Anstruther

Anstruther ANR PS NO564035 1 5m

Ainestroder 1178 x 1188 RRS ii no. 207 [Anstruther W(ester) S; May Priory’s harbours (portus) of Pittenweem (Pednewem) and Anstruther]
Gaufr’ de Einestr’ 1178 x 1205 St A. Lib. 382 [w.; Geoffrey of Anstruther]
Henrico de Ainestroth’ c.1225 St A. Lib. 272 [w.; Henry of Anstruther]
in Aynistrothir 1229 Dryb. Lib. no. 251 [Anstruther E(aster); 16th c. copy; papal confirmation to Dryburgh Abbey, including ‘houses which you have in Anstruther’ (casas quas habetis); see ANE Introduction, Dryburgh Abbey]
ecclesia de Eynstrother 1243 Paris BN MS latin 1218 [Anstruther W. P; church consecrated by David de Bernham, 28 June (‘iv kl Julii’)]
ecclesia de Aynistrothir c.1250 St A. Lib. 33 [Anstruther W. P]
(William lord of) Aynestrother 1270 CDS v no. 2577 [Anstruther E.]
in villa de Aynestrathyr c.1280 Dryb. Lib. no. 22 [rubric]
Henricus de Anystrother c.1280 Dryb. Lib. no. 22 [Anstruther E.; 16th c. copy]
illas tres bothas in villa mea de Aynestrother c.1280 Dryb. Lib. no. 22 [Anstruther E.; 16th c. copy; see ANE Introduction, Dryburgh Abbey]
tres bothas in villa de Aynestrother x 1288 Dryb. Lib. no. 24 [Anstruther E.; see ANE Introduction, Dryburgh Abbey]
cane de Anstrother 1290 ER i, 50 [collectors of cain (cana) of Anstruther]
(Sir Henry of) Anstrether 1291 Inst. Pub. 16
Henry de Aynestrothere 1296 Inst. Pub. 145
(Henry of) Eynstrother 1304 CDS ii no. 1544 [Anstruther E.; for his lands and heritage in England]
tres bothas in Anystrothir 1310 x 1324 [6] Dryb. Lib. no. 291 [Anstruther E.; 16th c. copy; episcopal confirmation]
(Henry lord of) Aynestrother c.1319 x 1330 Dryb. Lib. no. 302 [rubric]
Henricus de Aynestrother dominus ejusdem c.1319 x 1330 Dryb. Lib. no. 302 [Anstruther E.; 16th c. copy; ‘Henry of Anstruther lord of that ilk’]
Aynestrother c.1319 x 1330 Dryb. Lib. no. 302 [Anstruther E.; 16th c. copy; see ANE Introduction, Dryburgh Abbey]
viridarium de Aynstrother 1328 x 1330 Dryb. Lib. no. 302 [Anstruther E.; 16th c. copy; ‘green of Anstruther’; see ANE Introduction, Dryburgh Abbey]
Henricus filius Willelmi de Candela dominus de Aynstro<th>ir c.1330 x c.1330 x 1350 Balm. Lib. no. 49 [Anstruther E.; printed Aynstroyir, where second y represents þ (th); see ANE Introduction, Balmerino Abbey and St Ayle’s]
e parte orientali ville de Aynstro<th>ir c.1330 x c.1350 Balm. Lib. no. 49
in villa de Ayinstro<th>ir c.1330 x c.1330 x 1350 Balm. Lib. no. 49 [Anstruther E.]
(in the common grazing of) Aynstro<th>ir c.1330 x c.1330 x 1350 Balm. Lib. no. 49 [Anstruther E.]
Ricardo de Aynstrothir’ 1358 RRS vi no. 206 [o.c.; Richard of Anstruther, lord of that ilk (domino eiusdem), w. to a charter of 1351 x 1354; see Pitcorthie CBE]
Ricardus de Aynstrothir 1363 RRS vi no. 291 [Anstruther E.; o.c.; David II inspection of charter of Richard Anstruther to John Strang, his brother-in-law, of various lands in the territory of Anstruther, next to the lands of the abbot of Dryburgh; in return for one silver penny to be paid ‘on the feast of St Ethernan [7] at the parish kirk of Anstruther’ (ad festum sancti Rinini apud ecclesiam parochialem de Aynstrothir)]
(mill of) <A>instrothire 1369 RMS i no. 235 [the king gives his mill of Anstruther (Ainstrothire) to John of Restalrig MLO (Lestalrik); the A is prefixed to instrothire in a different but contemporary hand; see loc. cit.]
Georgi<us> Ansteruthyr 1435 St A. Lib. 419 [as a surname]
Litill-Anstrudir 1452 x 1480 RMS ii no. 1444 [Anstruther W. S; Pittenweem Priory lands]
(half lands of) Anstruthir 1484 RMS ii no. 1578 [Anstruther E.; to Andrew Anstruther (Anstruthir) and Cristine Spence (Spens) his spouse half the lands of Anstruther ‘with the mill’ (cum molendino)]
(port and haven of) Andstruthir 1498 RSS i no. 260 [‘portis and havynes of Pettinweme, Andstruthir, Erlisferry and Carrale’]
Anstrothir 1504 TA ii, 261 [Anstruther Wester P; 20 s. paid to the priests of Anstruther to say ‘ane trentale of messis of Sanct Nicholas’]
Anstrothir 1517 Fife Ct. Bk. 33
(mill of) Anstrothir 1518 RSS i no. 3010 [Anstruther E. S]
Anstrothir 1516 Fife Ct. Bk. 57 [Anstruther E. S]
(mill of) Anstrothir 1518 RSS i no. 3010 [Anstruther E. S]
Anstruthir 1526 RMS iii no. 388 [Anstruther W. S; to the monastery of Pittenweem alias Isle of May, Anstruther ‘on the western side of their burn’ (ex parte occidentali torrentis earundem)]
(mill of) Anstruthir 1528 RMS iii no. 531 [Anstruther E. S; John Anstruther and Elizabeth Spence his wife]
in villa et territorio de Anstruthir 1528 RMS iii no. 531 [Anstruther E. S]
lie Manis de Anstruthir 1532 RMS iii no. 2800 [Anstruther E. S]
Anstruthir 1541 RMS iii no. 2292 [Anstruther W. S; ‘Anstruther on the west side of its burn’ (ex occidentali parte torrentis ejusdem)]
villam de Anstruthir 1541 RMS iii no. 2292 [Anstruther W. S; the town of Anstruther created a free burgh of barony, with rights of election for the Prior and community of the priory of May and Pittenweem]
Anstruther 1548 Retours (Fife) no. 16 [John Anstruther ... 40 acres of lands of Anstruther in the lordship (dominio) of Anstruther, and a third part of the Mains (lie Manis) ...]
Anstruthir 1549 RMS v no. 357 [Anstruther E. S]
villa de Anstruther 1550 RMS v no. 2324
villa de Anstruther 1550 RMS v no. 2324 [Anstruther W. S; the town of Anstruther on the west side of its burn (ex parte occidentali torrentis eiusdem)]
Athernynstruther 1555 x 1585 RMS v no. 883 [Anstruther W. S; to George Learmonth (Leirmonth) of Balcomie (Balcolmy) CRA lands and rents formerly belonging to the Dominicans in St Andrews including 8 s. from Wardinhauch ‘next to Anstruther’ (prope Athernynstruther)]
Anstroyer 1560 St A. Kirk Sess. 66
the parish kirk of Anstruder c.1560 s Assumption, 22
the vicarage of Anstruder c.1560 s Assumption, 22
baroni<a> et vill<a> de Anster 1575 RMS iv no. 2513 [Anstruther E. S; several minor local names]
burgum de Anstruther 1587 RMS v no. 1396 [Anstruther W. S; Anstruther ‘on the west (side) of the burn’ (super occidentali torrentis) erected as a royal burgh]
burgh of Anstruther be wast the burne 1587 APS iii, 583–4 [Anstruther west of the burn is erected ‘in frie burgh regall’]
in burgo de Anstruther orientali 1590 RMS v no. 1749 [Anstruther E. S]
vill<a> de Anstruther 1592 RMS v no. 2144 [Anstruther W. S; see ANR Introduction]
lie Anstruther-bewest-the-burne 1609 RMS vii no. 11 [Anstruther W. P; teinds etc. of the church of Pittenweem the Anstruther west of the Burn (ecclesie de Pettinweme lie Anstruther-bewest-the-burne)]
Anstruther-Wester 1620 RMS viii no. 663
apud Enstruther 1624 RMS viii no. 776 [Anstruther E. S]
apud Anstruther 1624 RMS viii no. 776 [Anstruther E. S]
villa et baronia de Anstruther 1628 RMS viii no. 1348 [Anstruther E. S]
(burgess of) Anstruther-Wester 1632 RMS ix no. 451 [Anstruther W. S]
(burgh of) Anstruther-Eister 1632 RMS ix no. 451 [Anstruther E. S]
(burgess of) Anstruther-Eister 1633 RMS viii no. 2235 [Anstruther E. S]
lie ecclesiasticall-landis in Anstruther 1633 RMS viii no. 2235 [Anstruther E.]
ju ta terras domini de Anstruther 1633 RMS viii no. 2235 [Anstruther E. S]
Anstruther 1634 Retours (Fife) no. 504 [Anstruther W. P; ‘teinds of the church of Pittenweem called Anstruther’ (decimis ecclesiae de Pittinweim nuncupatae Anstruther)]
Easter Ansterrudder 1642 Gordon MS Fife
West Anster 1642 Gordon MS Fife
prope burgum regium de Anstruther 1643 RMS ix no. 1373 [Anstruther E. S; 3 arable acres ‘beside royal burgh of Anstruther’ between lands of Kilrenny belonging to lord of Balfour, and 1 acre formerly belonging to Balmerino monastery and then occupied by William Black (Blak) ... in parish of Anstruther]
parochia de Anstruther 1643 RMS ix no. 1373 [Anstruther E. P; see preceding]
Enster 1649 Lamont’s Diary 9 [‘a ship in Enster brunt by an accidentall fyre’]
Anstruder 1654 Blaeu (Pont) East Fife
East Ansterrudder 1654 Blaeu (Gordon) Fife
West Ansterrudder 1654 Blaeu (Gordon) Fife
Anstruther-Eister 1658 Retours (Fife) no. 879 [‘Androw Symsone (Andrew Simpson), clark of Anstruther-Eister ... within the lordship of Pittinweim neir the toune of Anstruther-Wester’]
Anstruther-Wester 1658 Retours (Fife) no. 879 [see preceding]
E. Anstruther 1753 Roy sheet 19, 5
W. Anstruther 1753 Roy sheet 19, 5
W. Anstruther 1775 Ainslie/Fife [name of parish]
Anstruther Wester 1775 Ainslie/Fife [name of town]
Anstruther Easter 1775 Ainslie/Fife
Anster kirk 1827 Tennant 1827, line 127 [a poem in Scots]
West Anstruther 1828 SGF

? OG á(i)n or ? G aon + G sruthair

Possibly ‘driving current or burn’. The first element may be án (verbal noun from agid ‘drives’, for which see Thurneysen 1946, 454). Whatever its derivation, it has always borne the stress, and so must be the specific element qualifying sruthair (see also Watson 1926, 503). Sruthair, a word which is obsolete in modern Gaelic, may refer either to the Dreel Burn, which enters the sea at Anstruther, or to some coastal current (possibly caused by the burn).

Another possibility is that the first element may be related to OIr n or óen, modern Gaelic aon ‘one’. The pronunciation of this word developed from a diphthong whose unstable vowel-sound was variously rendered oín, óen, aíne, oén, aen and so on (Thurneysen 1946, 43; DIL s.n. oen). The óen element appears, for example, in the second syllable of Dunino DNO (q.v.) and is there pronounced /i/, earlier /e/. But the same element appears in the name Óengus, which is the origin of the personal name Angus, whose first vowel is pronounced in Scots /a/. Anstruther may, therefore, mean ‘(place of or on) one burn’, perhaps referring to the two settlements, in two separate parishes, on either side of the one burn, which developed into Anstruther Easter and Wester respectively.

Sruthair, in its meaning of ‘burn’, occurs also in Struthers CER, PNF 2. It is not to be confused with Sc struther or strother ‘a marshy place’ (see DOST under strother), found south of the Forth in various place-names such as Westruther (parish) BWK, and more locally in Langstruther # KCQ (see below).

Athernynstruther (1555): Stevenson (1989, 3), on the strength of this one, late form, states that it contains the local saint’s name, Ethernan (Isle of May etc.). The overwhelming number of occurrences of the name before and after this date with a monosyllabic first element show that this cannot be. It does, however, show how closely associated Ethernan was with Anstruther in the local consciousness at this time (see also PNF 2, ANR Introduction, Fairs and Saints).

The reduced form, which developed in the Scots-speaking period, is first recorded in the second half of the sixteenth century (see above).

/ˈanstrʌðər/, locally /ˈɛnstər/ or /ˈenstər/

This place-name appeared in printed volume 3