The Standing Council of Scottish Chiefs is to meet in Broomhall House in Fife this weekend. Well over 100 chiefs are expected to be in attendance representing clans and families from the Highlands and Islands, through the Lowlands and into the Borders, Carruthers being one of them.
Broomhall House, which the Convenor has had the pleasure to visit on a few occasions, has been the home of the Earls of Elgin and Chiefs of Bruce for over 300 years. The house sits just outside Dunfermline overlooking the picturesque Firth of Forth and is less than 20 miles north of Edinburgh. The venue is particularly of interest as we celebrate the 708th anniversary of the success of Robert the Bruce, ancestor of the Bruce family, at the battle at Bannockburn in 1314 which led to a true Scottish independence of the country.
Our Chief, Dr Peter Carruthers of Holmains will be in attendance at the meeting and, being recognised as a hereditary chief of a Scottish clan, has a seat on the Council with full voting rights. There are currently and approximately 152 recognised Chiefs and Commanders of Scottish Clans recognised by the Lord Lyon and thus Scottish Clan society in general. Carruthers are therefore viewed as equals in voice on the Council and are now part of the most significant discussions and decisions regarding Scottish Clans that take place.
Having a Carruthers represented, and more than that, represented by its own Chief on the Standing Council reflects the significant progress our Clan and Family has made since 2007 and the start of the research project. The goal of the project was to locate the senior of our line and have their right confirmed to bear the chiefly arms and as such be recognised as Chief of the Name and Arms of Carruthers, by the Lord Lyon. This was achieved after many years of research, networking, time and severe effort by the Society, in 2019 and Carruthers moved from armigerous status to being recognised officially as a ‘Noble Incorporation’ in Scots Law.
Interestingly, prior to any petitions being submitted to the Lord Lyon, our Convenor spoke to Charles Lord Bruce, the Earl of Elgin’s eldest son, regarding our goal to have a Carruthers chief confirmed. in order that toes would not be stepped upon and he was both delighted and fully supportive.
On their website, the Standing Council of Scottish Chiefs describes themselves in part as being founded in 1951 as a forum to consider matters affecting Scottish chiefs and to represent their views and interests to government, media and public. This included, and still does, protecting the Arms and other insignia from exploitation or misuse. The close relationship with the Lord Lyon and the appointed Lyon Court Officers is essential and remains integral.
The Standing Council has naturally developed close relationships with clan and family associations overseas. They state that they value their links with the Scottish Australian Heritage Council (SAHC), the Clans and Scottish Societies of Canada (CASSOC) and, in the US, the Council of Scottish Clans and Associations (COSCA). All three of these organisations, Clan Carruthers Society-International is proud to be in membership.
We have come a long way since 2007: our own tartan, officially recognised as the Clan and Family tartan of Carruthers and proudly worn worldwide, a hereditary Chief who has a voice that is heard in Scottish clan society, and a clan/family society that encompasses the planet.
We all need to be congratulated for our efforts.