A name of great antiquity in Perthshire where the Butters have held land around Fascally near Pitlochry since the twelfth century. Black suggests that the name may derive from the Gaelic ‘bothar’, meaning ‘cattle road’. In 1554 John Butter of Gormok was declared an outlaw for participating in the murder of George Drummond of Leidcreif during a feud with the Blairs of Balthyock. The Butters’ belicose tendencies continued, and on 24 November 1598 Patrick Butter was indicted for besieging the House of Ashintully and imprisoning the laird, Andrew Spalding.
The family was to channel its undoubted martial prowess into service in the armed forces, and in the 1850s Lieutenant Colonel Archibald Butter of Faskally served in the Crimea and survived the Indian Mutiny. The present head of the family, Major Sir David Butter of Pitlochry MC, is HM Lord Lieutenant of Perthshire and is related by marriage to the Russian former imperial house of Romanov. HM Queen Elizabeth is godmother to his eldest daughter.