Clan Carruthers Society (Canada) have unveiled their Society banner, proudly announcing who and what they are. This will be used to represent our name at gatherings and festivals.
It clearly shows the Carruthers clan badge accurately portrayed on the Carruthers tartan, adopted as the official clan tartan in 2019 after the confirmation by the Lord Lyon of Dr Peter Carruthers of Holmains as Chief of the Name and Arms of Carruthers.
The crest in the centre of the clan badge is that of the chief ie the seraphim volant proper. This has been recognised as the Carruthers crest since before 1672 and onset of the Lyons Act. which required all worthy to bear arms to have them registered in the Public Records of all Arms and Bearings of Scotland.
The depiction of the seraphim is always six wings, the two above and two below crossed in Saltire with the two in the middle spread as in flight, in the centre is always an angelic face. For an explanation why, see here and for at the least pride in who and what we are based on historical and traditional reasons and as part of our ancient family identity should never be basrtardised or abused.
The chief’s personal arms therefore carry the crest as we know it and as clansmen and clans women we are allowed to wear it. It cannot ever be changed without his personal permission and pnly after the agreement of the Lord Lyon.
Historical religious links
Research has shown that the angelic crest used by all our living armigers to date, refers back to the religious links we as a family had dating back to our pastoral roles in the Scottish Church, Keepers of the Trailtrow Preceptory and Guardians of the Old Kirk Ford at Hoddom. The latter two being on the Carruthers lands at Cummertrees in Annandale, Dumfriesshire. Of course, once presuming the preceptory alluded to links with the Knights Templars, our research now shows that Trailtrow was actually church lands. However, according to the records of the Hospitallers some parcels of lands and in one case a church on Carruthers estates, were also paying a levy to this particular religious military order.
It is also fair to include in this that some, but definitely not all members of our family were Covenanters; some leaving Scotland for a while, some leaving permanently and some remaining on our ancestral lands. As such the crest of our chief and traditionally all armigers to date have chosen to recognise this link with our religious past by maintaining angelic crests.
The motto of Promptus et Fidelis has been used by our chiefly line of Holmains and afterwards subsequent cadet lines, dating back before 1672. It means ready and faithful, again representing that Carruthers are always reliable, ready to stand firm and faithful to God, their lords, their family and kin. At the same time as John the 9th registered our chief’s arms in 1672, his cousin James Carruthers of Isle, registered his. James’s motto is only one of two which does not use the chiefs Motto. He instead chose promptus et paratus ; ready and prepared. Currently the only other motto on a Carruthers arms, although maintyaini9ng tradition by keeping an angelic crest, is that of Dr Carruthers of Fife who chose Non St Solus; I do not stand alone as his personal motto.
The tartan of course is, like many other border clans/families is new on the scene (Clan and family tartans are a new ‘invention’ dating back to the early 1800’s) and was only commissioned and registered to our name in 2017 by Dr George Carruthers.
Accepting that since the early 1900’s, when commercial entities wished to bolster the buying audience of larger clans, Carruthers, having its chiefship in dormancy, was made a sept of Bruce. This in itself, although inaccurate, was both a great honour and due to the links our family had with them during the time Bruce were Lords of Annandale and through the reign of both Robert I (the Bruce) and his son David II, were attached.
Our history shows that we were, are and always will be a stand alone clan/family and as such were advised to have our own tartan. The tartan, as part of the Carruthers visual identity, represents our origins and history. The green, purple and lilac represents our ancestral homelands in Annandale, Dumfriesshire, the Red represents the blood split in defence of our family, our lands and our country, while the subtle white stripe recognises our family’s support for the Jacobite cause and the Royal House of Stuart.
As such, although anyone can wear what they like, to including the Bruce tartan, we cannot lay claim to anything we do not own. All Bruce tartans are registered to that family, not to Carruthers.
As can be seen by the banner above, Carruthers worldwide remain proud of their Scottish heritage and culture, and their familial links back to their homelands in Annandale, Southwest Scotland