Chief, Clan Carruthers

Clan Carruthers: Construct of a Clan Grand Council

Doc2.jpegPart of the information below, especially relating to a Clan Grand Council has been taken from ancient texts, by courtesy of Michael Grewar Esq, and changed to reflect the name of Carruthers.

Clan History.

image1History of the House of Carruthers has been published in one volume with amendments, authored by the Rev Stanley Arthur Carruthers and R.C. Reid and goes back to the first ever mention of our Name in the reign of Alexander II. Pedigrees of all branches of the Chiefly line are included up to the 1920’s, although the blood line continues. This was followed by the Carruthers Anthology Genealogy by AJ Carruthers, published in 2014 taking the genealogy further forward in time.

Publication of further material.

Much miscellaneous material still remains unpublished. It is planned that a new series to be called the Miscellaneous, Genealogical, and Heraldic notes of the House of Carruthers is projected to be published by the Clan Carruthers Society International in the future.

Society (Clan Carruthers Society International)

carruthers-clansman-s-badgeAs there is no legal chief currently in place, a formation of a society in order to support the choosing of a chief by the Lyon Court is acceptable. The society cannot itself appoint a chief unless through a derbhfine, overseen by the Lord Lyon. For this reason, our society does not recognise any other self appointments of either Carruthers Chief or Chieftain who have not been officially recognised by the Lord Lyon in Edinburgh. It is not how you perceive yourself that matters, but how you are perceived by the world. For that reason, although frustratingly long and arduous, the Clan Carruthers Society International, set up for the many, not just the few, must follow the official route for recognition in order that our heritage and clan are built on solid foundations for the benefit of future Carruthers generations.


Chiefs Arms mock upfallow deer v3
Arms of the Chief of Carruthers

Our family currently have those descended from the chiefly blood line still alive.  A chief will be therefore chosen by the Lord Lyon to lead the Carruthers, as he is the only person with the legal authority to do so. This will be done through matriculation of our Chiefs Arms (Holmains).  At this point and if the Chief deems it necessary, Chieftains may well be chosen.  There are no other seniors in existence and as of 19 August 2019 Dr S Peter Carruthers of Holmains was confirmed by the Lyon Court as Chief of the Name and Arms of Carruthers.


A Clan or Family of a Name (Carruthers), consists of a large number of people, of whom some have been sufficiently fortunate to have retained over the centuries, records of their descent and are thus able to record their arms and be recognised thereby noblesse of the realm (a term no longer used by the current Lord Lyon).

Others have obtained grants of Arms by Letters Patent in order to put themselves in the same relation to both the Crown and Clan. These persons, the Armigers of the Name, form not only the gentry of the Clan, as they did in ancient times, but also, in assembly, the Grand Council. Possession, therefore of legally recognised Arms which clearly show their derivation from the undifferenced arms of the Name, or relationship to them, constitutes the title deeds for membership of the Clan Council.

image2 copy 2In addition, in certain branches and lines hereditary offices of one kind or another devolve, the right which will depend on the possession of the undifferenced ‘branch’ arms. Certain other offices are those of nomination from among the Clan and its following, by the Chief.

Besides the above hereditary officers, nominated officers of the Clan and hereditary members of Council, there may also be other Councillors who are not armigers, who may be nominated and appointed to the Council from among the Clan and its following, by the Chief as and when it is deemed necessary to do so.

Certain other persons – not necessarily of the blood, but who may be related by marriage, or who may by agreements with the Chief have entered into what was anciently called bands – will be found among the nominated office-bearers.

Clan Commissioners.

Dana 1
Dana Caruthers Norton (USA)

Owing to the widespread settlement of members of the House of Carruthers and their following, Commissioners who will act locally for the Chief of the Clan, will be appointed as and when necessary. Commissioners must be loyal to both the Clan and the Society and will be willing to work in their name. At the time of writing the regions currently covered are: Europe, the USA, Canada and Australasia.

Those interested in matters relating to Clan Carruthers in those regions can contact them through this site.

Society Convenor and Lord Bruce after an awards ceremony Broomhall, 2018

Remaining members of the Clan Council.

These will consist of those who are neither Chieftains, Armigers, heir apparents or Commissioners who have been chosen by the Chief, on advice from the Convenor, who they feel worthy of that position. It would be the hope that those same members of Council without arms, progress to the matriculation or granting of their own arms through the Lyon Court in Edinburgh.

Meetings of the Grand Council (once a legally recognised Chief is in place).


No meeting of the Council can be convened except by the Chief of the Name, and all summonses to meetings shall be in his name and issued by a responsible officer on his behalf.


No meeting shall be duly constituted unless there is placed at the Board of the Chief’s chair, or in his absence some other chair in lieu thereof, and thereon shall be placed a piece of stuff in the clan tartan to signify his absence; and on the Board, at the head, whether he be present or absent, shall be laid (1) his sword (by the swordbearer or his depute), which known by all present to be his because thereon will be found engraved both his arms and his name; (2) his bonnet with three eagle feathers; and (3) the Black Book of Carruthers, which contains the name of all known gentry of the clan,  out of which any disputes as to presidency or entitlement to sit on Council can be settled. Without these three symbols being present, no meetting can take place.


Where a meeting occurs in the absence of the Chief and these three symbols are sent to the Council Chamber, he who shall be most senior in precedncy and who will preside over the meeting as the Chief’s Commissioner, shall be responsible for the safety and see they are returned speedily afterwards.


In the case of disagreement no vote may be taken at such a meeting, but the matter in dispute shall be remitted to the next meeting before any vote is taken.


No matter which comes within the prerogative of the Crown, as represented by the Lyon Court in Scotland, or by other legitimate authority elsewhere, as touching the rights of any armiger present. or of the Council of the Clan as an Honourable Corporation – Noble, shall be capable of resolution or alteration by Council.


No Clan Carruthers Society can or may be formed without the full concurrence not only of the Clan Council but also the Chief of the Name in writing, and any such Clan Society may not elect any Chairman or other Head whose title or designation in any way simulates any of those held by the Chief or by any of the Grand Officers of the Clan.


In the event of any Clan Society being permitted to be formed, the election of their officers from time to time as they are made must be sent to their Clan Council for its formal concurrence.


To avoid the necessity of calling the Clan Council for matters of minor importance or interest, an executive committee (Clan Society Executive), as may be deemed necessary by the Chief, will be established for such purposes and, in ultimate, action to meet any situation or emergency which may arise may be taken by the Chief of the Name motu proprio (of his own accord).


Precedence of the Grand Officers shall be named by the Clan Chief. These officers shall be followed by all armigers in order of precedence as settled in sasine. Subordinate officers shall follow the precedency as laid out by the Clan Chief. The remainder of the Clan will take precedency as may be accorded to them at any gathering by those charged with the organisation of the meeting. In cases of dispute these shall be referred to the Chief for arbitration.


Since certain individuals in the USA and Canada, have adopted the misuse of Clan Carruthers names and titles, it is necessary for clansfolk, in order to gain admission to gatherings, to produce a proof of society or clan membership signed by the Chief and/or Convenor.

Clan Carruthers Society WP footnote grey

4 thoughts on “Clan Carruthers: Construct of a Clan Grand Council”

  1. Thanks for all the information. On careful examination of my genealogy, I feel that I may wish to work at having arms recognized. Having come late in life to this position I must minimize the expense of such.

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