Clan Carruthers

CLAN CARRUTHERS: No Scot Would Wear an English Tartan? Do Carruthers?

There is an old nursery rhyme called ‘ring a ring of roses ’ which relates to the the Black Plague in Britain in 1665 and covers the symptoms and treatment ie ‘posies’ believed to work at the time. The information of treatments in the rhyme has since proved inaccurate and not based on any real facts. Therefore, continually responding to the uneducated and those totally ignorant of Scotland, the Scots and clan/family culture is always an interesting task and for some strange reason reminds us of this rhyme.

The headline ‘ No Scots wear an English Tartan’ sits at the top of an LLC/CCIS blog post, which offers some strange ideas verging on the ridiculous being and again promoted as facts. Once again as is their modus operandi, this is nonsense riddled with some facts, in an attempt to seem credible to the reader. However it is obvious that it is simply an attempt to fill an agenda by individuals, according to some who actually have no real dealings with CARRUTHERS, its society nor Scotland .

We will take the main points on an individual basis and once again offer the truth and facts based on the easily researched evidence rather than the lies and misconceptions offered by the bemused, uneducated and inaccurate comments offered by the LLC/CCSI.

So we will deal with this statement first-

This is their opening paragraph; Clan Carruthers of Scotland/England, run by George Carruthers of Perthshire England, made the announcement they have a new Chief, who is also from England/Wales. They did not hold a Clan Gathering, an election, obviously residency ment little, but they had a tartan first and foremost. George, by himself, took it upon himself to redesign the honored ancestreal Carruthers tartan, not just once, but twice, and is marketing it as the only true Carruthers Tartan. How can it be the one and only Carruthers tartan if it is only about three years old.

*1: Firstly and for accuracy Dr George CARRUTHERS is a definately a Scot, born and bred in Fife, which is in Scotland. Perthshire is however also in Scotland but it is not Fife, and therefore not in England,

*2: George did not make the official announcement regarding a new Chief, that was the role of the Lord Lyon after his decision and analysis of the petition which took nearly 2 years and two court hearings, which he duly did.

*3: The current chief, which is a hereditary position as is the case for all Scottish Chiefs, is the 4x great grandson of our last chief, John CARRUTHERS 12th of Holmains who died in 1809. As such he can trace his lineage back through Holmains to Mouswald in 1320 and beyond as 23rd of his line.

*4: A gathering or derbfine, which is also supervised by the Lord Lyon and held in Scotland is only held if there is not a living and genealogically evidenced individual from the chiefly line. As such CARRUTHERS did not require a gathering, but instead followed the official route of confirmation through the office of the Lord Lyon, as did many clans before them in the same position. The guidance on such matters has just been updated.

* 5 : It is important to understand that Scottish clan/family tartans only appeared in the early 1800’s according to all the evidence and all reputable tartan historians, as such no Border family had a clan tartan prior to this and many took decades to achieve one.

* 6: Tartan and kilts were worn in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland and not in the lowlands and most certainly not by the ancestors of any Scottish Border clan/family. As such even today their are Border surnames that still do not have an assigned tartan to their name and those that do have registered them since the early 1800’s to date. Until 2017 this obviously included CARRUTHERS. Therefore, there was no redesigning of ‘our’ honoured ancestral tartan as claimed, as one simply did not exist. The tartan ‘they’ claim as CARRUTHERS is actually a BRUCE tartan and is copyrighted to them and sold as such.

* 7: Our investigations and research into finding the most senior of our line with a view to having a chief confirmed by the Lord Lyon began in 2007, we were advised that a tartan, to fit our visual identity, would be appropriate in preparation for that day. Tartans are registered daily on the Register in Scotland and from all over the world, but only a chief, recognised by the Lord Lyon as having the right to bear the chiefly arms, can register it as the tartan of a Scottish clan/family. That is simply the legality of it.

Brian Wilton MBE

* 9: The CARRUTHERS tartan was commissioned by Dr George Carruthers but not designed by him. It was designed by Brian Wilton MBE from Crieff, Perthshire in Scotland. Brian is a world renowned tartan historian, advisor on tartans to the Scottish Clan & Family Encyclopaedia, as well as being an advisor to the Lord Lyon. It was therefore registered, along with George’s personal tartan in 2017 with the Scottish Register of Tartans, a Scottish Government Agency, by Brian Wilton himself and not as is stated by George.

*10: Possibly, if our chiefly line had not been left dormant for over 200 years after the death of John 12th in 1809, based on the move by other border families who have a tartan, we may have followed suit sooner than we did. However again, only a chief can designate a clan/family tartan and as our chief was confirmed in 2019 the adoption of the tartan on the register occurred immediately after this. To clarify, it is the chief that holds the registration to the Clan CARRUTHERS tartan, not George. He does however, hold the registration to his own personal tartan as one would suspect.


To continue with their comments, again we will offer the facts and truth rather than misconstrued and uneducated guesses.

No, a kilt does not have to be tartan to be a kilt, but we, Clan Carruthers – CCIS, have chosen to keep the ancestral tartan. Many of those Clansmen, who honor the blood sacrifice made by their ancestors still wear their original tartan and kilt colors.

It seems that Clan Carruthers of Scotland/England, might have chosen to change, market and to wear the cheaply made acrylic tartans and kilts imported from Asia-Pakistan and sold off-the-peg at bargain basement prices, poor quality kilts. This does seem to be something to look into further.

* 11: There is no ancestral tartan, the tartan ‘they’ (the group calling themselves the CCIS) use is registered and sold as Bruce, as such when blood was spilt by our ancestors, they were definitely not wearing the Bruce tartan as Reivers, or even before, never ever wore kilts nor tartan.

* 12: The CARRUTHERS tartan is woven by the House of Edgar in Perth, Scotland out of 100% wool. They are the only suppliers of the CARRUTHERS Tartan to any who wish to buy it, as well as to people such as USAkilts or Anderson Kilts to name a few. Wool is wool, acrylic is acrylic as is covered here. Carruthers tartan is woven, in Scotland out of the former. Once again easily proven and checked as CARRUTHERS deserve only the best.


George Carruthers of England, designed the tartan they are using for their Clan. Similar to holding the patent on a product. The Tartan came first and then George Carruthers of England, needed a Clan to buy it from him. George Carruthers of England, did belong to our Clan in the early part of 2017. He asked if we would consider using his tartan for the Clan, and it was brought to the Board of Directors and they voted to preserve our legacy.

* 13: as previously stated the registration of the CARRUTHERS tartan is held by the Chief, Peter CARRUTHERS of Holmains.

* 14: George has been researching our family since well before 2007, but more seriously in the search of a CARRUTHERS chief since then. As such there is only CARRUTHERS in his field of vision. This can clearly be seen by all his achievements on our behalf.

* 15: In the search for the truth and evidence to promote our family, George has never nor would ever have been involved with, in membership with or had any association with the LLC who have undergone a number of name changes. However, we are advised that he feels flattered that they (the CCIS LLC) feel the need to use his name to offer some form of credibility to their group. As such it is true, the tartan was registered, they were not consulted, involved nor approached and therefore the ‘legacy’ that they claim, for all the reasons above, simply did not exist.


We continue to analyse their comments

It is just this kind of kilt that has sparked the recent debates. This act strips the history of specific clans away from their ancestors and their hard fought legacies where their blood was shed defending their beliefs, their families and their ways of life.

* 16: What is true is that the act of attempting to rewrite Scottish clan and family history to suit an agenda, albeit as bizarre as this, does in fact dilute and detract from our ancestors, their lives and their action. As CARRUTHERS, our family history is well documented, supported by Scottish historical notes and Scottish Clan Society and our chief and tartan are recognised by those who need to recognise it and in fact matter. It really is that simple.


True Scots who honor these ancestors would never disgrace and abandon their proud legacy left to them by their ancestors by replacing their magnificent tartans with an acrylic one made to sell to the unschooled masses for recognition and profit !

* 17: Although people can wear what they want and believe what they want, the facts speak for themselves. It is the actions of such groups as the LLC/CCSI who disgrace and abandon both the ‘proud legacy’ and history that we have inherited as an ancient Scottish border family. Although it is fair to state that some tartans it seems are made from acrylic and even produced in the Indian subcontinent, Carruthers by using only one weaver is not. The official CARRUTHERS tartan remains Scottish through and through as it is was designed in Scotland, registered in a Scotland, woven in Scotland with 100% wool from Scotland and sold directly from the weavers in Scotland, all over the world as the official clan/family tartan of CARRUTHERS. We believe that this information clearly puts to bed the concept and nonsense of an claim of ‘English’ tartan.


To finalise, here is a chart of the main visual points reflectinf our clan and family of Carruthers


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