Bruce or Not Bruce
We really thought that this nonsense had been put to bed but obviously not. As always we wish to present the facts relating to both our name and our heritage.
Therefore, we will deal with the comments on the post below, piece by piece. The individual statement taken from the post is above in bold. The facts regarding the same ie our response is below in italics.
However, although we do not wish to be rude, sadly this piece by the Clan Carruthers CCIS LLC-Family History Page, which has no relationship to the Society nor in fact recognition from us or the Chief of our Name, is misinformed on so many levels.
1. The Carruthers Tartan found us:
Sadly until December 2016 there was never a Carruthers tartan registered nor recorded to our Name at which points the Red Carruthers was registered. The process of changing its designation was initiated in early November 2017 and the tartan was officially adopted in January 2020, by our Chief, Peter Carruthers of Holmains. It is listed as the clan/family tartan on the Scottish Register of Tartans (STR 11700).
2. The tartan was lost, it was sold cheaply to bands and organisations because no one used it:
All tartans have a threadcount and sett, which differentiates them from all other tartans. It is that which the Scottish Register of Tartans, registers. For want of a better word, the threadcount and sett constitute the specific DNA of any tartan. Without this the information and ability to weave it, it is lost and more importantly, if it cannot be made, it cannot be sold. The tartan seen on the post itself is a Bruce tartan and as such is registered to them, not to Carruthers.
3. We were directed to the LOCH weavers in Scotland:
There are no such weavers in Scotland. There is however a weavers called Lochcarron, whose mill is based in Rogers Road, Selkirk, north of Hawick, in the Scottish Borders.
4. They said it was one of several that no one was buying anymore, but one older weaver always said it was the Carruthers tartan in the 1800’s:
Each weaver has a book of patterns based on the threadcount and sett of that tartan. The colours will vary depending on the weaver’s dye, but the ‘DNA’ stays the same. All Clan/family tartans are registered and recognised as such in order to be woven as an individual tartan. This means that ANY and ALL weavers would recognise this as being Bruce and not Carruthers. This can easily be confirmed by speaking directly to Lochcarron themselves or any other Scottish tartan weaver.
5. No registration could be found just old pictures:
On the formation of the Scottish Register of Tartan, all tartan patterns (threadcount/sett) were collected and correlated by the Register. A photograph or painting on its own would not allow a tartan to be woven commercially or otherwise, whether to bands or other organisations. It simply could and would not happen.
6. The ‘Clan Carruthers Board of Directors’ had a decision to make. George Carruthers of Scotland had a brand new tartan that he presented:
The Clan Carruthers Society-International (CCS-I) was formed on January 2017, based on a Royal Charter to Holmains of 1755. The Society is authorised by our Chief, Carruthers of Holmains to represent Carruthers, and any derivatives, worldwide.
4 weeks after the tartan registration of the Red Carruthers Tartan, a meeting of the CCS-I Council was held. The red (STR 11700) was made available to all of our name. There were no other Carruthers tartans previously recorded or registered until 2017. This is again very easily checked.
It is therefore true that this tartan was presented by the Society Convenor, to the Society Council for adoption as the Society tartan. The vote was carried and it remains the Society Tartan, which led to its adoption by the Chief as the Clan/Family Tartan of Carruthers, with its registration now reflecting that status.
The Society Council included NO members of the ‘Clan Carruthers Board of Directors’ who are not part of the Society and never have been and as such their approval was not even a consideration.
The red tartan was registered to ensure that we had a distinct clan/family identity in preparation for having our hereditary chief being confirmed by the Lord Lyon, which occurred in August 2019.
7. The Board of Directors voted to go with tradition even if it was an oral tradition handed down to us:
Traditional use of this tartan did exist only during our time without a Chief. This was when Carruthers were incorrectly viewed as a sept of the Family of Bruce and could and would wear their tartan. But each clan has its own tartan, some more than one. However to wear a tartan by permission of Bruce, does not and cannot allow us simply to claim any of their tartans as our own.
The oldest known tartan from the Borders belong to Graham recorded in 1815, sadly there were no tartans assigned to Carruthers in the 1800 or 1900’s.
8. It was renamed in the early 1970’s when Braveheart came out to Ancient Bruce:
The movie Braveheart was made in 1995.
The clue in the ownership of the tartan is in the name, Ancient BRUCE
Ancient, modern, hunting etc does not detract from the ownership of the tartan and in some cases is used simply for commercial reasons.
9. We contacted the ‘Bruce Clan’ in the states and they did not have any historic relationship to this tartan, and they did not use it. They have 19 tartans registered to the Bruce clan they like:
The Family of Bruce (not clan) whose Chief is Andrew Bruce, the Earl of Elgin, is represented internationally by their Society; the Family of Bruce-International. They are not aware of ever having contact with these people nor in fact giving permission to exchange copyright from Bruce to Carruthers.
To a clan or family, the tartan is part of their visual identity and history and as such would not simply be given away, whether commonly used or not. Any change in registration/copyright would require a legal process, which has not occurred.
All in all, a very poorly researched and put together piece which grossly misrepresents the truth.
As an aside, the list of ‘Board Members’ offered on the piece includes those who are members of the Society and who we are well aware are not involved with this CCIS LLC Board or otherwise.
Suppliers of Carruthers Tartan are below.
As the earliest known family /clan tartans were only recorded in the early 19th century, the tartans of the 17 Reiver Clans named in the 1587 Act, along with their dates of tartan registration, are also shown below.