Carruthers history, Uncategorized

Suicide by the Mouswald Heiress

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Promptus Et Fidelis

 

Suicide by the Mouswald Heiress

 

Simon Carruthers, 10th Laird and 5th Baron Mouswald , seems to have been killed in July 1548, in a fight with the thieves dwelling in the Debatable Lands, for it is recorded that the thieves of the Scottish West March with the assistance of English thieves had slain the principal barons nearest adjacent to the Marches, including Lord Carlisle and the Lairds of Mouswald , Kirkmichael, Kirkconnell and Logan in Annandale and many other landed men.  Simon, only age 31 at his death, died without leaving male issue. On August 13 of the same year,Queen Mary, granted to Sir James Douglas of Drumlanrig  the ward and marriage of Janet and Marion, the two daughters of the deceased Simon Carruthers.

Upon the sudden death of Simon, a lawsuit ensued between Sir James Douglas and the heir according to the entail  of the Charter of December 27, 1544,John Carruthers, Simon’s eldest brother. In this law suit Sir James was successful by bargaining for a sum of money with the heir; the entail was set aside and the two daughters of Simon became co-heiresses.

The story of the Carruthers family of Mouswald now commenced to close rapidly. Following on Simon’s death Robert, Lord Maxwell, seems to have occupied the house, probably as it was desirable to have the place in strong hands in such unpropitious times.  But, Sir James Douglas, having secured the ward and marriage of the two heiresses, obtained an order from the Lords of the Secret Council on April 20, 1550, relieving Lord Maxwell of his charge and commanding him to deliver it to Sir James Douglas during the time of ward. The ruined tower at Mouswald

The late Simon Carruthers does not appear to have made up his title to certain of his lands, for on January 19, 1558, Janet Carruthers expede a retour in the Burgh Court of Edinburgh before the Stewards of Annandale as the elder granddaughter of Simon Carruthers of Mouswald who died in April, 1531, vested in the lands of Cumlonganwood, Dunnabie, Kirtlehouse and Carruthers.  Cumonganwood was held from Charles Murray of Cockpool for a red rose yearly;  Dunnabie and Kirtlehouse from James, Earl of Bothwell, for a penny yearly;  and Carruthers from the same Earl for ward and relief.

Sir James Douglas seems to have kept a tight hand on the two young girls, for on March 21, 1558, Charles Murray of Cockpool, Archibald Murray and Cuthbert Murray, their uncles, obtained letters from the Lords of Council commanding Sir James to produce Janet and Marion, who were stated to be “now past tuttorie and  14 years of age complete”, before the Lords of Council at Edinburgh, as he would not permit them liberty to visit their friends.

In the year 1560,Janet Carruthers was married to Thomas Rorison of Bardannoch.  This marriage was soon turned to his advantage by Sir James Douglas, for he persuaded the Lady of Bardannoch to make over to him her half of the Barony of Mouswald for the services he had rendered to her.  The Contract which was dated March 14, 1560, proceeds on the lines that the lairdship of Mouswald lay in a very troublous country, and that there was little profit to be gained from the lands; that Sir James had got the entail to the Charter of December 27, 1544, set aside in favour of the two daughters at his own expense, and had made great payments in satisfying the late John Carruthers, the heir according to the entail, to the extent of £2,000Scots, of which Janet’s part was £1,000 Scots; that he had paid on her behalf whilst she was his ward £1,000 Scots and had sustained her in . . . “meit, drink and cleithing and other necessars” . . .; that he had found her a husband in Thomas Rorison of Bardannoch; that he would obtain her an infeftment in conjunct fee in the £5 land of old extent of “Drumragane with the pertinents by and in the parochine of Glencairn ” and pay her dowry of 1,000 merks to her husband and also sustain them and their servants for the space of two years.  One cannot help feeling that Sir James obtained far more than he gave, for the Mouswald estates were extensive, and though they undoubtedly lay in an exposed place, having regards to Border raids and warfare, yet they were valuable as is evidenced by the payments made to the Exchequer when Janet entered into her half-share of the baronial lands in June, 1561.  A Precept for a Charter of Confirmation of a Charter of Alienation (dated July 16, 1562), by Janet Carruthers, with consent of her husband, Thomas Rorison of Bardannoch, to Sir James Douglas of Drumlanrig, was obtained on January 8, 1562/3.  Thus Sir James obtained for himself and his heirs Janet’s half of the Mouswald estates.

It is interesting here to note the extensive possessions of the Mouswald family in the middle of the Sixteenth Century. The Estates comprised: £20 land of old extent of Mouswald, Howthwaite, and Hetlandhill, with tower, fortalice, mill and advowson of the church of Mouswald; £20 land of old extent of Logan-tenement, with mill;  £10 land of old extent of “Dronok “, with fisheries; 40/- land of old extent of Cummertries; 1-merk land of Stenries; £20 land of Pennersaughs, with advowson of the church; 10-merk land of old extent of Middlebie, with advowson of the church; 5-merk land of old extent of Westscales; 2-merk land of old extent in Hoddam; 1-merk land of old extent in the Holms of Annan called Blaeberrylands ; ½-merk land of Westwood, with tenants, etc., and the 20/- land of Rafflegill.  These lands were held directly from the Sovereign. In addition there were the lands of Cumlonganwood, Dunnabie, Kirtlehouse and the most ancient holding of all, Carruthers, the first-named held from the Murrays of Cockpool and the three latter from the Earls of Bothwell. There were also other lands, e.g. the 6-merk land of old extent of the lands of Trailflat.

Having disposed of Janet Carruthers to his advantage, Sir James now turned his attention to the younger daughter, Marion.  She seems to have had a stronger spirit and to have been less pliable than her elder sister, for she made a  valiant fight for her half of her ancestral estates.  On January 28, 1563, Marion and her uncle, Charles Murray, appeared before Queen Mary and the Lords of Secret Council, and sought permission for her to consult her friends in Edinburgh regarding the things required of her by the Council. The permission was granted and Charles Murray bound himself to present Marion before the Council again on January 30 next, undertaking that she should not get married or dispose of her lands in the meantime.  It is obvious that the ” thing” required of Marion was that she should marry the husband whom Sir James Douglas had found for her. It appears that Charles Murray, in order to protect Marion, had obtained letters requiring Sir James again to produce the two daughters of the deceased Simon Carruthers. He produced Marion, placing her under the Chancellor’s care, and declared that as Janet was only bound to her husband he could not produce her.  The following day, January 29, the whole of the proceedings against Sir James were suspended, when a letter from the Queen was produced requiring the Lords to abandon the action.  On the same day letters of restraint were raised by Sir James and therein is related that he had offered her a suitable husband whom she had absolutely refused;  further, that she intended to marry whom she pleased and also to dispose of her lands and goods.

Marion appears to have made up her mind not to marry the husband provided for her. Possibly she was in love with someone else, but the records do not explicitly tell of this. Sir James himself went to see her on the next day (January 30) and offered her in marriage to John, son and heir of James McMath of Dalpeddar, and required her to “compleit the said band of matrimonye with the said Johne McMath as effeirit oweir in the Kirk of Borthick, whare … that sche was ordainit be the counsale to remove for the tyme or into any place where sche plesit upon the first day of Merche next to cum thaireftir, or uthir convenient day sche plesit to appoint and gif sche failzeit he protestit for the double avail of hir mariage while the said Marioun refusit to do, and declarit that sche wald not be at the said James’ byddin”.

Two days later (February 1, 1563), Marion left Edinburgh and went to reside for a period of 40 days with the family of her kinsman, John, Lord Borthwick.  But, before being allowed to depart, both she an Lord Borthwick had to bind themselves under a penalty of  £2,000 that Marion would remain with him and not depart to Annandale or any other place and that after the period of forty days she should not depart until notice had been given thereof to the Queen and Council by Lord Borthwick.

At the end of the forty days, Marion seems to have been able to return to Annandale, for on March 13, 1563, she expede a retour at the Court of Lochmaben making up her part of the Barony of Mouswald as second daughter and one of the two heiresses of the late Simon Carruthers.  It is interesting to note from this record that Marion was 21 years of age on the feast of Saint Andrew last, which gives her date birth as November 30, 1541.

In September Marion was evidently still as determined as ever not to marry the man chosen for her by her guardian for, on September 13, 1563, Thomas Borthwick of Pryncards and Michael Borthwick of Glengelt, became sureties, jointly and severally, for Marion Carruthers that she should not marry a traitor or other “Brokkin Man” of the country, nor join herself with any such person under a penalty of £1,000.

Presumably in an endeavour to safeguard her estates, Marion attempted to dispose of her lands to her uncle, Charles Murray of Cockpool,and a Charter of Confirmation was granted by the Queen on June 24, 1564.  The lands mentioned are incomplete and others are different from those appearing in the charter of 1562granted to Sir James Douglas so it seems that the list of the lands comprising her portion of the barony had been compiled from memory. Obviously, Sir James could not let this pass unchallenged and he immediately obtained Letters of Inhibition (February 16, 1565) contending that Marion could not legally dispose of her heritage without his consent in view of the gift of ward and marriage which had been obtained by him.

The struggle still continued, but evidently Marion was beginning to realize that the case was hopeless as the law was against her. Whether in despair she committed suicide, or whether she was murdered, it is difficult to state.  Either way, she fell from the top of the tower of Comlongan Castle.  On October 17, 1570, King James VI granted an escheat in favour of Sir Wllliam Douglas of Hawick. The deed narrates that the lands of Mouswald had fallen into the hands of the Crown through “the said Marioun Carrutheris willfull slaying of hirself in leiping ovir the wall of the Castell touer and fortalice of Cullyngane, upon the twenty-five day of September last bipast, and thairthrow wilfullie breaking hir awin craig and banis where of sche deit”.   The above record states that she committed suicide, but the traditions of the surrounding district assert that she was murdered, for she was found dead with strong suspicions of foul play. It also seems difficult to understand why she should take her life while residing with her uncle who, throughout her struggles to preserve her inheritance and her right to choose a husband, had so befriended her. Comlongon Castle, Scotland.jpgComlongon Castle, Scotland

During the thirty years since Simon Carruthers’s death, all had been confusion at Mouswald. This is pointed out by Lord Herries, in his report on the West March in the year 1578-9, who advised that since there was no capable defender of Mouswald, it should be taken possession of by some laird.

On March 8, 1588, the history of the Carruthers family of Mouswald comes to an end, for on that date Sir James Douglas resigned all the lands of Carruthers, Mouswald and Logan-tenement into the hands of King James VI for infeftment to himself and his heirs male.  Following upon this, on March 18, 1588, came a charter of resignation and an erection of Logan-tenement into the Barony of Drumlanrig, and upon which sasine was given on April 11, 1589.

On September 1, 1613, King James VI granted a charter to William Douglas, son and heir of James Douglas of Drumlanrig, of Marion’s half of the Mouswald estates.  This William was destined to be the 1st Earl of Queensberry.  It is interesting to note just how extensive the Carruthers holdings of Mouswald were.  Drumlanrig did not become a barony until Janet’s half of Mouswald was given to them.  And Marion’s half of Mouswald helped William Douglas to become the 1st Earl of Queensberry.  The Douglas family holdings of Queensberry were raised to the title of Marquess in 1682, but by 1684 when Queensberry became a Dukedom, the title was with the Scott family.

Source:  Records of the Carruthers Family, by A. Stanley Carruthers and R. C. Reid

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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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Scotland History, Uncategorized

Women of the Border Reivers

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Reivers_raid_on_Gilnockie_Tower

Hidden History – Women of the Border Reivers

by Blythe Gifford

Most of us nod wisely and cluck our tongues about the paucity of information about women in history  Unknown, unsung, unreported, it is always a challenge to discover enough about how real women lived to spin an authentic historical tale.

But I had no idea how true this was until I started writing in the era of the Border Reivers.

For those who don’t know, the Reivers (pronounced Reevers) were basically raiders on both sides of the Scottish/English border.  Loyal to family above king, these folks had feuds that rivaled the famous Hatfields and McCoys  They were beyond the law of either government, and usually even beyond the reach of the special Border Laws that were developed in a joint English-Scottish effort to bring order from the chaos.  For nearly 300 years (roughly 1300-1600), they “made a living” by stealing from others, or, alternately, by collecting “blackmail” from those who wanted to be left alone.

My new historical romance trilogy features the three siblings of a reiving family I call the Brunson clan.  I started to research the lives of women of the era, but information was so scarce about this macho society that I could barely find any information about how they dressed, though there are pictures aplenty of what the men donned to ride a raid.

The first story a researcher always finds about the women of the Borders is this:  When the larder ran low, the woman of the house would bring her man a set of spurs instead of supper.  That meant it was time for him to go “riding” again.

The second thing I found was a prevailing opinion (from the English side of the border, to be fair) that Scottish women were “comely,” but “not distinguished by their chastity.”

Hints, but not much to go on.

Beyond stealing sheep and cattle, there was arson and even murder aplenty on the Borders, and many women were left widowed and orphaned.  Later written histories claim that even women and children were not safe from atrocities during these raids.  Yet there’s a tension in the stories of this culture between the ones that claim Reivers honored women and preferred not to kill and the ones that label them vicious and cruel and ruthless.

Modern litanies of the Reivers’ sins typically list rape among them.  In actual historic accounts, however, I was unable to find a specific report of one in the history.  (I am not alone in this.  The book Government, religion, and society in northern England, 1000-1700 mentions the “notable absence” of rape from the list of transgressions.)

Is this because it did not happen, or because women did not make it public?  The answer, as so much of women’s history, is hidden.  Yet there was a law passed by the Scottish Parliament in 1525 which gave the king’s officers the right to punish “particular faults and crimes that occur.”  On the list was “ravishing of women.”  A tantalizing clue.

Yet amidst the harsh reality, I discovered softness and beauty.  This was not a society that had leisure for art and culture, but the Border Ballads, rediscovered and popularized by Sir Walter Scott at the turn of the 19th century, remain hauntingly beautiful today.

In his book FOLK SONG IN ENGLAND, A.L. Lloyd writes of the border dwellers that “they prized a poem almost as much as plunder.”  The narrative songs they created tell rip-roaring stories of war and love, like the one that begins:

My love he built me a bonny bower,

And clad it a’ wi’ lilye flour;

A brawer bower ye ne’er did see,

Than my true love he built for me.



Alas, the title of the ballad is “The Lament of the Border Widow,” and the final verse goes like this:

Nae living man I’ll love again,

Since that my lovely knight is slain;

Wi’ ae lock of his yellow hair

I’ll chain my heart for evermair.



So where is a romance writer to find a happy ending?  Well, it turns out that love conquered all during the era of the Reivers, just as it always has.

It seems that there was a law forbidding marriage across the border (upon penalty of death) unless one had special permission.  This was intended to make it easier for the kings to keep control of the population by preventing marriage/family ties that might dilute national allegiance.

Despite the best efforts, not only did such marriages occur, they were a near epidemic, to the extent that in some regions, the list of those that did NOT have cross border marriages was shorter than the list of those that did.

So in the end, I had a head full of ideas for my trilogy, confident that no matter how difficult the existence or strict the prohibition, men and women fall in love and get married.  There was all the validation I needed to write Border Reiver romance.

What do you most wonder about the lives of women in history?  Leave a comment and one lucky person will win a copy of RETURN OF THE BORDER WARRIOR, first book in The Brunson Clan trilogy.  Here’s a brief description:


WORD IN THE ROYAL COURT HAS SPREAD THAT THE WILD SCOTTISH BORDERS ARE TOO UNRULY. UPON THE KING’S COMMAND, JOHN BRUNSON MUST RETURN HOME…

Once part of a powerful border clan, John has not set sight on the Brunson stone tower in years. With failure never an option, he must persuade his family to honour the King’s call for peace.

To succeed, John knows winning over the daughter of an allied family, Cate Gilnock, holds the key. But this intriguing beauty is beyond the powers of flattery and seduction. Instead, the painful vulnerability hidden behind her spirited eyes calls out to John as he is inexorably drawn back into the warrior Brunson clan…

 

NEWCOA Wider Red Band

 

Scotland History, Uncategorized

Magic And Mystery On The Trail Of Merlin In South West Scotland

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Magic And Mystery On The Trail Of Merlin In South West Scotland

Magic And Mystery On The Trail Of Merlin In South West Scotland

A MAJOR new trail uncovering the true story of Merlin and his ties to the south of Scotland has been unveiled today (March 20th) in Dumfries and Galloway.

 

The legend of Merlin the wizard is known the world over by the newly launched Merlin Trail explores the true story of a real man who lived during the Dark Ages in southern Scotland.

 

Made up of four weekend sections which can be walked or driven, the trails each have different themes covering more than 30 sites across Dumfries & Galloway and the Scottish Borders, and stretching to East Lothian and the Central Belt.

 

To support the trail, a new website www.merlintrail.com provides information on each location and signposts visitors to other attractions and areas of interest in the local region.

 

The route has been developed by the Arthur Trail Association to encourage visitors to learn more about the story of the real man behind the legend. Merlin was a man of learning and one of the last great Druids of Dark Age Scotland whose story was later embellished and became known the world over as part of the legend of Arthur.

 

The launch of the trail coincides with the opening of a new permanent exhibition at Moffat Museum, which will offer insights into how people lived during a little-known but dramatic and dynamic period.

 

VisitScotland Regional Leadership Director Paula Ward, said: “Scotland’s history and culture is one of the top reasons for visiting Scotland. The creation of a new Merlin Trail across the south of Scotland offers visitors the opportunity to delve into the past and discover more about the real man behind the legend of Merlin, at the same time as enjoy the great outdoors and the magnificent scenery on offer in the region.
“The information boards, informative walks and website make it easy for visitors to include part of the Merlin Trail on their holiday or short break to Dumfries & Galloway, as well as recognising the growing interest in Scotland’s history and heritage.
“Scotland’s reputation as a quality destination relies on continued investment and innovation to ensure that current provision meets future demand. The opening of this new trail demonstrates a real commitment to further enhancing our region’s tourism offering and attracting more visitors to the area.”

 

Robin Crichton of the Arthur Trail Association said: “We have designed this Merlin Trail so that visitors take on the role of detective, discovering a little-known period of cultural and historical heritage.
 
“Born in the 6th century, of royal blood, Merlin’s place in society was ordained until he lost everything and was forced to go on the run. He survived as an outlaw, hiding in a cave shelter at Hartfell near Moffat for over a decade.
 
“I hope the worldwide fascination with Merlin will inspire a significant increase in visitors to this magical part of Scotland with its unique cultural heritage.”
Carruthers history, Scotland History, Uncategorized

Lady Devorgilla in Stone

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At Whitesands along the River Night which runs through Dumfries.

ladyDevongilia

Walking on from the kinetic hangings and the curved railings beyond the Devorgilla Bridge, we come to Matt Baker’s granite sculpture of Lady Devorgilla. Many people must walk past without realizing a sculpture is on the river side of the wall beside a flight of steps. She is set into the sandstone wall, looking across the river. The figure was inspired by Lady Devorgilla Baillol who reputedly had the first wooden bridge across the bridge built in the thirteenth century.

 

She was the daughter of Alan, Lord of Galloway and married John Balliol when she was only 13. In her own right she was a wealthy and powerful woman. Although her husband founded Balliol College, Oxford (for poor scholars) she made a permanent endowment to the college to secure its future. She also founded Greyfriars Monastery in Dumfries. On the death of her husband she established a Cistercian Monastery at New Abbey, a few miles from Dumfries. She had his heart embalmed and carried it with her in an ivory casket. When she died she was buried at the abbey church she had founded, with her husband’s heart beside her. Is this a romantic tale, or is carrying your dead husband’s heart around a bit weird? The monks clearly decided on romantic, calling the abbey Dulce Cor, meaning sweet heart.

LadyDstatue

Now, carved in granite from salvaged harbour kerbs, Devorgilla stands gazing serenely across the caul. When the River Nith floods, which it does frequently, the sculpture is partially submerged and becomes part of the river in a powerful way.

 

Originally, a second part of Matt Baker’s installation was situated on the other side of the river. It was a translucent etching of a woman about to cross the river, laminated in glass with an oak frame. She was there for nine years before being destroyed, in 2007, by spring floods.

 

The Picts, Uncategorized
Ancient and Honorable Carruthers Clan Society Int LLC
Clan Carruthers Int LLC

 

 

“The Mystical Picts of Ancient Scotland”

 

 

Of all the mysteries in Ancient Scotland none are more mystical than the Pictish Runes and Engravings on the countless Standing Stones in the North East of Scotland. Did the Picts in prehistoric times for-tell the passing of Planet Nibiru every 3600 years by using the mythical “Black Mirror?”

blackmirrorsMadame Blavatsky describes how, whilst attempting to retrieve their stolen goods, the ‘Koodian’ (sorcerer) produced, from its case, a mirror of the kind known as ‘Persian Mirrors’.

It is on the Pictish engravings you see the ‘Black Mirror’, and the case in which it was kept.

These ‘Magic Mirrors’ which were generally black in colour were prepared in the Province of Agra in India, but also came from China and Tibet. They are also found in Ancient Egypt and it is said the ancestors of the Quichés brought them to Mexico.

The last mention we have is the Inca – when Pizarro demanded a room full of gold for the release of his captive, the Queen consulted the ‘Oracles’. During the consultation the Chief-Priest showed her, in the consecrated ‘Black Mirror’, the unavoidable murder of her husband.

thentheyvanishedThen they vanished, never to be seen or used again – what happened to these mystical artifacts from the Ancient World?

The Picts obviously had the use of these ‘Mirrors’ precisely why they portrayed them on their ‘Sacred Standing Stones’ – but what about the ‘Tuning Fork’ – (the name academics give to what looks like a ‘tuning fork’)

This object would have been quite large and struck on a hard surface giving off a loud sound. The accompanying vibrations would have raised the vibrations of the ‘Seer’ – the one who was using the ‘Mirror’ – similar to the Tibetan gongs and bells, or alternatively the repeating of a ‘mantra’.

onmanyengravingsOn many engravings is a large globe with two small circles, one on each side. This could well be a simple ‘Quaig’ (a bowl) — but why would this be so important as to be recorded for future generations to see on so many different stones?

Is the large globe the Sun with the Earth on one side and Nibiru on the other?

onthisstoneOn this stone in the center are 12 globes, these are the twelve planets in our solar system, including Nibiru – the 12th Planet.

On the bottom left corner panel is the Sun with Planet Earth and Nibiru on it’s journey through our Solar System.

And on the right side?

Lost City

This is a Lost City discovered off the coast of Cuba.

 

The city plan looking very similar to the to the lay-out on the Pictish Standing Stone.

The Picts had direct contact with the Atlantean Civilisation precisley why they came to possess these “Magic Mirrors”. Atlantis was not just a city — it was civilisation encompassing the entire planet — they were the Fourth Root Race — the Legendary “Super-Race”.

The mystery of the Pictish engravings has never been solved and it is only when our minds are opened to an alternative way of thinking will we be able to understand “Why” the Ancients took so much time and energy to leave us with such mysteries?

 

Thank you Jim Davidson

Ancient and Honorable Carruthers Clan Society Int LLC

Clan Carruthers Int LLC

 

carrothersclan@gmail.com

 

Northern Ireland - Carruthersland, Uncategorized

Vanishing Lake Loughareema

 

Ancient and Honorable Carruthers Clan Society International LLC

Clan Carruthers LLC

Unusual Lake Loughareema That Vanishes And Re-Appears In Northern Ireland

 

Located a few miles from the town of Ballycastle in Northern Ireland, Lake Loughareema (Loch an Rith Amach) is unusual because it sometimes vanishes and then later re-appears.

To get a good view of the vanishing lake you have to be there at just the right moment. Lake Loughareema’s sudden disappearance has resulted in a number of legends trying to explain its odd behavior, but there is a scientific explanation why the lake is sometimes visible and not.

The reason why the lake sporadically appears and disappears has to do with the area’s rock structure.

The vanishing lake sits on a leaky chalk-bed, a topographical feature called the ‘chalk ‘plug hole’. Occasionally, the  hole gets jammed with peat, causing the depression to fill with water, which is when the lake is visible to all.

lakeloughareema2

When the plug clears, all the water in the lake drains underground at a rapid rate, and when someone passes the place he or she could not even suspect there is a lake at the site because the lake is almost completely devoid of water. All that is left is a small stream and lots of mud.

Many years ago this place was dangerous. The road to Ballycastle runs right through the lake, and at one point it used to be extremely unsafe to cross, flooded for weeks on end.

To deal with the problem, a modern road was built but at an elevation as high as maximum water level, to avoid flooding. A stone wall has also been erected on either side of the road.

lakeloughareema3

This is what it looks like when the lake is gone.

In 1898, Colonel John Magee McNeille, was rushing to catch a train from Ballycastle. He was in such a hurry that he misjudged the depth of the lake’s waters and he along with his coachman and horses drowned.

Today there is still a local legend alive. It warns visitors that on nights when the lake is full, a phantom coach and its passengers haunt the lake shores to this very day.