Clan Carruthers

CLAN CARRUTHERS: COSCA (USA) Update – Scottish Clan and Family Chiefs.

The Council of Scottish Clans and Associations (COSCA), the association for Scottish Clans and Families in the USA, have issued new guidance on what constitutes a Scottish Clan/Family Chief and their jurisdiction.

This is an evidenced and updated piece of information which may help our readers understand who may become chief and the process ie whether by genealogical proofs or a gathering is required and the Lord Lyon’s legal role in the matter.

The list of current chiefs recognised by Scottish Clan and Family Society both at home and abroad, is also listed below.


INFORMATION FROM THE STANDING COUNCIL OF SCOTTISH CHIEFS

As an adjunct, this piece taken from the Standing Council of Scottish Chiefs (SCSC) website states: Clann has the literal meaning of “children” but also the generic meaning of a Gaelic kindred group, with a common surname and common ancestor, stemming principally from the highlands and western isles.

Several misconceptions have arisen in recent years. As interest in Scotland grows, so does romance.

There is much genuine romance about Scotland, especially surrounding the clans. The last major flourish was at the height of the Victorian era. Today, again, there is a yearning to be seen as part of a clan. But the reality, as distinct from fiction, is that there are, and always were, more names, name-groups and families than clans. Not all Scottish names, however distinguished, are clan names (nor in fact ever had a chief). The Bruces, for example, one of the most resonant names in Scottish history, are a family not a clan.

CARRUTHERS- CLAN OR FAMILY?

NB: Although listed in the 1587 Act of Unruly clans as a ‘clan’, one could argue as some most certainly do, that CARRUTHERS is a border family not a clan. This is in the same vein as Bruce being a lowland family and of course both are led by a hereditary Chief. Bruce having the Earl of Elgin at its head, while CARRUTHERS has Carruthers of Holmains as their chief. Because of this our society have always chosen to recognise Carruthers both as a family and as a clan.

This difference between clan and family and thus the reason for our choice is again highlighted by the following SCSC comment:

The growing assumption that every person recognized as a chief means that they must have a clan, though neat, is a false friend. A chief can just as well be head of a family – highland, lowland (north or south) or borders – as head of a clan. And to deny that there is as much pride in bearing the name of a distinct family, or House, as of a clan is misplaced.

The now fashionable pursuit of trying to turn any Scottish name into a clan risks devaluing all. It undermines and fails to respect the distinctions that run through Scottish history; and in the end, seeks to replace that history through “clan creation”. False history: false romance. Much of this may be driven by commercial considerations; though not all. To use the famous caveat, itself from the world of commerce: Beware Imitation.

BEWARE IMITATION

As the official and only Carruthers society authorised by our chief to represent Carruthers internationally, we are fully aware of the dangers of imitation from such groups as the LLC/CCSI, which again is well covered by the statement made by the SCSC, seen below:

Sometimes confusion has arisen over the difference between clans and clan societies, especially in cases where a specific clan or family has no recognised chief (not the case for CARRUTHERS Ed). There need be no confusion. A society or association is not itself a clan. It serves as a means by which the historical clan or family can express its identity and kinship in the changed conditions of modern life, long after the original kindred have dispersed from their ancestral lands.

Societies and associations will normally have a Council, headed by Chairman or, as is often overseas, President. A chief can occupy that position. But the office does not turn a President into a chief (CARRUTHERS has Council made up of highly respected members of our family and headed by a Convenor. Ed. )

Membership of a clan or family – in any of its spellings and including recognised septs or branches – is by birth, marriage or descent. There is no election or formal admission procedure. The exception is if the chief (in our case Carruthers of Holmains ed.) chooses to admit someone, just as happened in history, who does not otherwise come under those criteria.


NEW GUIDANCE PIECE FROM COSCA

The new guidance mentioned by COSCA was issued by the Court of the Lord Lyon over 6 months ago on 16 December 2021 and offers some clarification to the legality and process.

It is titled ‘Chiefs of Clans and Families, succession of Chiefs, family Conventions, Nominations of Heir‘.


Chiefs of the Name and Arms

The chiefship of a clan or family is regulated by the Lord Lyon King of Arms by regulation of arms. The Lord Lyon does not regulate the leadership of associations, societies or other corporate bodies created in support of a clan or family. That is an internal matter for the association, society or corporate body itself. Any chief recognised by the Lord Lyon as chief of a clan or family is chief of all who bear the name of the clan or family and not only those belonging to a particular body.

Since at least the 16th Century, to be recognised as chief of a clan or family has required an individual to be entitled to bear the undifferenced arms of the clan or family (i.e. the principal arms of the clan or family that descend from one chief to the next in undifferenced form through the generations) and so be “Chief of the Name and Arms” of the clan or family. It is for the Lord Lyon to determine who has legally succeeded and is entitled to bear the undifferenced arms of a clan or family.

Where a hereditary chief cannot be identified and a clan or family is without a chief there is a process – known as a family convention (gathering Ed.) – by which a commander may be appointed by the Lord Lyon to lead the clan or family. The Lord Lyon may appoint a commander, at the request of the clan or family. The purpose of the appointment of a commander is to allow time and space for the clan or family to raise its profile, build itself up, publicise itself and for a potential candidate to be hereditary chief to be identified. One of the principal responsibilities of a commander is to seek to identify any potential hereditary claimant to the chiefship. If it is not possible to identify a potential claimant who can prove descent from the chiefly line the commander should seek to encourage suitable candidates who may have wide support from at the clan or family to come forward as a candidate for the chiefship.

CARRUTHERS: Were genealogical proofs the legal requirement or did we need a gathering?

Accepting the uneducated claims that Carruthers never had a gathering, this is one of the few things that they (LLC/CCSI) have said that is in fact accurate.

We as a Scottish border clan/family and accepting that the Lord Lyon is part of the Scottish judiciary, adheering to Scots law was an important consideration.

The process to find the senior of our line to petition to become chief began seriously in 2007 and was led by Dr George CARRUTHERS of Fife. What followed was much hard and time consuming work and research, networking and sound advice from the then Lyon Clerk Mrs Elizabeth Roads. This genealogical journey took us from our origins in Dumfriesshire and with the help of the National Archives, we finally located the 4th great grandson of our last Chief: John Carruthers 12th of Holmains: Dr Simon Peter Carruthers, known as Peter.

As previosly stated, having chosen to follow to the letter the Scottish legal process and advice to have a chief recognised, solid documention and proofs were presented by Dr Peter Carruthers to the Lord Lyon in the form of a petition to bear the chiefly arms of Carruthers.

As Carruthers had an identified and proven candidate/petitioner for Chief dating back to beyond 1320, and as genealogy supercedes a derbfine, no gathering was required. However, the process of examining and analysing all documents and proofs presented to the Lord Lyon took nearly 2 years and 2 court hearings. For this reason, we as a family can guarantee that the judicial process and analysis was followed to the letter.

This eventually led, after over 200 years of our Chiefship lying dormant, that Dr (Simon) Peter CARRUTHERS of Holmains through the right to bear the Chiefly arms of Carruthers, was confirmed as hereditary Chief of the Name and Arms of CARRUTHERS by the Lord Lyon. Definately a proud and important historical moment for the Scottish border surname of CARRUTHERS and one we played a major part in.


TO SUMMARISEWhen is a Scottish chief, simply not a chief?

There have been a few cases over the years of individuals making false claims of holding the title of chief of a Scottish clan or family. These charlatins are usually easily found out and have either been brought to task legally or simply ignored for what they are by all and any respectable society/group with links to Scotland, its history and its heritage.

To make it simple, if a person claiming to be a Scottish Clan Chief is not actually recognised as such by the Lord Lyon, they simply are claiming something they have no right to claim.

In respect of our own family, this sadly includes an individual residing in America by the name of Mr Pat E Carruthers. His claims of being Chief of the Scottish Border Clan CARRUTHERS, while wearing the Bruce tartan on occasions, are either self-imposed or have been imposed upon him by others (ie LLC/CCSI), both it seems to fulfill ego or an agenda. Outwith this reasoning and wherever one resides and in whatever jurisdiction they live, a lie remains a lie.

CARRUTHERS does of course have a legitimate and legally recognised chief as evidenced above, and it is definately not Mr Pat E Carruthers.

So again, be both aware and beware those infamous imitations!


SCOTTISH CLANS/FAMILIES WITH A RECOGNISED CHIEF, AS LISTED BY COSCA

NB. we are advised that in the case of the two very large clans of MacDonald and MacLeod, although more than one chief is listed, they are all of the same clan both having its own high chief. These are the only clans in Scotland to have this simply due to their size and history. The High Chief of Macdonald is the The Lord Macdonald of Macdonald and that of Mcleod is Hugh, Mcleod of Mcleod.

(Carruthers as a moderate sized border family has never had, nor does have any Chieftains recognised ed).

Agnew

Sir Crispin Agnew of Lochnaw Bt.

Anstruther

Toby Anstruther of that Ilk

Arthur

John MacArthur of that Ilk

Bannerman

Sir David Bannerman of Elsick Bt.

Barclay

Peter Barclay of that Ilk

Borthwick

Lord Borthwick

Boyle

The Earl of Glasgow

Brodie

Alexander Brodie of Brodie

Broun

Sir Wayne Broun of Colstoun Bt.

Bruce

The Earl of Elgin & Kincardine K.T.

Buchanan

Michael Buchanan of that Ilk and Arnprior

Burnett

James Burnett of Leys

Cameron

Donald Cameron of Lochiel

Campbell

His Grace The Duke of Argyll

Carmichael

Richard Carmichael of Carmichael

Carruthers

Dr Simon Peter Carruthers of Holmains

Charteris

The Earl of Wemyss and March

Chattan

John Mackintosh of Mackintosh

Chisholm

Hamish Chisholm of Chisholm

Cochrane

The Earl of Dundonald

Colquhoun

Sir Malcolm Colquhoun of Luss Bt.

Cranstoun

David Cranston of that Ilk

Crichton

David Crichton of that Ilk

Currie

Robert Currie, Commander of the Name and Arms of Currie

Dalrymple

The Earl of Stair

Dewar

Michael Dewar of that Ilk

Drummond

Viscount Strathallan (Heir)

Dunbar

Sir James Dunbar of Mochrum Bt.

Dundas

David Dundas of Dundas

Durie

Andrew Maule Dewar Durie of Durie , CBE

Elliot

Madam Margaret Eliott of Redheugh

Elphinstone

Lord Elphinstone

Erskine

The Earl of Mar And Kellie

Ewen

Sir John McEwen Bt.

Ewing

Thor Ewing

Farquharson

Captain Alwyne Farquharson of Invercauld

Forbes

Malcolm, Lord Forbes

Forsyth

Alistair Forsyth of that ilk

Fraser

The Lady Saltoun

Fraser

Lord Lovat

Gordon

The Marquess of Huntly

Graham

The Duke of Montrose

Grant

The Lord Strathspey

Gunn

Iain Gunn of Gunn

Guthrie

Alexander Guthrie of Guthrie

Haldane

Martin Haldane of Gleneagles

Hamilton

The Duke of Hamilton

Hannay

Professor David Hannay of Kirkdale and of that Ilk

Hay

The Earl of Erroll

Henderson

Alistair Henderson of Fordell

Hope

Sir Alexander Hope of Craighall Bt.

Hunter

Madam Pauline Hunter of Hunterson

Innes

The Duke of Roxburghe

Irvine

Alexander Irvine of Drum

Irving of Bonshaw

Rupert Irving of Bonshaw

Jardine

Sir William Jardine of Applegirth Bt.

Johnstone

The Earl of Annandale And Hartfell

Kennedy

The Marquess of Ailsa

Kerr

The Marquess of Lothian

Kincaid

Madam Arabella Kincaid of Kincaid

Lamont

Father Peter Noel Lamont (rep George Burden)

Leask

Dr Jonathan Leask of that Ilk

Leslie

The Hon. Alexander Leslie (representative)

Lindsay

Earl of Lindsay (Jamie) (representative)

Lockhart

Ranald Lockhart of The Lee

Lumsden

Gillem Lumsden of that Ilk

Lyon

The Rt Hon. The Earl of Strathmore

MacDonald of Clanranald

The Captain of Clanranald

MacDonald of Glengarry

Ranald Macdonell of Glengarry

MacDonald of Keppoch

Ranald MacDonald of Keppoch

MacDonald of Macdonald

The Lord Macdonald of Macdonald

MacDonald of Sleat

Sir Ian Macdonald of Sleat Bt.

MacDougall

Morag MacDougall of MacDougall

MacDowall

Fergus Macdowall of Garthland

MacGillivray

Iain MacGillivray

MacGregor

Sir Malcolm MacGregor of MacGregor Bt.

MacIntyre

Duncan MacIntyre of Camus-na-h-Erie (Representative)

MacKay

The Hon. Elizabeth Fairbairn

MacKenzie

The Earl of Cromartie

MacKintosh

John Mackintosh of Mackintosh

MacLachlan

Euan Maclachlan of Maclachlan

MacLaine

Lorne Maclaine of Lochbuie

MacLaren

Donald MacLaren of MacLaren

MacLea

Niall Livingstone of Bachuil, Baron the Bachuil

MacLean

Major the Hon. Sir Lachlan MacLean of Duart and Morvern Bt.

MacLennan

Ruairidh MacLennan of MacLennan

MacLeod of the Lewes

Torquil Macleod of the Lewes

MacLeod of Raasay

John Macleod of Raasay

MacMillan

George MacMillan of MacMillan and Knap

MacNab

Jamie Macnab of Macnab

MacNaghten

Sir Malcolm Francis Macnaghten of MacNaghten Bt

MacNeacail

John Macneacail of Macneacail & Scorrabreac

MacNeil

Roderick Macneil of Barra

MacPherson

The Hon. Sir William Macpherson of Cluny

MacTavish

Steven MacTavish of Dunardry

MacThomas

Andrew MacThomas of Finegand

Maitland

The Earl of Lauderdale

Malcolm (MacCallum)

Robin Malcolm of Poltalloch

Mar

The Countess of Mar

Marjoribanks

Andrew Marjoribanks of that Ilk

Matheson

Major Sir Alexander Matheson of Matheson, Bt. (Sir Fergus recently passed away)

McBain

James McBain of McBain

Moffat

Madam Jean Moffat of that Ilk

Moncreiffe

The Hon. Peregrine Moncreiffe of that Ilk

Montgomerie

The Earl of Eglinton & Winton

Morrison

Alasdair Morrison of Ruchdi

Munro

Hector Munro of Foulis

Napier

Lord Napier & Ettrick

Nesbitt

Mark Nesbitt of that Ilk

Ogilvy

The Earl of Airlie

Oliphant

Richard Oliphant of that Ilk

Ramsay

The Earl of Dalhousie

Riddell

Sir Walter John Buchanan Riddell Bt

Robertson

Gilbert Robertson of Struan

Rollo

The Lord Rollo

Rose

David Rose of Kilravock

Ross

David Ross of Ross And Balnagowan

Scott

The Duke of Buccleuch KBE

Scott of Harden

Lord Polwarth

Scrymgeour

The Earl of Dundee

Sempill

The Lord Sempill

Shaw of Tordarroch

John Shaw of Tordarroch

Sinclair

The Earl of Caithness

Skene

Dugald Skene of Skene

Strange

Major Timothy Strange of Balcaskie

Sutherland

The Earl of Sutherland

Trotter

Major Alexander Trotter of Mortonhall, CVO

Urquhart

Colonel Wilkins Urquhart of Urquhart

Wallace

Andrew Wallace of that Ilk

Wedderburn

Lord Scrymgeour

Wemyss

Michael Wemyss of Wemyss


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