Crest Meaning: Anstruther

Posted by admin 17/06/2020 0 Comment(s)


Another surname from a placename in Fife. A good story behind this crest, with some less fun Latin grammar. Two armoured arms bringing down a pole-axe and the Latin motto ‘Periissem ni per-iissem’. A literal translation of the Latin is gibberish: ‘I might have perished, except I had perished’, but by a quirk of grammar means ‘I might have perished had I not persisted’. The meaning behind this is explained by Walter Scott in the notes of his novel Waverly of 1834. Apparently, an ancestor of the Anstruthers was due to meet a rival, but learned that said rival was planning on killing him. Pre-empting this attempt, Anstruther confronted his enemy by ‘dashing out his brains with a battle axe’. This vague and neat little story is possibly little more than a later yarn to explain the crest, which seems to be a fairly conventional statements of martial prowess and gritty determination.