This is taken from the Records of the Parliaments of Scotland to 1707 and is an important piece of our history. We are mentioned in its listings as representatives of the shire of Nithsdale and Dumfries, given the responsibility to uplift monies as required by the Crown to arm and maintain its forces.
The Chief of the time George Carruthers 6th of Holmains and 2nd Baron is listed as is other cadet branches of the Carruthers family. Also listed is James (of Isle), whose arms were recorded along with Holmains in 1672, after the Lyon King of Arms Act.
George was the second son of John the 5th of Holmains as his eldest son and heir, John was killed at the Battle of Solway Moss in 1542. This left his second surviving son George as heir.
Previous to this Act of 1707, John Carruthers 5th of Holmains had been appointed as a Justice of the Peace in 1663 and 1678 and in 1685 was also appointed by the Scottish Parliament as a Commissioner of Supply for his Shire. It was this John that was ‘Captaine of Foot’ in the Dumfries Militia and a known Covenanter sympathiser.
John the 6th moved the family seat from Holmains Tower to what was to become the far grander abode of Kirkwood House.
Anne: Translation, 1704, 6 July, Edinburgh, Parliament, Parliamentary Register, Saturday 5 August 1704, Legislation
The estates of parliament, taking to their consideration the danger that still threatens this kingdom by reason of the continuance of the present war, which visibly requires the keeping up of the standing forces and the supplies necessary for their maintenance, and the repairing, furnishing and maintaining the forts and garrisons and equipping and maintaining the frigates employed for defence of the coasts do, therefore, humbly and cheerfully, for themselves and in name and behalf of this kingdom whom they represent, make offer to her majesty of the sum of £432,000 Scots, extending to six months’ cess, which new supply is to be raised and uplifted out of the land rent of this kingdom, in the same manner and conforming to the proportion of the shires and burghs contained in the fifteenth act of the parliament of 1701, providing always that the proportion of burghs is rated and paid as their tax roll now is or shall be settled by themselves, which new supply is to be paid at the terms following, namely two months thereof the first day of September, next two months at Candlemas [2 February] next and the last two months thereof at Whitsunday [15 May] next. And her majesty, considering that this new supply is granted for such necessary uses does, with advice and consent of the estates of parliament, declare that no person or persons shall be exempted from payment of their proportion of this supply for their lands upon any pretence whatsoever, excepting mortified lands and the lands of Newmills belonging to the woollen manufactory there, for which mortified lands and lands of Newmills deduction is to be allowed in the quotas of the respective shires, notwithstanding of any former law or privilege in the contrary. And her majesty, with advice and consent foresaid, appoints the persons contained in the lists which are to be given in this session of parliament, being always qualified according to law, to be commissioners for ordering and uplifting the said supply, with power to choose their own clerk and to do everything concerning the said supply as is prescribed and appointed by the foresaid act and other acts to which it relates, holding the same as here repeated, and ordains execution to pass for bringing in thereof as is provided by the said acts in all points, and ordains the first meeting of the said commissioners of shires to be at the respective head burghs thereof the last Tuesday of this August, and requires the sheriffs and stewarts or their deputes to intimate the same to the commissioners of their shires and stewartries, with power to the said commissioners to appoint the subsequent diets of their meetings and their conveners from time to time, as also, to appoint collectors with sufficient caution as they shall think fit. And also commits to her majesty’s privy council, upon the death or non-acceptance of the commissioners of supply appointed by this act, to nominate and appoint others in their places. And her majesty, with advice and consent foresaid, declares all clauses contained in former acts of parliament and conventions of estates in relation to the bringing in of cess and quartering and anent riding money to stand in full force as to the supply now imposed, as if they were herein expressed and were observed before the making of this act. And it is hereby declared that no persons, whether heritor or collector liable in payment of the said supply, shall be held to produce their receipts or discharges of the same after three years from their respective terms of payment, unless diligence be done therefore by denunciation within the said three years, in which case of diligence by denunciation a year further is only added to the said three years, and none shall be held to produce their receipts or discharges thereafter. And because by the supply hereby granted the land rent and burghs of this kingdom are only burdened, and it being just that personal estates in money should bear some proportional burden, therefore her majesty, with advice and consent foresaid, statutes and ordains that every debtor owing money within this kingdom at six per cent of interest shall, in the payment of his annualrent, have retention in his own hands of a twelfth part of six per cent and this retention to be from the term of Whitsunday last exclusive to the term of Whitsunday next. And it is declared that it shall be usury for any creditor to refuse to grant the said retention. And it is further statute and ordained that no part of the said supply be applied to any other uses than those particularly above-expressed, upon any pretence whatsoever, and more especially that the clearance and arrears due to the forces on the present establishment for the fourteen months last past be paid to them punctually, the one half thereof out of the two months’ cess payable at Candlemas, and the other half thereof out of the two months’ cess payable at Whitsunday2 as above.
Follows the commissioners of supply given in by the noblemen and commissioners for the several shires as was ordered in parliament.
The shires of Edinburgh, Haddington, Berwick, Roxburgh, Selkirk, Peebles, Lanark, Wigtown, Ayr, Dunbarton , Bute, Stirling, Linlithgow, Perth, Kincardine, Aberdeen, Inverness, Nairn, Cromarty, Argylle, Fife, Forfar, Banff, Kirkudbright, Sutherland, Caithness, Elgin, Orkney and Shetland, Clackmannan, Ross and Kinross were also listed, however below is the listing that interests us.
For the shire of Nithsdale and Dumfries:
James [Douglas], duke of Queensberry, William [Johnston], marquis of Annandale, James [Scott], earl of Dalkeith, David [Murray], viscount of Stormont, Sir Robert Grierson of Lag, William Grierson, younger of Lag, Sir Thomas Kirkpatrick of Closeburn, Thomas Kirkpatrick, younger thereof, Sir James Douglas of Kelhead, William Douglas, younger thereof, Sir John Jardine of Applegirth, Sir Patrick Maxwell of Springkell, Sir Walter Laurie of Maxwelton, Sir John Johnston of Westerhall, William Douglas of Dornock, James Douglas, younger thereof, John Sharp of Hoddam, Mr Alexander Ferguson of Isle, Alexander Ferguson of Craigdarroch, William Johnston of Corhead, James Grierson of Capenoch, William Johnston of Granton, Andrew Johnston of Newton, George Maxwell of Carnsalloch, George Maxwell of Dalswinton, Robert Murray of Drumcrief, Robert Johnston of Wamphray, James Wallace of Carzield, George Carruthers of Holmains, William Copeland of Collieston, […] Johnston of Selkerth,21William Carruthers of Brackenside, (John) Carruthers of Dormont, Mr William Graham of Mossknowe, James Carruthers, chamberlain to the duke of Queensberry, James Wilson of Croglin, George Wilson of Spango, James Kirk of Bogrie, William Irvine of Bonshaw, James Carruthers of Warmanbie, John Maxwell of Middlebie, John Bell of Crowdieknowe, Colonel Thomas Dalziel of Beatfoord, Walter Riddell of Friarshaw, John Dalrymple of Waterside, William Elliott of Arkleton, William Irvine of Auchenbedrig,22 Robert Maxwell of Portract, Mr John Cunningham of Barshaw, William Ferguson of Caitloch, George Murray of Murraythwaite, William Johnston of Bearholm, William Alves, sheriff depute of Dumfries, George Johnston of Girthhead, stewart depute of Annandale, Archibald Douglas of Fingland, chamberlain to the duke of Queensberry, William White, chamberlain to the marquis of Annandale, John Melville, chamberlain to the earl of Dalkeith, Gilbert Coopar, chamberlain to the viscount of Stormont, the provost of Dumfries for the time, James Ferguson of four merk land, James Graham of Shaw, Mr William Johnston, brother to Sir John Johnston and John Johnston of Persbiehall.