Carruthers history, Uncategorized

Sir Walter Scott and the Carruthers

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Promptus Et Fidelis 

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There is a remarkable story, factual, concerning how Sir Walter Scott, in his role as principal clerk to the Court of Session, became aware of legal proceedings involving retention of an estate in the Carruthers family.  Scott had this story in mind as he developed the plot, and wrote his novel Guy Mannering.

This story underscores the significance of hereditary estate retention throughout history.  The Carruthers family owned the Mouswald land from 1320 until 1588 – 258 years.  The Holmains  estate was in the Carruthers family from 1361 until 1772 – 411 years.  A. Stanley Carruthers in his book Records of the Carruthers Family, published in 1933, called the Woodfoot and Milne branches of the family “probably” the senior traceable branch of the family.  However, both Milne and Woodfoot are extinct in the male line. 

This brings us to the Carruthers family of Dormont.  The ancestor of this branch was William Carruthers, 3rd son of John Carruthers, 5th Lord and 1st Baron Holmains.  He received the Charter of Carsopeland from his father in 1552.  James Carruthers, the 13th Laird, currently heads the Dormont family – 456 years later. 

Can you imagine the difficult circumstances people must have had to go through to keep an estate in the family for over 450 years?  Elsewhere on this web site you can see where Carruthers estates were lost due to murder, bank failure, non-freedom of religion and marriage with no male heirs.  How the Carruthers family of Dormont has been able to retain one estate for over 450 years is nothing short of remarkable.  But this story involves a legal case that was finally closed after going before the House of Lords for a second time, almost 80 years after an illegitimate child was born. 

Details of this story can be found in Records of the Carruthers Family, in Michael Robson’s book Surnames and Clansmen – Border Family History in Earlier Days,  along with the Court of Sessions records.

Extracts are provided below.   Sir Walter ScottSir Walter Scott 

Francis, the 5th Laird of Dormont , succeeded his grandfather in 1725.  In 1731 he married Margaret, daughter of Sir Alexander Maxwell of Monreith.  In 1735 he made a post-nuptial contract of marriage to himself and his heirs male, whom failing the heirs male of any other marriage, whom failing to any daughter he might have by Margaret Maxwell.  A clause stipulated that if a daughter was excluded from the estate by any term in the deed, she should get £1,000 sterling. 

Margaret had a way of living beyond their means and the resulting financial hardship caused Francis to give up his life as a leisurely country gentleman and make some additional money.  His chosen path was in selling and delivering Galloway cattle, a potentially prosperous venture, but one that kept him away from home for extended periods of time.  During one extended absence trying to settle a lawsuit in England, he received word from home that “Mrs. Carruthers’s conduct with regard to a handsome stout fellow of a gardener named Bell at Dormont, was not a little suspicious”.   When he got home, it was obvious that his wife was “with child”.  He steadfastly exclaimed that he was not the father since he had been away from home for “nearly a whole year”.  

Francis then decided to get rid of his wife by getting a divorce.   However, the questioning of the staff only provided him with suspicious circumstances, not the proof he needed at that time to justify divorce proceedings.  Undaunted, he decided to proceed anyway with the divorce action.  But, before the proceedings could be finished, after having been married ten years without a child, Margaret had a daughter, Elizabeth,on May 28, 1741.  Francis, naturally refused to acknowledge the child as his daughter.   But, since he was not divorced, the law said that the child was a legitimate heir.  Francis’ divorce from Margaret was finalized on January 6, 1742.  Not too long after delivering her child, though, Margaret fell ill and died.  While this death solved the expense problem, there still was an open question about inheritance of the child, and Margaret was no longer around to answer any questions.

Francis did not seem interested in marrying again and continuing to try to have a male heir.  Under the previous entail, there was some question as to whether or not a male child by a 2nd wife would take precedence over a female heir by his 1st wife.  Therefore, Francis spent his energy trying to prove that Elizabeth was illegitimate.  But, his time away from home turned out to be 9½ months, and under the law, since he had been home within 10 months, the child was legitimately his.

He refused to see the infant Elizabeth, “alien to his blood”, and arranged for her to be brought up in Northumberland, in what Sir Walter Scott called the “wildest part of the Cheviot Hills” at the home of “an ignorant and low farmer” named Thomas Robson.  He was paid to bring her up as his own daughter and never let her know that she had any other father.  She was known as Betty Robson.  Francis apparently did provide money for her support every year.  However, like most Cheviot farmers, Robson spent his evenings drunk and, over the years let out more and more of the story.

Elizabeth, like her mother Margaret, turned out to be an exceedingly beautiful woman, with men courting her from all over the area.  In 1758, at the age of 17, she ran off with Henry Routledge of Cumcrook and Nether Hill.  They ran away to Edinburgh and got married.  Henry, aware of her circumstances, wrote to her presumed father, Francis Carruthers, for permission to marry, but he never answered. 

Henry, although from a landed family, was a 4th son of a small estate burdened with debt, so he inherited very little.  Struggling at the poverty level, and pressed to pay off debts, the couple was desparate enough to approach Francis Carruthers for money.  They started with high demands, requiring part of the Dormont estate while Francis lived, and all of it at his death.  Getting nowhere with this demand, they eventually settled on signing a “Deed of Renounciation of all Claim upon the Estate of Dormont” for £650.  Immediately after this, Francis executed another document providing Dormont would go only to his male heirs, failing any then to his brother William Carruthers and his male heirs – finalized December 8, 1759.

Francis died in 1773 and his brother, William, headed the estate for the next 14 years.  William, and the next 2 generations after him, gained little from inheriting Dormont, since the estate was still in debt, almost to the extent of its whole value. 

The Routledges were unable to make the £650 last very long.  They continued scraping by, now needing to also support 2 children, John and Anne.  Sir Walter Scott stated that Henry Routledge died in the Carlisle jail.  Elizabeth died in 1768, leaving the 2 children in dire circumstances.  The plot now thickens once again.  Given that Margaret Maxwell had been a sister to Sir William Maxwell, a cousin to the mother then took it upon herself to raise the 2 children.  The cousin, by this time, was known as the Duchess of Gordon.  The Duchess had John and Anne educated and procured a job for him in India.  She also arranged a good marriage for Anne, to Mr. Majendie, the Bishop of Bangor. 

In 1806, John Rutledge returned from India.  He had prospered.  While visiting Cumberland, he is believed to have crossed to Dumfriesshire and stopped at an inn close to Dormont.   Here he learned, quite by chance, of his mother’s connection with the Carruthers family.  He at once raised an action to set aside the settlement of the estate made in 1759 by Francis. The two main questions were (1) was the deed of 1759 valid, seeing that it had not been challenged for over forty years; (2) did the discharge given by Elizabeth on receipt of the £650 exclude her heir’s rights to the estate under his grandmother’s marriage contract in 1735.  It took exactly 14 years to reach an ultimate decision.  By that time John Rufledge was dead,  but his sister, Mrs. Majendie, had continued the lawsuit.  The suit was heard in every court in Scotland, even argued twice at length, before the House of Lords.  At various times, the decision had been made in each party’s favor.  However, the final decision handed down in 1820, was in the favor of William Thomas Carruthers, grand-nephew of Francis, and the 8th Laird of Dormont.

Sir Walter Scott published his novel Guy Mannering in 1815.

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Don Carrithers

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Donald George Carrithers (September 15, 1949) is a former professional baseball pitcher. Carrithers pitched in all or part of eight seasons in Major League Baseball from 1970 until 1977.

Carrithers was drafted out of Lynwood HS (Lynwood, CA) in the 3rd round of the 1967 Major League Baseball Draft by the San Francisco Giants. After working his way up through their farm system, he made his major league debut at the age of 20 in 1970, pitching 11 games with an ERA of 7.36. Carrithers started the 1971 season back in the minors, but was called up in June and was in the majors for good.

Over the next three seasons, Carrithers bounced back and forth between the starting rotation and the bullpen for the Giants, but various injuries limited him to no more than 25 appearances in each season. On May 14, 1972 he gave up Willie Mays’s 647th career homerun. His performance was below average in each season as well, and just before the 1974 season, the Giants shipped him off to the Montreal Expos in return for catcher John Boccabella.

Carrithers met with more success in Montreal, but injuries still hampered him. After two seasons of performing well in limited action, in 1976 Carrithers stayed healthy enough to throw 140 innings, his career high. However, his performance suffered a setback, as he went only 6–12 with an ERA of 4.43. The Expos became the second team to be frustrated by Carrithers, and they sold him to the Minnesota Twins the following spring. After yet another injury-filled campaign in which Carrithers made it into only 7 games, his career was over at the age of 28.

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Ancient and Honorable Carruthers Clan Society International

Clan Carruthers LLC

carrutherslogoI would like to take this opportunity to let it be known that this letter has been sent out to various Clan organizations, societies, museums and groups.

No matter the spelling of such a Proud ancestral name, you all are members!

Through the scientific breakthroughs of DNA, we know we are all of the same people, and we should  join together as one, socialize as one family, and bring knowledge to future generations.

 

To Whom it May Concern,

 

We all have an ancestral bond with the Ancient and Honorable Carruthers Clan or Family.

We take this opportunity to declare our intent to form the:

Ancient and Honorable Carruthers Clan Society International.

We are committed to preserving the heritage and tradition of the Carruthers Clan and to assist others of Scottish ancestry.  Our society would contribute to all Carruthers on an international level by becoming involved with Scottish Activities, helping those of Scottish ancestry with education and genealogy, and promoting and encouraging Scottish culture, not only for the Carruthers Clan but all Clans and organizations.

We wish to strengthen and sustain the important of being a Scottish Clan, into tomorrow. With this intent of the organization we will increase the popularity of our common interests, with the hope of adding new members so to develop growth and expansion on a regular basis.  Encouraging  social interactions and projects, and by developing relationships and friendships, this organization will become stronger.

Promptus Et Fidelis

 

The Ancient and Honorable Carruthers Clan Society

 

Patricia L Carrothers

Pat E. Carrothers

 

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https://www.facebook.com/carrutherscarrothers.pat.9

 

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Oh The Carruthers/Carrothers!

Clan Carruthers LLC
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Some things are just meant to be!  Almost 30 years ago, I started working on my mothers side of our family history.  My grandmother would tell me stories about her Uncle Pat, that made his own booze in the bathtub, had to have half his stomach removed and still kept making more.  One story after another, and sometimes the same story many times, but always with love and passion as a grandmother could tell.

One can not do your mothers family and not your fathers.  There were many things my mother was rightfully proud of in her family line, but every time I found out something about the Carrothers, you could see the pride on my dads face.  As a beloved daughter as I was, I had to continue to bring that smile to his my dads face.

Thirty years ago there were no computers, or ancestry sites to go to.  You started with a pen and paper, and put a lot of money away for those trips one had to take.  There are some people that worked on our line before I did, and when years went by we finally met up in our research . I have to thank John Carrothers in Canada.  He did a tremendous amount of vacations and trips to both Ireland and Scotland getting information. He has worked tirelessly with more passion and love in his heart for his family.

Moving into modern times, family history moves faster, but the past is most important. I have to thank Tim Frasier from both Scotland and Australia.  He has worked on two archaeological digs that I will talk about as being one of the biggest breakthroughs out family has had.  He is one of the scientist who have traced the Carruthers line back to 500 B.C., and then we were know as Ashmen.

We arrived in Scotland around 400 A.D.  Now how do they know that?  Then have used digital DNA findings to trace this large group of men.  I mean large in size, not necessarily numbers.  In this study they used DNA to trace our family and in the last ten years they have tested over 16,000 Carruthers and we all have the same 26 DNA findings.  Every single Carruthers tested positive for the same 26 DNA links that date back to 400 B.C.   This is most unusual, and these findings have lead to another archaeological dig, I believe in northern England.  I will be able to share more of these later.

Let me give you a little warning.  When you see these places who will test your DNA, remember that those are subsidized by your government, and they get to keep your DNA.  This may not sound important, but it is.  I have been a medical practitioner for more that 30 years, and this is a professional opinion.  Prior to World War II, they collected blood samples which are still being used in Germany to this day.

Just Interesting!

We have an email address of CarrothersClan@gmail.com.  You are always welcome to send questions or opinions, but we are always looking for people who have done any family history, and are willing to help someone else.  We are on facebook at Carruthers Carrothers.

There are two of us who have started this, my name is Pat, and the other Carrothers is also Pat.  So , it does not matter who you address your opinions to, they will be handled by Pat!

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