The son of Robert Arbuthnot of Haddo by his spouse Mary née Urquhart, elder brother of George Arbuthnot, 1st of Elderslie.
Sir William served twice as Lord Provost of Edinburgh, from 1815 to 1817 and from 1821 to 1823. On the death of his father, he became Secretary of the Board of Trustees for the Encouragement of the Manufactures and Fisheries of Scotland, a post later held by Sir Thomas Dick Lauder, Bt.
Traditionally a knighthood was conferred on Lord Provosts, but Arbuthnot was created a Baronet on 24 August 1822 (Letters Patent 3 April 1823) on the occasion of a banquet given by the Magistrates and Town Council of Edinburgh in honour of King George IV during his visit to Edinburgh.
Sir William Arbuthnot matriculated Arms with the Lord Lyon King of Arms in 1822. Unusually, for a Baronet, the arms include supporters.
Arbuthnot married Anne, daughter of John Alves of Shipland, on 13 September 1800. They had five children:
- Sir Robert Keith Arbuthnot, 2nd Baronet (1801–1873)
- John Alves Arbuthnot (1802–1875)
- George Clerk Arbuthnot (1803–1876), married firstly Agnes Rait, daughter of John Rait on 7 November 1837, married secondly, Caroline Ramsay Hay, daughter of James Hay on 10 January 1845 and had Charles Ramsay Arbuthnot
- Archibald Francis Arbuthnot (1805–1879), married Hon. Gertrude Sophia Gough, daughter of the 1st Viscount Gough on 12 December 1837 and had Major-General William Arbuthnot and Sir George Gough Arbuthnot
- James Edward Arbuthnot (1809–1868), married Harriet Frances Staveley, daughter of William Staveley in June 1837
- Court of the Lord Lyon
- ^ Adams, Thomas, Harvey, William, Whitson, Thomas, editors, Edinburgh 1329 - 1929, Edinburgh, 1929: 140
- ^ Anderson, William, The Scottish Nation, Edinburgh, 1867, vol.IX: 560
- ^ Mosley, Charles, Burke's Peerage & Baronetage, Crans, Switzerland, 106th edition, 1999, vol.1, p.93, ISBN 1-57958-083-1
- ^ Stewart-Smith, J., The Grange of St. Giles, Edinburgh, 1898, p.357
- ^ Mosley, Charles, Burke's Peerage & Baronetage, Crans, Switzerland, 106th edition, 1999 vol.1, p.93, ISBN 1-57958-083-1
- ^ Balfour Paul, Sir James, An Ordinary of Arms, Edinburgh, 2nd edition, 1903, p.96, no.1430
- Mrs P S-M Arbuthnot (1920). Memories of the Arbuthnots. George Allen & Unwin Ltd.
- "thePeerage". http://www.thepeerage.com/p12399.htm#i123987. Retrieved 2006-12-08.
Sir John Marjoribanks, Baronet
| Lord Provost of Edinburgh
| Lord Provost of Edinburgh
Alexander Henderson of Press
|Baronetage of the United Kingdom|
Robert Keith Arbuthnot
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