It is the responsibility of any respectable organisation to inform and educate based on the facts and evidence available to them. For this reason, we need to respond to something we again have received from one of our members. The following information, initially posted on September of last year, was again posted this week and needs addressing in order that the facts are shared throughout our family and beyond.
The post is from the Ancient and Honourable Carruthers Clan LLC/ Clan Carruthers LLC- Family History Page. Promptis et Fidelis LLC and other such sites where the clue is LLC.
Here are the real Arms of the Chief of Carruthers, as recognised by the Lord Lyon King of Arms.
We will therefore try and go through their comments in both an honest and open manner. However, please carry out your own research as the truth is, as they say, is out there.
This letter uses the following snippet from a trial transcript as evidence for their stance
We will therefore take each point raised in the post in turn with our responses in italics, and the LLC statements from their post in red.
The Carruthers Clan Coat of Arms and the Law
CCSI response: The facts are that the above badge is a misuse of the Chiefly Arms of Carruthers, combined interestingly with the Arms of the City of London and the Arms of the British Monarchy. Below are the Chiefly Arms of Carruthers with their crest (note the correct seraphim with a face) and motto, from which we get our clan badge.
These Carruthers Arms (Shield) date back to John Carruthers 9th of Holmains and 5th Baron, who died in 1694. Although there were Carruthers arms prior to this, John combined the arms of Simon of Mouswald, the last chief of that line and the Ancient Arms of Mouswald to form the arms we today recognise as Carruthers. Therefore in 1672 they were registered with the Lord Lyon of the time, against the Chiefs name, by the Chief of the time, that of John Carruthers of Holmains.
They are therefore the Arms that every Carruthers recognises worldwide as being representative of our family. Sadly they are being used here one has to assume, in an attempt to show some veneer of respectibility to the family in general, where there is none. These Arms should never be claimed by those who have no right to do so.
Arms, a Chiefs or otherwise, are registered, recorded and belong to an individual not a family. They therefore can only be used by someone, who is given the lega;l right to use them.
Currently Carruthers has No Chief, but genealogical evidence and proofed documentation is with the Lord Lyon in Edinburgh as we speak. This is with a view to having a chief legally confirmed e.g. the legal right to use the chiefs arms and without proof, no one else has any right to claim these Arms as their own or misuse them as is being done.
Below is the make up of the LLC badge, which is nether recognised nor registered and breaches both national copyright laws in the UK and international laws worldwide.
We will now deal with the content of the communication:-
LLC: Greetings to our Chief, Chieftains and all Carruthers Society Members !
CCSI response: There is only one recognised Carruthers Chief. He was confirmed as Chief of the Name and Arms of Carruthers by the Lord Lyon in 2019. Dr Simon Peter Carruthers of Holmains, is the 4x Great Grandson of John Carruthers, 12th of Holmains and 8th Baron and last recognised chief who died in 1809.
Here is the genealogical chart of our hereditary Chief.
LCC: On behalf of myself and the Carruthers Clan Society Int., LLC it is our sincere desire that all of our society members possess a clear understanding of our right to exist as a clan which includes the right to display our coat of arms and to chose our chief and chieftains.
CCSI response: There is only one clan and family Carruthers, it is a Scottish clan and family and has its roots in Annandale, Dumfriesshire, Scotland. As such you can’t simply claim the rights name of a family who have been around since at least the 12th century and beyond. It just isn’t viable, nor does it show any respect or understanding of both the family/clan nor the culture in which it exists.
These are the simple and historical facts of the matter and cannot be denied nor changed. Therefore the LLC nor in fact their ‘chief’ and ‘chieftains’ are recognised by us, nor do they represent us on any level.
LLC: From the beginning of our clans efforts to restore our nobility and also into the present, there have been forces who for their own reasons have sought to discredit, discourage and defeat our purposes.
CCSI response: There is no need to restore something that has not gone away, the rich tapestry that is the history and heritage of our family is well documented and exists to this present day. It is therefore difficult to discredit, discourage or defeat that which is more than capable of doing it, through both its claims and actions, to itself.
LLC: It is my believe that I can speak in confidence in saying that we wish those people no ill will but that we will continue in unity and strength in supporting and promoting our noble purposes for the betterment of all Carruthers, far and wide.
CCSI response: ‘we wish no ill’ yet we are advised that there are false and slanderous statements on their sites against those who would challenge the lies and bizarre claims they are making, these actions do not seem to be showing ‘no ill will”.
Our clan, our family and our history are not open for barter, misuse nor false claims. Carruthers is a proud Scottish Border Reiver Clan extending internationally, which does not appreciate abuse, even from those ‘claiming’ to be our own.
The CCSI has been working for over 12 years to have a Chief recognised through the Lord Lyon. We are following in the footsteps of many who have gone before, and many who will come after. This is the only way to attain international credibility and recognition, and we feel that it would be inconceivable for our family to accept anything less than the best.
LLC: It cannot be said too often or stressed too strongly that there is no international law that controls the use of heraldry, as there is for example copyright or trademarks. Scottish Heraldry is controlled through registration of the Lord Lyon, misuse of the Scottish Royal Arms is governed by international statute.
CCSI response: What the statement clearly says is that ‘they’ will do whatever the so chose to do and at the expense off everyone else. There comments, appalling research, plagerism and claims have been a major hinderance to the work we are doing on your behalf.
As a Scottish clan and family, and those who claim to represent the same, respect and recognition of the culture is an important part of it. The LCC badge has taken the Chief of our Name’s Arms and claimed them as their own. They make claims embarrasing to us, with regards not only the Bruce tartan but Bruce themselves. They distort history and evidence to suit their agenda. they offere fiction as facts and as Carruthers we find this exceptionally offensive, but it simply shows the mark of the people involved.
Again and as a typical exasmple, regarding the LCC badge, their use of at least the unicorn from the Arms of the British Monarchy is governed by international copyright. The rest relies on people having respect for who and what they are, or claim to be, in this case sadly one can make their own mind up where the LLC are concerned .
Section 4 (1) of the Trade Marks Act 1994 states:
“A trade mark which consists of or contains –
(a) the Royal arms, or any of the principal armorial bearings of the Royal arms, or any insignia or device so nearly resembling the Royal arms (ed: all Arms used or is their right of use, by the British Monarch) or any such armorial bearing as to be likely to be mistaken for them or it,
(b) a representation of the Royal crown or any of the Royal flags,
(c) a representation of Her Majesty or any Member of the Royal Family, or any colourable imitation thereof, or
(d) words, letters or devices likely to lead persons to think that the applicant either has or recently has had Royal patronage or authorisation.
The use of certain Royal insignia as trade marks can also be protected internationally under the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property of 1883.
Article 6ter (1) (a) of the Paris Convention states that:
“The countries of the Union agree to refuse or to invalidate the registration, and to prohibit by appropriate measures the use, without authorization by the competent authorities, either as trademarks or as elements of trademarks, of armorial bearings, flags, and other State emblems, of the countries of the Union official signs and hallmarks indicating control and warranty adopted by them, and any imitation from aheraldic point of view”.
Over 170 countries signed up to that agreement to include the USA. The LLC is in breach of this.
LLC: Each sovereign state has its own rules, customs and laws which extend only as far as the boundaries of its jurisdiction. Even in a country like Scotland with a strong heraldic tradition backed by legal sanctions and governed by a judge, Lord Lyon in Edinburgh, he has no powers outside the borders of Scotland.
CCSI response: This is true in part, however the Lyon has jurisdiction over all Scottish heraldry and just as importantly, he is the only individual with the authority to confirm an individuals’ right to bear the chiefly Arms of a Scottish Clan or Family. He therefore does not chose a clan chief, nor makes claim to, he simply confirms an individuals right to use of the chiefs arms.
As the arms belong to an individual, this actually works out, by those who embrace their Scottish heritage and culture, to reflect the same thing. Confirmation however, is not simply based on nationality nor residence, but on evidenced genealogy and supported and proofed documentation. There are Chiefs and Commanders, living outside the UK, all of whom have one thing in common; those who are legally accepted and head official clans are all recognised by the Lyon Court, those who are not, are simply false claimants. As such all those who respect, celebrate and recognise Scottish culture and traditions will only accept a claimant of chief or chieftain if confirmed by the Lord Lyon and therefore validated by the Lyon Court in Edinburgh.
The reason the Lyon carries so much international credibility is in part his legal rights explained above, and in part the robustness of the process to filter out the claims of charlatans and rogues, also alluded to above. Any Scottish Clan organisation, gathering or festival of any worth will only allow those recognised as legal entities by the Lyon Court, to receive recognition of their status within their organisations or at their functions.
LCC: I would like to encourage each of you to do due diligence, research the link below for yourselves so that if you are challenged or questioned about the right of our existence as a clan you can with confidence provide truthful and forthright responses.
CCSI response: We would mirror that sentiment, not simply the link below, which we address, but all the false claims made by this group.
Please be careful out there, as not all may be as it seems…….
Yours truly and faithfully
Gail Caruthers Bohannan Gray
Ancient and Honorable Carruthers Clan Society Int., LLC
CCSI response: ‘Honourable’ ; possessing or characterized by high principles, worthy of or entitled to honour or esteem. Sadly we cannot recognise the use of this word in the above context.
Regarding the legal statement they use as evidence of the legality of their stance, the section picked is from a full transcript of judgment in 1941, to suit an agenda. We answer the point they are trying to make.
LCC: Maclean of Ardgour v. Maclean 1941 S.C. 613:
” From an allowance of proof the Court excluded all questions relating to the chieftainship and the relative positions of the parties within the clan, holding that neither chiefship of a whole clan nor chieftainship of a branch of a clan was a legal status justiciable in a court of law, but had the character of a social dignity only, and, accordingly, that the Lord Lyon had no jurisdiction to decide the disputed question of who had right to the chieftainship either directly or incidentally when disposing of the claims for supporters and for a birthbrief. [..] Observations: […] on the meaning of “chief” and “chieftain” in the law and practice of arms, with opinion by the Lord Justice-Clerk that in the recorded cases in which a Lord Lyon had made a declaration of chiefship the declaration had been merely a ministerial act and not a finding in his judicial capacity upon a disputed question.”
CCSI response: There are a couple of points to look at here, but lets look at the phrase: ‘that the Lord Lyon had no jurisdiction to decide the disputed question of who had right to the chieftainship either directly or incidentally when disposing of the claims for supporters and for a birthbrief. This case was not simply about who was chief of the clan, but went far beyond that. This covers in part the inheritance of property and land tied in with a title of the same (birthbreif). Currently, and since this judgment, it is our understanding that on confirmation of a chief that supporters are added by the Lyon onto the chiefs arms to reflect his position. They will not however, be taken from the Cty of London nor in fact the Arms of the British Royal family.
As stated above and in their comment re 1941, what this means is that the Lyon cannot simply pick a chief without strong evidence to support his decision, and care should be taken not to encroach on other legal matters. As in all cases in law, legal decisions on occasions can lead to legal challenges. These challenges may lead to a decision being overturned, this is not unusual but instead leads to any future protocol, which is based on ‘case law’.
Since the snippet from the case stated above, many chiefs and heads of families have been successfully confirmed by the Lord Lyon and more importantly, legally accepted as such. Since 1941, when Sir Francis Grant was Lyon, followed by Sir Thomas Innis of Learney, there have been five judges in post, to include since 2014, the current Lyon; The Rev Canon Dr Joseph Morrow CBE, KStJ, QC, DL, LLD. He is a hard worker, believes in the importance of his role and is keen to ensure the process is carried out correctly and legally having a reputation for the same.
The confirmations a chief, as previously stated, is therefore soley based on either strong and evidenced genealogy or alternatively if no descendants of the chiefly line still exist, through a derbhfine (election at a gathering). Because we are talking about a Scottish clan or family, both of these still fall under the auspices of the Lyon Court. The latter process and its supervision is to ensure proper clan law and protocol are followed and that the right person over the right time-frame and based on the will of the clan, is in post. The former, because that is, as is continually explained, a major portion of the Lyons role.
Below is the genealogy of the Chiefly line of Carruthers to date. As both Holmains and Dormont have descendants, a derbhfine (election) could not/cannot be held, as the genealogy of the seniors has to be satisfied. If it was permitted, the Lyon Court rules state that any gathering to pick a commander will be held in Scotland and overseen by the Lyon or his representative, as both the Bells and McEwens have done. The route we must take, not have chosen to take, is a long and arduous and often a frustrating process. The work, time and effort we have put in the preparation, presentaion and dealing with the Lyon Court in Edinburgh, Scotland, is on your behalf.
Below is the chart of the Carruthers chiefly line from Thomas Carruthers, 1st of Holmains in 1320, through to 2019, a total of nearly 700 years. Why would we simply allow the unscrupulous to abuse this rich heritage through their claims?
Based on our history, do Carruthers not deserve to be reconised legally and officially as a a Border Reiver Clan and family in its own right or should we simply fall in line, accept the bizarre claims and abuse and support a business that it seems, sees us all as a means to a personal end? This is you choice.
If the Lyon retained no legal right nor jurisdiction outside Scotland, which is all he really needs as we are talking of Scottish clans and families, why do clans and families, all seeking international recognition and credibility, continually go through the Lyon?
In the recent past, Clan Buchanan and Clan Irving of Bonshaw have had their Chiefs confirmed by the Lyon, Clans McEwan and Clan Bell have had or will hold gatherings in Scotland this year, supervised by the Lyon Court .
Carruthers, with the support of the CCSI, has petitions with the Lyon awaiting a decision, MacKinnon is in process following the genealogical route, as is Glendinning but through the derdfhine route, to name only a few. McEwen held a derbhfine recently this year to chose a commander, and Bell, led by Clan Bell Society US, has theirs in Scotland this weekend, as is the requirement by the Lord Lyon, to chose theirs.
An election produces a Commander, not a chief nor chieftains, as there has to be consensus over time by the family or clan . A commander is therefore given charge of a Clan for a period of years, usually 5 to 10, and if not challenged, is confirmed by the Lyon to bear the chiefly Arms. At this point they become hereditary chief of that clan or family moving it from armigerous status to being seen as an official and legal clan. Interestingly the individual going for election as Commander of Clan Bell is American and although the Commander of Clan McEwen is Scottish, the Clan Society President is an American.
We understand through conversations that although they were fully aware of the many years of hard work we were putting in, the LLC approached the Lyon Court but were refused. They couldn’t legally follow Bell or McEwen as there were seniors of the Chiefly line still in existence, which the Lyon Court was aware of and they couldn’t produce even a smattering of robust genealogy to support any claims, nor any evidence to even suggest they had any rights to the chiefly Arms.
As Genealogy e.g. descendancy, will alwys be taken before a derbfine, and any gathering, which involves the same has to be held in Scotland and overeen by the Lyon Court, the LLC has failed on all these points of due diligence. For this reason, the LLC has no right of jurisdiction nor in fact credibility in either their process or their claims. However, people have a right to believe what they wish and follow whom they wish. All we can do is try to educate.
All these facts are very easily checked and we urge you to do so. In a similar vein to the border reiver towers of old being made solidly, with many still standing through time, we believe that our Clan and family should be built on solid foundations, not of straw and for the last 12 years, this is what we have been trying to achieve.
As an organisation, working only with volunteers, we have never asked for monies from anyone for the work we do or the time we give. All members of our Council are Carruthers or derivatives, we do not simply add a Carruthers tag to make them seem so.
Currently we have nearly 600 individuals who have signed the Clan Roll Call in support of our task and we thank you for that.
However, rather than trying to bulk out our numbers on Facebook and Linkedin to ballon our following, we are supported by Carruthers, derivatives of the same and a few friends of the Clan. We do not try to portray that we are something we are not, we are respected by other official clans and families for the work we do and as such are recognised in our role.
It is therefore a people’s choice where they place their support. We do the work for the many and not simply the pockets of the few through solid hard work, research and an untiring love of our clan, family, culture, history and heritage, and we believe it is worth fighting for.
We hope you agree.