Clan Carruthers

CLAN CARRUTHERS: The Holmains and Kirkwood Estates, why were they not bought back?

We are aware that a large amount of monies was left by a daughter of Holmains in order to re-purchase the lands of Holmains and Kirkwood and reinstate the family upon them. Sadly this did not happen and we are currently not sure why, but below is a piece which explains part of the story. It also shows how the historical contents of the Holmains charter chest was used, in part to produce the Records of the Carruthers Family.

In 1772 after the financial crash of the Douglas Heron Bank, of Ayr, the chief at the time, John Carruthers 12th of Holmains and 8th Baron (seen above), was financially overwhelmed, bankrupted and the estates were sold. What remained was the charter chest containing all the Holmains papers, much of which remain and are shared between the family and the Scottish National Archives. 

John had two sons and seven daughters and it was Elizabeth, the 6th daughter who left a large amount of monies in her will to re-purchase the lost estates.

After he died on the 9th of October 1809, and with his two male children having died before him; John, his first born died aged 7 in Kirkwood in 1770 and Robert, his second son died in 1766 in India. Everything left was passed down the female line. Firstly Christian was bequeather all the documents and papers, but these were then passed to with Rachel and through Rachel to her son John Peter Carruthers-Wade. They were then passed to the Reverand Mitchell-Carruthers, grandson of Susan the 3rd daughter of John 12th. It was he who passed the information onto A S Carruthers and R C Reid for their research leading to the ‘Records of the Carruthers Family’, which with evidence, have told is so much of our past.

The money trail however continues with Dr John Peter Carruthers-Wade, and in 1854arms were petitioned to the then Lord Lyon, George Burnett LLD WS, to matriculate his own arms from the chiefly Arms of Holmains. John was the son of Rachel, the third child of John Carruthers 12th of Holmains and 8th Baron. Interestingly the precursor to the Letters Patent is signed by the Interim Lyon Clark, James Lorimer and states:

Letters Patent Carruthers Wade

John Peter Carruthers-Wade (formerly John Peter Wade) esquire, late of the Honourable East India Company’s Service, the Patentee, the only son of the late John Peter Wade Esquire of the said Company Service by his wife Rachel, daughter of the deceased John Carruthers esquire of Holmains and Kirkwood in the county of Dumfries. The late Mrs Elizabeth Maria Carruthers or Harding sister-german of the said Mrs Rachel Carruthers or Wade by her last will, Trust Deed and Settlement, dated the twentieth day of July 1836, placed certain sums of money in Trust for the purpose of being accumulated for ten years after her decease, which took place 1843 and that the said monies, her Trustees should purchase the lands of Kirkwood and Holmains which had belonged to her father, the said John Carruthers and his ancestors, whom failing on the other substitutes in the said Deed of Entail, and it is declared that the Heirs Male shall use the name and Arms of Carruthers of Holmains, whenever they come into the receipt of the Rents and Profits of the said lands, but as lands could not be purchased at present, the Proprietors being either unwilling or in minority unable to sell them, the said Patentee is now enjoying and in possession of the profits of the said trust Monies and in virtue of the above declaratory provision has therefore assumed the name of Carruthers-Wade: Bears Quarterly first and fourth Azure, a Saltire Argent cantoned with four Escallops Or, all within a bordure of the last for difference for Wade; (conform to an Exemplification thereof from the Records in the Office of Ulster King of Arms for Ireland produced in favour of Sir Claude Wade, Nephew of the said Patentees Father, second and third Gules, two Chevrons engrailed betwixt three Fleur de Lis Or for Carruthers; matriculated in this Public Register in or about the year 1672 for the family of Carruthers of Holmains). Above the shield is placed a helmet befitting his degree with a Mantling gules, doubled argent, and upon Wreaths of the proper Liveries are set for Crests viz: on the dexter sider, an Arm embowed in armour the hand grasping a straight sword in bend all proper in escroll over the same this Motto; Pro Fide et Patria and on the sinister a Seraphim volent proper and in an escroll over the same this Motto; Promptus et Fidelis
These Arms are destined by Letters Patent from the Lord Lyon bearing even date with this Matriculation the Eighteeth day of May 1854 to the said John Peter Carruthers – Wade Esquire and the heirs Male of his body, the same being first matriculated for them severally in this Public Register

As we can see monies were made available, yet to date we aren’t certain if it remained with Carruthers-Wade or were passed down to the Mitchell-Carruthers, either way we did not recover the estates and left Dormont the Only branch of Carruthers still on the lands.

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