Anstruther, Ian 1922–2007

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Anstruther, Ian 1922–2007

(Sir Ian Anstruther of That Ilk, Ian Fife Campbell Anstruther)


See index for CA sketch: Born May 11, 1922, in Buckinghamshire, England; died July 29, 2007. Farmer, philanthropist, and author. Anstruther did not have to work for a living, so he spent much of his adult life engaged in activities that gave him pleasure and added meaning to his daily routine. He once modestly described himself to CA as a farmer, but the property he acquired through a bequest from his aunt and de facto foster mother Joan Campbell was in fact the valuable Thurloe Estate, a large residential parcel located in the South Kensington section of London. Anstruther took his stewardship of the estate quite seriously, managing the property from 1950 until changes in British law allowed certain leaseholders to purchase their holdings outright. Despite his acquired wealth, Anstruther was born into relatively modest surroundings. His parents were technically members of the nobility but were not in any line of succession, even within their own family. Their tumultuous marriage eventually nudged the boy out of the family and into the household of his aunt, where he prospered and ultimately became the owner of her estate. His titles as baronet of Balcaskie of Scotland and baronet of Anstruther of Scotland and England came to him via an equally circuitous route from a childless cousin. He lived a quiet life as manager of Thurloe and as a farmer at Barlavington in rural Sussex. Anstruther developed an appreciation for libraries, where he spent substantial amounts of time among dusty tomes and literary antiquities. In 1992 he endowed the Anstruther Wing created by the London Library to house and preserve up to 25,000 rare volumes. Anstruther wrote a few nonfiction books himself, including "I Presume": A Study of H.M. Stanley, The Knight and the Umbrella (an account of the colorful reenactment of a medieval tournament by Lord Archibald Eglinton in 1839), The Scandal of the Andover Workhouse, Oscar Browning: A Biography, and Coventry Patmore's Angel.



Times (London, England), August 8, 2007, p. 49.