleyn was in the service of Christian IV of Denmark and came to England in 1623 with Anstruther's recommendation to Prince Charles.[3]

Robert Anstruther was buried in Westminster Abbey on 9 January 1645.[4]

External links


  1. ^ 'Anstruther, Robert', SSNE database, St Andrews University.
  2. ^ Diary of Abraham de la Pryme (Surtees Society, 1870), pp. 107-8.
  3. ^ The Works of Horatio Walpole, Earl of Orford: Anecdotes of Painting, vol. 3 (London, 1798), pp. 251-2 citing Fuller, Worthies of Surrey, p. 77: Thomas Fuller, The History of the Worthies of England, vol. 3 (London, 1840), pp. 201-202.
  4. ^ Joseph Lemuel Chester, The Marriage, Baptismal, and Burial Registers of the Collegiate Church or Abbey of St Peter Westminster (London, 1876), p. 138.

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