Duthie’s at Home

The Duthie Abodes

In less than 5 decades, Members of the Duthie Family had moved House from the hugger-mugger of Footdee to the tree-lined quiet of 3 Albyn Terrace.  In 1811, William Duthie was earning 4s-6d per day.  When he died at age 72, in October 1861 he left the sum of £70,000, most of which was used to buy Cairnbulg Castle and the Landed Estate in 1862.  The senior, male member of the Duthie Family, John, now bore the Title “of Cairnbulg” after his name and one of William’s grandnephews became “Sir John Duthie of Cairnbulg
Originally Philorth belonged to the Comyns, confiscated 1306,
Given by Bruce to John Ross, son of Earl of Ross to Sir Alexander Fraser of Cowie 1375;  Sold to Robert Fraser of Durris renamed Cairnbulg 1615.
Sold to Col Buchan of Auchmacoy early 18th century.
In 1739 to Alex Aberdein;
To Earl of Aberdeen 1775;
Bequeathed to Gordon of Cairbulg (See Mormond) 1801
Sold to Duthie’s 1862,


CairnBulg Castle
Originally: a large square Tower with corbelled parapet & angle rounds 41′ x 29’8″,  Ground floor perhaps mid 13thC, 14thC at the latest;
Upper Floors 15thC.  Ground and 1st Floors vaulted, boulder rubble, original Staircase in the thickness of the Wall, with a meurtriere feature at the foot, upper parts now infilled. Smaller Circular Tower to South-west with set back Upper Floor 1545, made parts of Z-plan arrangement later in the century by linking Wing, Jamb with Turnpike stair to link with the original Tower added at the same date. Abandoned 1799, the central part of linking building demolished. Towers restored, courtyard wall demolished and link building reconstructed (wider on South than originally) Jenkins & Marr 1896-7 for Sir John Duthie.  Harled with margins & dressings, sandstone or local heathen stone at original work, Granite at later work. Design of 1st floor South.  Windows modified, internal alterations 1966 and some chimneypieces from Tarbat House inserted.

William Duthie, (b.1791) Shipowner & Timber Merchant, Footdee, h. 30 St Clement Street, Office – York Place – (later Site of Hall Russell’s Shipyard).  In 1861, William Duthie died at the age of 72.  h. 3 Wellington Steet (c.1830)
JohnDuthieVaultWilliam Duthie & Co. William Duthie 1st Leased a Shipyard from the Town Council in November 1817. It was a Family Business; his Partners were his younger brothers John & Alexander. All 3 seem to have served Apprenticeships with the Hall Shipyard before going into Business. It is thought that William was renting space at the Hall’s Yard prior to 1817: the 1st Duthie-built Vessel Stranger a Wooden Brig of 89 Tons dates from December 1816.

John Duthie
John had 6 sons & 3 daughters. John was born in 1817, and William in 1822, Alexander in 1824, Robert in 1831, James in 1835 and George in 1838. The daughters were called Ann, Helen & Mary.
John Duthie Sons & Co., Shipbuilders, York Place. h. 2 Wellington Street (c.1830)
John Duthie, Shipbuilder, Canal Terrace – (Virginia St to Garvock St)

William Duthie Jr (b. 1822 -). John’s son William established this Yard in 1855 when he came ashore from his career as a Captain. His Yard at the Upper Dock Inches was across the Harbour from the Family Business at Footdee. William’s Yard built Wooden Sailing Ships, mainly for the Australian Trade. Vessels built at the Yard included the Duthie-owned Rifleman, Martha Birnie & Alexander Duthie. When the Yard closed in 1870, other Aberdeen Builders were producing Steamers & Iron Sailing Ships.

Robert Duthie Shipowner 41 Regents Quay (office)

Click to Enlarge

Robert Duthie, Shipowner, York Place, Home,  27 Bon-Accord Crescent.  Overlooking the Howe Burn Hollow

Alexander Duthie, Home, Waterloo Quay
William’s brother Alexander took over as Shipyard Manager in 1837. His Partners were his brother John & John’s son John Jr (b.1817-d.1872). In 1838, the Yard was renamed Alexander Duthie & Co, a name it retained until 1861.
Alexander Duthie, Jr Merchant & Shipowner, h. Kingsland  Place, Broadford (Cul de Sac), d 8th March 1853 aged 76 yrs. His wife Margaret Duthie d 5th June 1837 aged 60 yrs.
William Duthie, Advocate, Aberdeen d 3rd October 1858 aged 46 yrs;
Jane Pollock Duthie d 20th November 1862 aged 49 yrs,
Margaret Dauney Duthie d.30th June 1861 aged 40 yrs.
Alexander Duthie, (Advocate) of Ruthrieston, Home, Rosehill
d. 24th June 1877 aged 62 yrs.
Mrs Duthie, Sr, of Cairnbulg, 20 Albyn Place
Miss Duthie, 58 Carden Place

DuthieHouseFlag0n 27th January 1880, “Old John” died.  His sons, William, James & Alexander pooled some of their Capital to have a large, Ship-rigged, Iron Vessel built. The “Port Jackson” was 303ft long and listed as 2,132 Tons gross.  William & Alexander never married and were to die without issue.  The Shipbuilding firm had a House Flag and a Family Crest for their Vessels. On the Flag’s blue base was a white shield with a clenched hand holding a sword aloft. They also had a family motto “Data fata secutus”. It’s meaning, “Follow the fate that is given”, was at odds with the Family’s thrusting, Business Entrepreneurship. The motto & crest is to be seen carved into the stone above the Entrance to Cairnbulg Castle.

The 13thC Castle of Philorth, now known as Cairnbulg Castle, Property of the Comyns, came into the hands of the Frasers in 1375.  Additions & changes in the 15th & 16thC gave the Castle much of today’s look. In 1863 the Ruin was bought by John Duthie.


Cairnbulg Castle before Restoration

Brough, Robert, 1872-1905; Sir John Duthie, KBE, of Cairnbulg

Sir John Duthie, KBE, of Cairnbulg

In 1896, his nephew Sir John Duthie KBE (b.1828), restored the Castle using Granite which was his Wife’s Tocher (dowry) from her father John Fyfe (d.1906) of Kemnay Quarry and a Granite Merchant. Their initials & motto are over the present Front door. Sir John died in 1923.
The names entwined are those of Sir John Duthie (JD) and his wife L Fyfe.

 ‘CAIRNBULG’ Built 1874. Iron Clipper Ship of 1567 Tons.  Length; 261.3ft, Breadth; 39ft, Depth; 23ft.  Built by Duthie of Aberdeen for William Duthie Jnr. Master; Captain Birnie.

Cairnbulg Castle –  Repurchased by Lord Saltoun 1934.  The late Lord Saltoun, 11th from the 8th Laird, bought it back and modernised it. This fairy-tale type Castle is currently the home of the Saltoun Family and opens to the Public by appointment only.