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At least five family members became Writers (solicitor) and practiced law in Forfar or Dundee. William Whyte S.S.C.(1857-1921) and Robert Whyte (1831-1906) practiced law in Edinburgh.  Robert Whyte became the Forfar Procurator Fiscal.  

MacHardy, Alexander

& Whyte W.S

There is absolutely no connection between our family and the Forfar firm of solicitors that carries the name – MacHardy, Alexander & Whyte W.S.  This Whyte family did not originate from Angus and came from Fife or Perth.

Trades and Professions

(see Histories of Scotland & Royal Burgh of Forfar)



William Quhyt was noted as a skinner (leather manufacturer and craftsman) in his 1637 pre-marriage contract and later on his death in 1657 as a glover.  It is possible that the Quhyt family had been involved in the leather business for years, well before William Quhyt.  He may have inherited his skills, knowledge and trade contacts from his forebears in the once “royal” burgh of Forfar. 


Skinner guilds were formed in Scotland in the 1500/1600’s (notably Edinburgh) but there is no evidence of such a guild in Forfar, where the Quhyt may have dominated the relatively small local scene.  William’s own family members were craftsmen who did well, particularly as member of the Sutors of Forfar.  Over the years the family trades were variously listed as skinner, glover, shoemaker, tanner, currier and leather merchant.  


Forfar Shoemaker Guild (1626-1847)

The Whytes were one of the leading families in the Forfar Shoemaker Guild (Cordiners) during 1660-1800, when the financial fortunes of this trade were at its peak and the Forfar “sutors” and their hand-made brogues were known far and wide.  This craft, and the glover trade, were clearly developments from their long-standing role in the leather and tanning business.


The family provided the Guild Deacons (Leader) for over 50 years during the period 1682-1755.  See the extracts from the Minute book (The Acts & Meetings of the Shoemakers Trade) from June 1626).   (Note: there are no records from the beginning of the Guild in approx 1625 up to 1660.)  However, after the second Jacobite rising of 1745 the success of the Cordiners began to wane, along with Forfar enthusiasm for the Jacobite cause.

1676 & 1677       David Whyt (elder)                       Treasurer & Collector

1682 ->1700       David Whyt (elder)                       Deacon

1695                   Thomas Whyt     (elder)               Admitted as master and freeman

1698-1699          Thomas Whyt     (elder)               Treasurer

1703                    David Whyt (younger)                  Admitted as master and freeman

1703–1727          Thomas Whyt     (elder)               Deacon

1708                    Alexander Whyt                           Admitted as master and freeman

1716                    Patrick Whyt                                Admitted as master and freeman

1729                    John Whyt                                   Admitted as master and freeman

1736-1743           John Whyt                                   Deacon

1743                    Thomas Whyt (younger)              Admitted as master and freeman

1754-1751           Thomas Whyt (younger)              Deacon

1776                    John Whyte                                  Admitted as master and freeman

1779                    Robert Whyte                               Admitted as master and freeman

1790                    Robert Whyte                               Deacon



William Whyte (1793-1849), Robert Whyte (1831-1906) and perhaps other family members also became local bank agents for one of the major Scottish banks


The Whyte male family members were probably all Freemasons.  However, nothing has been found of the origin or continuity of their membership down the years, except as follows. 

  • (Provost) John Adam Whyte (1830-1906) was a member of the Elijah, Royal Arch Chapter No 12 from 1880, and a Master of Forfar Kilwinning Lodge No 90.

  • My father John Sydney Whyte, like his father and brothers, was a freemason. 

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