Clan Carruthers

CLAN CARRUTHERS: The Cadet branch of Carruthers of Wormanbie

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Carruthers of Wormanbie, cadet branch of Carruthers of Holmains

The House of Holmains, now the chiefly line, was a direct branch of our first chiefs from the House of Mouswald which began in 1320, over 700 years ago. The second brother of Thomas, 1st of Mouswald named John, began the Holmains line. The line of Mouswald became extinct in 1548, and is recognised as such in Scottish law.

Off Holmains, came other cadet branches, such as Wormanbie, Isle, Denbie and Dormont, to name a few. This blog covers the Carruthers of Wormanbie, who sat on those lands for over 400 years.

The lands belonging to the Carruthers of Wormanbie sat north of Annan, on the eastern bank of the river Annan itself. The lands were infelt to Thomas Carruthers of Flemingraw in 1492, but he also received the lands of Corry from James II, as his share in the Battle of Arkinholme, near Langholm, May 1455. The battle was fought between the Douglases. The Douglas earldom was a menace to the Crown, and when the Earl was forced into England, his brothers, Earls of Moray and Ormond, opposed, and were defeated by, the royal army, itself under the command of a Douglas, the Earl of Angus. Carruthers fought on the side of the Crown. It seems that John Corry may have had his lands back and Thomas was compensated with the lands of Flemingraw, which stayed with the family until around 1620.

The first mention of a Carruthers owning Wormanbie was of Roger Carruthers of ‘Wormondby’ on a charter, followed by a sasine to his son John Carruthers, in 1472. The lands were split into Over Wormanbie and Nether Wormanbie, the former being under Holmains, the latter as tenants under Lord Maxwell.

Again, on a Charter dated 1484, as a reward for their support in the Battle of Arkinholme (1455), the Crown gave to Thomas Carruthers, the lands of Corrie. These were forfeited by George Corry of the Ilk. As a line taken from Holmains, the consensus by genealogists is that Thomas was the ancestor of both Nether and Over Wormanbie.

Over Wormanbie appears in 1535 when Thomas Carruthers of Over Wormanbie served on a Mouswald assize (trial by Jury). He was dead by 1546.Thomas was succeeded by his daughter Esota Carruthers in a sasine dated 1547, who it seems was murdered a few years later by George Carruthers, and his Son John, members of her own clan.

However, by 1812, the last of the main line of Wormanbie was dead and the estate passed to Esota’s 2nd cousin, James Carruthers, a merchant in Liverpool. He was infelt as ‘heir special’ to his great-grandfather, James Carruthers of Wormanbie as well as to Agnes. These proceedings were initiated by the son of the new laird, also James, who is listed as a Cornet of the Scots Greys.

James Carruthers held the lands until 1858, when the estate was sold by David Alexander Carruthers, who had no male issue, but part of the estate was returned into the family through the grandson of David, Louis Carruthers Salkeld, where it remained until 1922.

Also of this line it seems, but not on the chart seen below, was William Carruthers (1830-1922), a Botanist and keeper of the Botanical Department at the Natural History Museum 1871-1895 and Fellow of the Royal Society in 1871.


A note from the Dumfries Burgh Court Records by

On 19th November 1578 and page 760 of the Burgh Court Book of Dumfries schir John Bryce, Vicar of Dumfries and William Paterson produced and had minuted in the Court Book documents relating to the family of Carruthers of Warmanbie extending backwards to 1472, mentioning several other properties besides Warmanbie, and a bond by the Grahams ‘to be friends’ to Carruthers of Warmanbie. They then delivered the documents ‘in a kist’ to Thomas Carruthers of Warmanbie. As most of this predates the Register of Sasines and it is possible that no other record of the documents has survived it is felt that publication would be desirable . Most notaries public in Scotland at this time were clerks ‘by apostolic authority’. The ‘sir’ before their names signifies that they were in Holy Orders but had not taken a degree.

Page 760 Carrutheris. wormanbie [19 November 1578]

The quhilk day schir johne bryce vicar of dumfreis and william patersone producit in jugement ane precept of sesyng made be vmquhile robert lord maxwell to thomas carrutheris of warmanbie of all and haill the hundreth schillingis land of nether warmanbie with the pertinentis of the date the nynt day of the moneth of februare the yere off god DXXVII there is ane Instrument of sesyng of the samyn landis vnder the syng and subscriptione of schir Johne oliver notare of the date the viij dav of the moneth of marche the yere of god DXXXVII there is ane Instrument of sesyng of six markland of flemyngraw of ane thomas carrutheris of the date the xxvi day of the moneth of may the yeare of God MDXCVII vnder the sygne and subscriptione of schir johne weill notare ane Instrument of sesyng of vmquhile cuthbert Irwyng of robgill gevin be vmquhile herbert corrie of newbie superior thareof be vmquhile schir johne walker notare transumptit furth of the sade schir Johne prothogall be vmquhile schir johne turnor officiale of nyth and vnder the syng of schir thomas conelsone notare as the sade transumpt of the date of the yere of God DCXXXI zeris and the VIII day of the moneth of marche and the principall Instument tharein Ingrossit of the date the XVIII day of february 1530, ane charter made be ane vmquhile roger carrutheris of wormanbie to vmquhile Johne carrutheris his sone of all & haill the sextene as land of raffellis and four as annuell rent furth of the landis of robequhat of the date the first day of marche 1472 with ane Instrument of sesyng procedyng tharevpon vnder the sygn and subscriptione of schir william chapman notare of the date the VIII day of marche 1472, ane contract betuix thomas carrutheris of wormanbie and richie Irwyng of gretnayhill for the set of 20 aiker of land of beltenement with certane vther bandis of under the subscriptione off herbert cunyghame notare of the date at Drumfreis the XXVIII day off marche 1566. Item ane band off richie the grahame of netherbie dik the grahame will grahame geordie grahame thom grahame and hew grahame his sones bind and thame to be freynds to thomas carrutheris of warmanbie as the samyn off the date at netherbie the XXIII day off mai 1565 at mare lenth proportis and [?] and  the sade schire johne bryce and william patersone Instantlie in Jugement delyverit the same in ane koist [kist] to the sade thomas carrutheris & protestit the same suld be minutit in ane act of court for thare discharge of the samyn And tharevpon descyrit Instrumentis.


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