Clan Carruthers, False Claims, Nobility

Clan Carruthers: The Roll of the Peerage

Border Reiver
Border Reiver

As a family descended from the proud Border Reiver and Riding Families of the West March, we are known for our honesty and integrity and most importantly, also for loyalty and respect amongst ourselves as a clan and family.

Sadly, as we continue with due process to have a Chief of our Name confirmed by the Lyon, some of our time is spent on discounting false claims.  

The question we had recently posed to us was; Has Carruthers, or in this instance Carothers to the exclusion of Carruthers, been recently added onto a ‘Nobility Roll’, by the College of Arms, London, England, as is claimed by some?

Following on from last weeks blog on the College of Arms, and after some research, based on advice given, we have produced from the College of Arms themselves; how to be included on the ‘Roll of Peerage, which we assume is what they mean by a Nobility Roll, who is on it (by link) and why.

Sadly, based on our research there are no Carruthers, Carothers or any other derivation of our name mentioned or listed on the Roll of Peerage, which is total in its listings nor are there any in process.

Royal Warrant: Roll of the Peerage?

Royal Arms of the United Kingdom

On 1 June 2004 a Royal Warrant required the creation and maintenance of a new Roll of the Peerage by the then Secretary of State for Constitutional Affairs. The Warrant imposed the duty of creasting and maintaining the Roll on the Secretary of State for Constitutional Affairs Acting in consultation with the Garter Principal, King off Arms and the Lord Lyon, King of Arms. This includes anyone succeeding to a title in the peerages of England, Scotland, Great Britain or the United Kingdom and proving succession of the same, (irrelevant of country of residence).

After the closure of the Office of Constitutional Affairs, the responsibility for this now rests with the Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice.

The need for this arose out of the changes to the composition of the House of Lords as a result of the House of Lords Act 1999. Up to that time, all Peers who proved succession, with the exception of Irish creations, received a Writ of Summons to Parliament. These successions were recorded in a register of The Lords Spiritual and Temporal, maintained by the Clerk of the Parliaments.

Since the implementation of the House of Lords Act, a list of members of the House of Lords including the 92 excepted hereditary peers, and a register of hereditary peers who wish to stand in any by-election, have been maintained by the Clerk of the Parliaments; peers not falling into any of these categories cannot be entered into it. The present Roll was therefore instituted to record the names of all those holding peerages, whether or not also enrolled in the register of the Clerk of the Parliaments.

Under the terms of the Royal Warrant of 1 June 2004 any person who succeeds to a Peerage must prove his or her succession and be placed on the Roll, otherwise that person may not be legally recognised as a Peer in official documents.

The Roll of the Peerage is an officially compiled and maintained list, intended to contain the names of all living peers. Peers are enrolled in it in the following circumstances:

  • Hereditary Peers who have proved succession in accordance with the terms of the 2004 Royal Warrant.
  • Hereditary Peers who up to 1999 received a Writ of Summons.
  • Hereditary Peers who from 1999 have proved their succession in order to be eligible either for election to a vacant seat amongst the remaining 92 hereditary peers in a House of Lords ‘by-election’, or to vote in such a by-election.
  • Life Peers.

The Roll comprises all those Peers who have proved succession to an English, Scottish, Irish, Great Britain or United Kingdom Peerage. In some cases the Peer’s name appears against his junior title; it may then be cross-referenced elsewhere in the Roll, if the Peer is customarily styled in a different or senior title. This arises for example where succession has been proved in a junior title for the purposes of sitting in the House of Lords.

Each entry on the Roll is headed with the style of the dignity (the nomen dignitatis), e.g. ‘Abercorn’; with the body of the entry showing:

  • whether the dignity is hereditary or for life.
  • the class or rank of dignity, i.e. duke/duchess, marquess/marchioness, earl/countess, viscount/viscountess or baron/baroness, (lord/lady in the case of some Scottish titles).
  • the Peerage within which dignity was created, i.e. the Peerage of England, Scotland, Ireland, Great Britain or the United Kingdom.
  • the full style of the current holder of the dignity, including forenames, and indicating where applicable any senior title by which he or she is customarily known.
  • the surname of the present holder of the dignity.

See link below.

Proving succession to a peerage

Ducal Crown

The Royal Warrant of 2004 required that a person wishing to be recognised as a Peer prove succession to the relevant dignity, to the satisfaction of the Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice. Garter King of Arms provides a ruling to the Crown on whether each claim has been satisfactorily made out.

Guidance notes are provided on how to prove succession to a Peerage. Any person wishing to prove succession to a peerage should in the first instance contact the Officer in Waiting. For general advice on the procedure, the evidence required, and the format of documents, should contact

Grant Bavister
College of Arms
130 Queen Victoria Street,
London EC4V 4BT

For more complex claims advice should be sought from an officer of the College of Arms in London, the Court of the Lord Lyon in Edinburgh (for Peerages of Scotland), or a solicitor.

Claims are made by submission of a formal Petition to the House of Lords and Statutory Declaration to the Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice via the Crown Office, made on behalf of the claimant by a suitable person. Information about the suitability of a particular person to make the Declaration is contained in the guidance notes or in cases of doubt individual cases can be discussed with the Registrar or the College of Arms.

See link below.

Proving succession to a peerage

The Roll of the Peerage

Therefore to be listed on this roll requires evidenced genealogical proof and evidence of title. This is not unlike the requirements and process of prooving the head of a family or clan to the Lord Lyon. The list of people on the Roll of the Peerage, is long and copyrighted to the Crown, however it can be read as a PDF file here:

The Roll of the Peerage

If the link does not work, simply cut and paste this into your browser, for those interested.

Effect of Enrollment.

Scottish Royal Arms 

As alluded to above, according to the Royal Warrant any person not entered on the Roll shall nor be entitled tp the precedence of peer or addressed or referred to as a peer in any offocioal document.

However a peer who is enrolled in a junior title (not having a proven senior title) is nonetheless noted on the Roll as ‘customarily styled’ by the superior title in question which us then named – even though successionm to this title has not been proved. One example of many is Viscount Midleton, with the statement that he is customarily known as Viscount Midleton and a cross-reference from’Midleton”.

It is important to note that the Titled name does not always reflect the surname of the Peer, although that is also listed by the name of the individual holding the title.

(Summerising, if you dont have one, dont clasim to have one, if you are not on the Roll of Peerage, inaccurately called the Nobility Roll by some, dont claim to be)


img_1179There are unfortunately no Caruthers or Carothers or any derivations of our name on the list and none currently being investigated to go on.

This is not simply because, as a Scottish family, we fall outside the jurisdiction of the College of Arms but, although Scottish Peers are included, it is because there are simply no listed ‘Carruthers’ members of the Briish peerage. This further negates the false claims that are being promulgated that we are: a) of a royal line and b) through that birthright, can legally fly the Royal Flag of Scotland (Lion Rampant).

We are saddened to say that once again, the information regarding Carruthers/Carothers and a Nobility Roll is totally untrue.

As an aside, to know if a Carruthers Coats of Arms are recognised as Carruthers and are legally registered, simply look at thehelmet/helm. In our case the helm is currently that of a knights helm closed, not that of nobility, open and barred. To the left is the correct helm for us at the moment and to the right is a helm used for members of the nobility and peerage.

Above are the Chiefly Arms of Carruthers, this shield and the whole Coat of Arms are registered and can only be used by a Chief of our Name. Please note the style of helmet, with no false claim of nobility, no supporters and in the same vein of all Scottish Arms, the Motto is on the top and the crest on the helm, in our case, the Seraphim, as in all heraldic depictions of the same, has a face.

1 thought on “Clan Carruthers: The Roll of the Peerage”

  1. Carotthers (America) has also, on several occasions told me information regarding the Family Carruthers which brinks on the absurd. The only outcome is to cheapen honest and dedicated research. I think it is their intention to ridicule everything investigated by researchers because they cant get the outcome they want … instead they invent fantasies.
    A clear case of jealousy and spite! Well done with your article.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.