In Feudal Scotland, as in any other part of Europe where feudalism was the dominant social system, the Scottish Monarch owned all the lands of the country in which he reigned. Nobility and Lairds, and included the ‘Feudal Barony’ of which Carruthers of Mouswald and Holmains were included, held lands for the king in exchange for military service. Peasants, tenants etc were obliged to give their laird, lord, earl etc labour and a share of their produce as a homage.
This system appeared in Scotland in the 11th century, being introduced by David I who was greatly influenced by the Norman social and legal structure. Feudalism offered a system that offered order and protection to communities to outside threats. However the higher up the feudal chain you sat, the better it was for you.
According to liquisearch.com; In the 11th century King David I began the gradual introduction of feudalism in Scotland and established feudal land tenure over many parts of the south and east, which eventually spread northward. As feudalism began to develop in Scotland a number of separate court systems developed.
Sheriffs were appointed by the King in the south and over time spread north. Their scope gradually developed and they were fully established across mainland Scotland by 1300. The sheriffs were originally appointed by the King as royal administrators and tax collectors but their powers grew and as early as 1214 they were holding court to hear a variety of cases. Feudal lords were also normally permitted to hold court where disputes between their tenants, including criminal matters, were adjudicated. By the 14th century some of these feudal courts had developed into “petty kingdoms” where the King’s courts did not have authority, except for cases of treason. Burghs, towns which had been given this special status usually by the King, also had their own set of local laws dealing mostly with commercial and trade matters.
The burghs themselves established their own separate court system by authority of the King to administer and enforce these laws. The burgh laws were collected as the Leges burgorum by 1270, though, according to Professor John Cairns, the laws applied by the burgh courts and the sheriff courts were similar. Ecclesiastical courts also played an important role in Scotland as they had exclusive jurisdiction over matters such as marriage, contracts made on oath, inheritance and legitimacy. These courts, unlike their lay counterparts, were generally staffed by educated men who were trained in both Roman and Canon law and offered a more sophisticated form of justice. Litigants seem to have preferred to bring disputes before the ecclesiastical courts or an ecclesiastical arbiter rather than the lay courts in Scotland.
Although Carruthers were chartered land owners in their own right, they themselves gave homage to whoever was above them on the pyramid in the original instance, this was under the Lords of Annandale, which as we know were the family of Bruce. Latter on and relartive to this article it was under the clan and family of Maxwell.
It is known that Carruthers of Holmains. who by this time led the family were great supporters of Maxwell and in fact, George Carruthers, 6th of Holmains and 2nd Baron, was Captain of Threave Castle and along with other members of his family served their, to include his son Charles who was Coronet of horse. All through the long and bitter feud between the Maxwells and the Johnstons which lasted around 100 years and ended in 1623, Holmains were great supporters of the former.
As an aside, John Carruthers, the brother of George Carruthers of Holmains was part of a gang of around 50 friends, servants and dependants of the Earl of Crawford who in 1583 attacked the house of Ruthven, burning and hurting Patrick and George Creighton and others while kidnapping Adam Creighton.
For those interested in the history of the region, occasionally snippets appear to put another piece in the jigsaw. John Maxwell was born in Caerlaverock Castle. He was killed in battle after being knocked off his horse and laying helpless on the ground. He died on 6 December 1593 at age 40 at Dryffe Sands, killed in a skirmish with the Johnstones. He held the office of Warden of the Western Marches before 1577 and was created 1st Earl of Morton [Scotland] on 5 June 1581. As a Roman Catholic he found life in Scotland was becoming increasingly uncomfortable, and went to Spain where he was involved in organizing the Armada against England.
For more information may we suggest reading Jon Taits excellent book, Dick the Devil’s Bairns.
Here is a list of those surnames in alphabetical order listed as living on the lands over which John Maxwell, Earl of Morton, was feudal lord in 1585. What is intersting is that a Andro (Andrew) Carruthers is listed as living with the Armstrongs and the amount of Johnstons, although mortal enemies, still living on lands overseen by the Maxwells..
ARMSTRONG: Cristie Armestrang in Barnegleis, (Jhonn Murray, his man, and his servants Christie Murray, Andro Carrutheris, Thome Bell, Robert Halyday, Will Bell the Stell, Jhonne Litill, Jok Huik, Johne Thomsone, and Jok Bell). Jhonn Armestrang of Calsfeild, Dand Armestrang, Niniane Armstrang of the Neis, Christie Armstrang, his sone, Johne Armestrang in Hoilhous (Hollows), Johne Armestrang in Glinyer, Andro Armistrang, his sone, Rowe William and Christie Armstrangeris, brether to the said Johne, Will Armestrang in Teikmie, Thome Armstrang in Glinyer, Geordie Armestrang in Blakbakheid, Armstrang in Thornyquhattie, Archie Armestrang in Tarkima, Archie and Robert Armestrangis, sonis to Cristie in Langholme, Iyngrie Armestrang of Raltoun, Archie Armestrang, marcheand, William Armestrang callit Kynmont, Johne, Geordie, Francie, Thome, Sandie, Jhonn and Ringane Armestrangis, sonis to Kynmont, Johne Armestrang, als Reltoun, Will, Sandie and Jok Armestrangis, Dandy, Andro and Cristie Armestrangis, Johne Armestrang, Jame Armestrang in Capilgill, Hectour Armestrang in Stubholme, Geordie Armestrang in Arkiltoun, Niniane, Geordie, Martine, Dandy and Mingo Armestrangis, his sonis, Niniane and Hobie Armestrangis, Johne Armestrang alias Rakass, Lord Archie Armestrang in Arkiltoun, Johne Armestrang, his sone, Niniane Armestrang, the lairdis Niniane, Joke, Armestrang, his sone, Johnn Armestrang Howgill, Andro Armestrang, Jhonn Armestrang in Munkbehirst, Johne, Niniane and Christie Armestrangis, brether, Rowe Armestrang, the lairdis Rowe, Johne and Ringane Armestrangis, his sonis, Thome Armestrang of Gryngillis, Abe Ringane, Cristie, Archie, Thome, Jok and Ade Armestrangis, his sonis, Rowe Armestrang of Brumholme, Thome Armestrang, sone to the lairdis Rowe, George Armestrang in Catgill, Ringane Armestrang of Auchinbedrig, Sim, Thomas and Robert Armestrangis, George Armestrang in Betholme, Patone Armestrang thair, Serge Armestrang, brother to Kynmont, Cristie Armestrang in Carron, Quhintting, Andro and Geordie Armestrangeis, brether, Cristie Armestrang, sone to Quintine, Jok Armestrang, sone to Andro, Niniane Armestrang, sone to Patonis Niniane, Geordie Armestrang in Thornyquhatt, Cristie Armestrang, callit Armestrangis Cristie, Jame Armeistrang in Carrono, Thome Armestrang of Gyngillis, sone to Andro, Eduart, Ringane and Lance Armestrangis, Ale, Archie and Georde Armestrangis, Roger Armestrang, Ekie Armestrang, Gyngill, Andro Armestrange, his sone, Thome Armestrang, Geordie Arimestrang, Alexander Armstrang of the Gingills, Thome Armestrang in Craig, sone to Alexander, Arche, Willie and Hewe Armestrangis, brether, of the Gyngliss, George Armestrang, Howgill, Thome Armestrang of the Wray, Jok Armestrang, Niniane Armestrang in Brumholme, Johne, Ekie and Antonie Armestrangis thair, Francie Armestrang of Kynmont, Jame Armestrang in Canobie, Francie Armestrang in Quhythauch, Niniane Armestrang of Auchinbedrig, Sandie Armestrang, Kynmont, Francie Armestrang, Flatt, Robert Armestrang, Willie Armestrang, Twedane.
BEATTIE: Johne Bety in Rig, Johne Baty in Topwod, Hew Baty in Daltounhuik, Johne Baty in Redhall, David Baty in Blakest Alie, Rowe, Hew, Johne and David Batyis, his sonis, Andro Baty in Blakest, Archie and Niniane Batyis thair, Willie and Robie Batyis in Blakest, David Baty in Wotcariok, David Baty in Cauldkin, Johne and Wat Batyis, his brether, Jhonn Baty of Burne, sone to Adame, Hew, Johne, Geordie, Jinkin, Wattie and Adie Batyis, the said Johnis brether, Jame Baty, Mungois Jame in Killclewis, Wattie and Mingo Batyis, his sonis, Johne Batie, sone to Mingo in Ronelburne, Wattie Rowe and Thome Batyis, his brither, Johne Batie, sone to Arthour, Johne Baty in Carlisgill, Geordie, Nikie, David, Wattie Sime and Wat Batyis thair, Jok Andro, Jame, Jok, Andro Batyis thair, Adame Baty in Yetbyre, Charlie Batie thair, Mathew Baty, his sone, Jame Baty thair, Nikie Baty in Quhithauch, Robe Baty thair, Robe Baty in Byre, Sim Baty thair, Mathew Batie, sone to Lang Andro, Geordie and Andro Baties, Steine, Sim and David Bateyis, thrie brether, Wat Batie of the Scheill, Jok Batie his brother, David and Neke Batyis, tua brether, Jhonn Batie in Bank Heid, Johne Baty, Braid, Johne Batie of the Corss, Andro, Sandie and Wattie Bateis, thre brether, Johne Batie his man, Jok Batie, sone to the Bra, Andro Batie, sone to Trurie, Adie Batie, his brother, Johne Batie in Glenbervell, Johne Batie of Davingtoun, Johne Willie, Wattie, Geordie, Hobbie Bateis, sonis to the said Johne, Robe, Joke, Johne, Peter, Andro and Hew Bateis, Andro Baty, sone to Hew, Naving Baty, Andro Baty, Johne, Peter and Jame Betyis, Geordie and Wattie Batyis, Jhonn Batie, als Nekeis, Jhonn, Archie, Nekie, Adame, Wattie and David Baties, Alie Batie in Trowhoillis, Andro Batie, his brother, Rowe Baty in Waster Ker, Cristie, Archie and Willie Batyis, Jhonn Batie in Milgill, Andro Baty, Syme Baty, Jhonn Batie of the Linholme, Andro Batie, his servand, Thome Batie of the Lynholme, his brother, Rowe Batie thair, Nikie Batie thair, Dave Baty duelland on Serk Watter, Nicoll Baty in Carlisgill, George Baty in Nedder Croisdykis, Matho Baty, Jok and Archie Batyis, Ade and Johne Batyis, Andro Baty, George, Robe and Jok Batyis, Archie Baty, Gilbert Baty.
BELL: Mathew Bell in Howchquhat, Mathew Bell in Daltounhuik, Johne Bell in Bengaw, Gilbert Bell in Gavilburne, Johne Bell in Middeschaw, Andro Bell in Langdyk, Johne Bell thair, Thomas Bell in Cowthquhat, Rowe Bell in Rokell, William Bell in Nuik Ranie, Johne and Wat, his brether, Osuall Bell, Thome Bell in Seidhill, Johne Bell in Dyk, Johne Bell, his brother, Thome Bell of Yettis, Johne Bell, sone to Thome Bell in Sheilgrein, Alexander Bell in Williambie, William, Johne and Thome Bellis, his brether, William Bell in Williambiehals, Johne Bell in Wodheid, David Bell, his brother, , Jok Bell, Umphra Bell in Bank, Job Bell, William Bell, his sone, Wat Bell in Middilbehill, Johne Bell in Clynt, Thome and Jinkin Bellis, brether, Andro Bell in Langdyke, Dik Bell, Christie Bell in Clynthill, Arche Bell, his brother, Johne Bell of Land, Johne Davidsone, William Bell in Blakathous, Wat, Thome, Frances, Riche and Johne Bellis, brether to the said William, Geordie and Johne Bellis, Nikie Bell – Gibis Nekie, William Bell, callit Litle Willie, William Bell in Myrse, David, Richert, Eduart and William Bellis his sonis, Ade Bell, Nikie Bell, Wat Bell in Wiltoun, Patoun Bell in Hiemure, Thome Bell in Cowthquhat, Andro Bell in Owllcoittis, Dik Bell in Clint, Niniane Bell in Middilbekirk, Alexander and Patone Bellis, his brether, Christie Bell in Redhall, Adie Bell, David Bell, Johne Bell in Stokis, Johne Bell in Carrutheris Park, Richie Bell in Hottis, Ranie Bell, Jhonn Bell in Linhome, Willie Bell duelland on Serk Watter, Pait Bell in Logane, Cristie, Johne, Arthour and Thome Bellis, Umphra Bell, alias Lamb, Peter, Jok and Alexander Bellis, Andro Bell, Jame Bell, Richert Bell, Patone Bell, Hie Muire, David Bell, Holme Heid, Wattie Bell in Middilbehill, Wattie Bell, sone to Jok, Richie Bell his brother, Geordie Bell of Annand, Richie Bell, Slagon, Johne Bell, Andro Bell, Holmheid,
CARRUTHERS: George Carruthers of Holmendis, elder, Johne Carruthers of Holmendis, younger, Christie Carruthers in Dormont, Sym Carruthers in Ramarscallis, Sym Carruthers in Ile, Robert Carruthers in Brydgill, Johne Carruthers in Raffallis, Andro Carruthers in Robequhat, Johne Carruthers in Danebie, Robert and Johne Carruthers ther, Johne Carruthers in Butterquhat, Willie Carruthers in Fourtene Aiker, Johne Carruthers, his sone, Andro Carruthers in Almtgill, Johne Carruthers in Dormont, Robert Carruthers thair, William Carruthers in Middillraw, Rolland Carruthers thair, Johne Carruthers in Halydahill, Cuthbert Carruthers ther, Johnn Carruthers in Daltoun, Mungo Carruthers in Daltoun, Thomas Carruthers in Dyk, Herbert and Johne Carruthers thair, Johne Carruthers in Raffellis, Johne Carruthers in Kirkhill, William Carruthers in Kirkland, George Carruthers in Egeschaw, Richert Carruthers thair, Thomas Carruthers of Wirmonbie, Charles and William Carruthers, his sonis, Thome Carruthers in Sowron, James Carruthers, Johne Carruthers in Glinyer, Mark, Alexander and Thome Carruthers, John Carruthers, Jame Carruthers, Archibald Carruthers, Johne Carruthers in Holmendis, Johne Carruthers of Danebie, laird Wormonbie, younger, Willie Carruthers his brother, Captaine George Carruthers of Holmendis, Cornet Charlis Carruthers, his sone, Cristie Carruthers, Dormont, Willie Carruthers, his brother, Johne Carruthers, Ramerschallis, Mathow Carruthers, Johne Carruthers, Sym Carruthers.
ELLIOT: Niniane, Thome, George and Will Ellattis, Johne Ellot in Wod End, Rowe Ellocht of the Hall, Hob and Will Ellottis, brether, Willie Ellat, Jok Ellat in Bowgranis.
GLENDINNING: Ade Glendoning in Wotcariok, Johne Glendoning, crowner, Johne Glendoning, als Felhour, Johne Glendoning, Johne and Jame Glendoningis, Mathew Glendoning in Castelhill, Arche Glendoning thair, Peter Glendoning, Jok Glendoning, Bartill Glendoning, Syme Glendoning, Ade Glendoning, Alexander Glendoning.
GRAHAM: William Grahame in Chepmantoun, Andro Grahame in Manis, Simon Graham in Howchquhat, Johne Grahame in Daltounhuik, Thomas Grahame thair, William Grahame, sone to Will Grahame, Arthour Grahame of Blawart Wod, Johne and David Grahamis, his sonis, Richie Grahame in Langrigis, Robert Grahame, his sone, Peter Grahame, George Grahame in Carrutheris Park, Andro Grahame, his brother, Wattie and Thome Grahames thair, Robert Grahme, duelland on Serk Watter, Thome Grahame, Jynkin Grahme in Logane, Peter Grahame thair, Willie Grahme, Riche Grahme in Wodend, Johne Grahme in Hoill, David and Archie Grahmes, Symon Grahme in Logane, Jok Grahme, Wattie Grahme, Richie Grahme, Meidhoip, Johne Francie, Sim, Fergus and Wattie Grahmes, his sonis, Wattie Grahme, Akinschawhill, William Grhame, Beddoskholme, Willie Grahme, Blawartwod, Robert Grahme, Langrigis, Ade and Jame Grahmes, Nekie Grahme, William Grahme, William Grahme, Will Grahme, claithman, Geordie Grahame of Carrutheris, Hobe Grahme, Johne Grahme, Sym Grahme, Geordie Grahme. George Grahme, Meidhoip.
IRVING: Christie Irving in Wodend, Edward Irving, his sone, David Irving in Vyisbie, Gib, Will and Johne Irving there, Edvert Irving in KirkPatrik, Wattie, Francie, Abrahame and Richert Irvingis, his sonis, Dik, Gawin, William, Walter and Johne Irvingis, sonis to Dik, amangis the Rasches, Gawin Irving, Walter Irving in Robgill, Mathow David and Cuthbert Irvingis, Mathe Irving in Hurkildaill, Richie Irving thair, Jok Irving, his man, Christie Irving in Wod, Hobie Irving, his brother, Richie Irving in Murrayis, Eduart Irving, his brother, Mathe Irving, callit Meggis Mathe, Johne, brother sone to Meggis, Johne Irving, laird of Skaill, Dik Uruing, his sone, Hobie Irving in Skaillis, Leny Irving in Gretnahill, Johne Irving in Sloistis, Leny Irving in Gretnay, Wat Irving in Gretnahill, Francie and ? Irvingis, his sonis, Eduart Irving in Sowron, Willie Irving in Gretnahill, Johne, Mathie and Eduart Irvingis, his sonis, Richie Irving in Gretnahill, Niniane Irving, Eduart Irving in Gretnahill, Willie Irving, his sone, Wat Irving in Gretnahill, younger, Mingo Irving in Braidleyis, Hobie Irving, his son, Johne Irving in Steilhill, Hobie Irving, his sone, David Irving, sone to Jokis Willie, Herbert Irving in Sowwod, Geordie Irwing thair, Christie Irving of Cowthquhat, Cubie, William and Cristie Irvingis, sonis the said Christie, Johne Irving in Over Dowglen, Richie and Cristie Irvingis thair, Brattill Irving in Dowglencleuch, David Jok and Alexander Irvingis thair, Johnn Irving in Sikheid, Geordie Johne and Christie Irvingis, sonis to Gib in Blakbaksyd, Johne Irving in Hag, Richie Irving in Auchinruvok, Sandie Irving thair, Jame Irving, Mathow Irving, Archie Irving in Arkiltoun, Johne Irving, Jeffra Irving, Archie Irving, Joke Irving, Herbert Irving in Brumholme, James Irving, Walter Irving, Mathow Irving, Francie Irving of Kirkpatrik, Wat Irving his brother, Dik Irving among the rashes, . Edvert Irving of Kirkpatrik, Abrahame and Edvert Irvingis, his sonis, David Irving, Robgill, Will Irving, Wat Irving, Cawartisholme, , Richie Irving, Willie Irving in Milflat.
JARDINE: Alexander Jarding in Chepmantoun.
JOHNSTONE: James Johnnstoun in Crofts, Adame Johnstoun in Carthwod, Johne Johnstown thair, Johne Johnstoun in Hychill, Williame Johnnstoun in Reidhall, Johne David, Willie Edward, Gawin and Geordie Johnstonis, sonis to the said Williame, David Johnstown, brother to William of Reidhall, Charlie Johnstoun in Redhall, Gib and Johne Jhonestonis thair, Johne Jhonestone of Gretnay, Johne Jhonestoun in Righeidis, Jame Johnstoune in Brumhill, Thome Johnstoune in Preistwodsyde, Gilbert, Cuthbert, Francie and Thome Johnstonis thair, David Johnstown, sone to Gib, Jhonn Johnstoun, Johne Johnnestoun, Thomas Jhonnstoune, Johne Jhonestoun, William Jhonnstone; Lochirby, Andro Johnstown, Herbert Jhonnstoun, William Johnstone, Jhonn Johnstoun of Land, Johne Jhonnstoun in Cummertreis, Johne Johnstoun, Tundergarth, Andro Johnsone, Myreheid, Willie Johnstoun, Preistdykis,
LITTLE: Andro Litill, Hew Litill in Skaillis, Adie Litill, Christe and Joke Litillis, Jhonn Litill, Thome Litill, elder, in the Cuill, Thome Litill, youngar thair, Johne, Andro and Mathew Litillis thair, Nekie Litle in Dalduran, Jok, Andro, Sym, Archie, Clemet and David Litillis thair, Johne and Jok Litillis thair, Pait Litill in Craigmekle, Wat Litill in Stankgait, Wat Litill thair, Johne Litill in Singland, Rowe, Jame, Alexander, Andro and Syme Litillis thair, Jhone Litill in Burnefute, Geordi Litle thair, Cuddy Litill in Stabilgortoun, Andro, Willie and Wattie Litillis thair, Johne Litle in Pollorane, Archie Litle in Potholine, Adie Litill in Dowglen, Nike Litill in Milholme, Wattie and Francie Litillis, his sonis, Rowe Litill thair, Rowe Litill, callit Archies Rowe, Thome Litill thair, Syme Litill thair, Syme Litill in Bankheid, Nikie Litle in Brekcanwray, Andro Litle thair, Archie Litiil thair, Rowe Litill thair, David Litill in Clois, Johne, Thome and Persell Litillis thair, Mathowis, Jhonn Litill thair, David and Jok Litles thair, Andro Litill, sone to Wat, Wat Litill in Igill, Rowe Litill thair, Jhonn Litill, Geordie Litill duelland on Serk Watter, Will Litill, als Pyk Ekie, Dick and Wat Litillis, Andro Litill, Eduart Littill, Wattie, Mathew, George, Sim and Johne Litillis, Jame and Archie Litillis, Mathe Litill, Jame Litill, Jynkin, Davie, Gibbie, Johne, Jok, Bartie and Sandie Litillis, Cudde Litill, Mathow Litill in Craig, Sim Litill, laird of Mekill Daill, Archie, Wattie, Johne and Adie Litillis, Andro Littil, Cudde Litill in Kirktoun, Will Litill in Bombie, Geordie and Johne Litles, brether, Jesper Geordie, Will, Rob, Nekie and Jok Litillis thair, Jok Litill, sone to Jhonn Litill, Wattie Litill thair.
LATIMER: Johne Latymar in Carthwod, Geordie Latimer.
MOFFAT: Nicoll Moffett, Jok Moffet in Glinyer, Johne Moffet, Mertein Moffet, Hew Moffet, Simon Moffet, Thomas Moffet, Jhonn Moffett, George Moffett,
SCOTT: Johne Scot in Stepfurde, Barquhieggane, Juhone and Thomas Scottis thair, Adame Scot thair, Johnn Scot in Tarbraikoch, Paull Scott in Manis, Thome Scot in Blakest, Syme Scot, Nikie Scot, William Scott duelland on Serk Watter, Thome Scott in Blakhall, Johne Scot, his sone, Adam Scott in Mospebill, Jhonn Scott, his sone, Johne, Geordie and Will Scottis, Jok Scott in Arkiltoun, Willie Scott, Ade Scott, Johne Scott, Johne Scot in Kirktoun, Jhonn Scott, William Scot.
THOMSON: Johne Thomsoun in Milheid, Thomas Thomson, his brother, Nicoll Thomsone in Caryeild, Roger Thomesone in Correllwod , Johne Thomesoun thair, Roger Thomesone thair, his sonis, James Thomesone, smithe thair, David Thomesone, his sone thair, Johne Thomsone of Know thair, Thomas Thomesoun in Drumcrago, William Thomsone in Clynt, Andro and Johne Thomsonis, his brether thair, James Thomesone in Blakest, Ade Thomsone, Eduart, Johne and Sym Thomsonis, Johne Thomsone, als Rowll, Dik and Will Thomsonis, Mertine Thomsone duelland on Serk Watter, Archie and Adame Thomsonis, Geordie Thomsone in Kirkgill, Joke Thomesone thair, Adie and Joke Thomsonis, his brether, Wat in Allebasterland, Johne Thomsone thair, Johne Thomsone in Kirkgill, Archie Thomsone in Allebasterland, Nikie and Jok Thomsonis thair, Johne Thomsone in Pollorane, Geordie Thomesoun, Johne Thomesone, Adame Thomsone, Richie Thomesone.
Of the tartans registered against a clan or family name, these are listed but please be aware that clan/family tartans are a 19th century construct, which did not exist prior to that.