Robert Steuart Fothringham OB (Abbey School 50s)

Robert Steuart Fothringham, 22nd of Pourie-Fothringham and 13th of Murthly and Strathbraan

Landowner Robert Steuart Fothringham died suddenly, but peacefully, on Saturday, 12th of May at Balhousie Pitlochry care home, following a prolonged period of dementia.

Born in 1937, he was brought up on Fothringham Estate, near Inverarity in Angus, and educated at The Abbey School, Fort Augustus and the Royal Agricultural College, Cirencester. He qualified as a Chartered Accountant and worked in London for much of the 1960s, during which time he married Elizabeth Mary Charlotte Lawther, daughter of Brendan Lawther (a former Scotland rugby internationalist) and Mary Lawther (née Busby).

In 1969, Mr Steuart Fothringham returned to Angus with his family to manage Fothringham Estate, also taking on the management of Murthly and Strathbraan Estates in Perthshire where, in conjunction with neighbouring landowners, he helped to establish the Dunkeld path network a full 35 years before the national path network was established.

Moving to Murthly Castle in Perthshire after the death of his uncle in 1983, Mr Steuart Fothringham restored the castle policies to their former splendour with the first major programme of tree planting for almost a century.

He succeeded his grandfather and uncle as Chieftain of the Birnam Highland Games, a role which he performed with great enthusiasm until stepping down in 2010, and also became President of the Blairgowrie, Rattray and District Pipe Band. In addition, he supported the growth of the local music scene, offering Murthly Castle as a concert venue for the Dunkeld and Birnam Arts Festival.

He served as a Deputy Lieutenant for Angus from 1985, and was also a member of the Royal Company of Archers (Queen’s Body Guard for Scotland), winning the Queen’s Prize for archery in 1978 and 1979.

Mr Steuart Fothringham’s sensitive management and loyalty to his employees resulted in many staying on until retirement, and continuing to live on the Estate thereafter.

He greatly enjoyed the company of friends, and was well known for bursting into song and reciting poetry at any given moment. He was also a keen shot and fisherman, catching a 38lb salmon in 1977 at Islamouth on the River Tay.

Widowed in 1990, Mr Steuart Fothringham was diagnosed with dementia in late 2009 and spent his final years at Balhousie Pitlochry Care Home, where he was well-looked after and enjoyed a settled and happy life.

He leaves behind his four children, Mariana, Ilona, Thomas and Lionel, and ten grandchildren. His funeral takes place at Murthly Castle on Saturday 19th May, and donations are invited to Alzheimer Scotland, care of W & K Gerrie, Inver, Dunkeld, PH8 0JR.

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