The Right Reverend ANDREW CARRUTHERS (1770-1852), Vicar Apostolic of the Eastern District (Bishop of Ceramus) from 1832 to 1852
As we know John Carruthers 9th of Holmains, Chief of Carruthers at the time, matriculated arms in the Lyon Register in 1672 after the Lyons Act of that year. The Carruthers Chiefly arms were registered as: Gules two chevrons engrailed between three fleurs-de-lys Or. (see above). It is interesting to note that the use of a chevron in heraldy depicts protection, and when engrailed, by a river, ocean or expanse of water.
Again above, the arms used by Bishop Carruthers, are a version of these arms. At first glance they are the same, but note they are shown with the chevronels engrailed ‘only on the lower edges’. These arms are seen, both on a pastoral letter (SCA KB 17/4) and on his portrait at the Scottish Catholic Archives (SCA/CH/3). His personal Arms are marshalled on the right (Sinister) with those of his diocese, depicting St Andrew holding the Cross, on the left (Dexter).
This means that another Carruthers’ armiger has been found, albeit this time officially registered in the Ecclesiastical Register and Archives of the Catholic Church.
Born in Drumillan Miln near New Abbey in Kirkcudbrightshire, on 7 February 1770, he was the son of Catholic parents, Andrew Carruthers and his wife Lucy Rigg. The priest and historian James Carruthers, was his brother.
James was known for his publications : The History of Scotland from the earliest period of the Scottish Monarchy to the Accession of the Stewart Family, interspersed with Synoptical Reviews of Politics, Literature, and Religion throughout the World, , 2 vols., Edinburgh, 1826 and The History of Scotland during the reign of Queen Mary until the accession of her son James to the crown of England, Edinburgh, 1831.
Andrew Carruthers studied at Scots College, Douai and also at the Seminary at Scalan and ordained a priest on 25 March 1795. He was stationed first to the missionary station at Balloch on the Drummond Castle estate, in Perthshire, then in 1797 appointed as the chaplain to the Earl of Traquair at the Stuart family seat Traquair in Peeblesshire, and 1800 he moved to the mission at Munches, seat of the Maxwells at Dalbeattie in his native Kirkcudbrightshire. He served as priest at Balloch, Crieff 1795-97, at Traquair 1797-1800, at Munches, Kirkcudbrightshire 1800-14, and finally at Dalbeattie 1814-32.
St Peters Catholic Church, Dalbeattie, Kirkcudbrightshire
Using a bequest from the late Agnes Maxwell, who died in 1809, the last of the Catholic Maxwells of Munches, he built St Peter’s Church in Dalbeattie which opened in 1814. On 29 June 2014, it celebrated its 200th anniversary.
He was nominated and appointed the Vicar Apostolic of the Eastern District and Titular Bishop of Ceramus by the Holy See on 28 September 1832. He was consecrated to the Episcopate on 13 January 1833. The principal consecrator was Bishop Thomas Penswick, Vicar Apostolic of the Northern District of England, and the principal co-consecrators were Bishop Andrew Scott, Vicar Apostolic of the Western District of Scotland from 1832 to 1845. and Bishop James Kyle, Vicar Apostolic of the Northern District (formerly known the Highland District) and Titular Bishop of Germanicia.
Andrew died in office on 24 May 1852, aged 82 and was buried in St Mary’s, now St Mary’s Catholic Cathedral in Edinburgh.