The House of Carruthers of Mouswald were the descendants of the first recorded Carruthers; Carruthers of Carruthers. They became the Chiefs of the family in 1320 until 1548. In 1320, it is recorded in the Register of the Great Seal of Scotland that Thomas, son of John of Carruthers was granted a charter of the whole lands Mouswald and Appletreethwaite by king Robert the Bruce for services to his family.
Again on 10th December 1361 when King David II visited Mousewald, a parcel of land, formally one half of the lands owned by John of Rafhols (Raffles) and lying within the tenement of Mouswald was granted to John Carruthers, witnessed by Robert Carruthers 3rd Mouswald. It wasn’t until more than a century later, according to the Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries in Edinburgh and dated Dec 10 1888, that the other halve were joined to the Mouswald estates. The paper was written by John J Reid, father of R C Reid the historian. R C Reid in collaboration with A S Carruthers, wrote the Records of the Carruthers published in 1934. It is suspected that the John Carruthers mentioned in the 1361 charter was John, Kings Chancellor at the time and ancestor of the House of Holmains. It was this charter which was the foundation of the Holmains branch of the Carruthers family.
The demise of the House occured when the Chief at the time; Sir Simon Carruthers of Mouswald, was killed on a border raid. From here, the Chiefly line was taken up by the most dsenior branch of the family, Carruthers of Holmains. The chiefly line of Holmains continues to this day and is represented by the current Chief, Simon Peter Carruthers of Holmains. The link between the two houses is highlighted through the documentation below, which was sent to the Society for their use by members of the Holmains line.
Below is a copy of one of the oldest Carruthers artifacts dating back to the early days of Mouswald, the Charter of Half Raffols and was received by John de (of) Carruthers from King David II (1324-1371). This document clearly demonstrates a link between John, mentioned in ‘Wyntouns’s Cronykil’ who was also Kings Chancellor at the time, and his brothers; Thomas 1st of Mouswald and William 2nd of Mouswald. The watermark was added by the Society to prevent misuse.
John de Carruthers was to become the the ancestor to the House of Holmains, now the Chiefly Line of our name.
A translation and a photograph of a Charter to John Carruthers, proginator of the House of Holmains and younger brother of Thomas 1st of Mouswald and Robert 2nd of Mouswald, dated 10th December 1361
David by the Grace of God, King of Scots and Lord of Annandale, to all honest men of his whole land, greetings, know that we have given, conceded and by our own present charta have confirmed to our beloved and faithful John de Carruthers, the half past of all lands and of which were John de Rafhols, lying within the tenement of Mouswald (une Gontrée) which half past extends to fifty shilling sterling and came into our hands by reason of forfeiture. To hold and to have the aforesaid its liberties, advantages and casements, belonging to the said half past of all the said lands purporting to belong or in any way rightfully to refer to the said John de Carruthers and his heirs, freely, quietly, well, truly, honourably and in peace on our own part and that of their heirs forever. The said John and his heirs paying annually to us and to our own heors the service due and want by law. In testimony of which things we have ordered to be placed our seal of the aforesaid valley on our present charta at Mouswald on the tenth day of December in the thirty year of our reign, with these witnesses,
Robert de Gorry, Lord of Newby,
Robert de Carruthers, Lord of Mouswald,
William de Crigton, Lord of Dryfesdale
Humphry Jardine, Lord of Appleyard
John de Johnstone, Lord of that Ilk
John de Caldicot, Lord of Hoton,
And many others
The photo above and the copy of the letter, were posted by kind permission of the Chief’s family of Holmains. They are the only people with copies, and we are they only people that have permission to post them.
Please note that the watermark on the Mouswald Charter was added by the Society and is not on the original.