THE HISTORICAL FAMILIES OF DUMFRIESSHIRE AND THE BORDER WARS. by C. L. JOHNSTONE. 2nd Ed. DUMFRIES: ANDERSON & SON. EDINBURGH AND GLASGOW: JOHN MENZIES & CO. LONDON: SIMPKIN, MARSHALL, & CO. ==================== Page 66-69 THE HISTORICAL FAMILIES The Carruthers family appear to have been in Dumfriesshire as far back as the Kirkpatricks, and are first found on the lands of Carruthers in the modern parish of Middlebie.
Thomas, son of Robert Carruthers, received a grant of Mouswald from Robert Bruce. Their estate stretched northward into the district of Wamphray, which they shared with the Laird of Johnstone, and they were made Barons of Mouswald in the 15tb century. Simon Carruthers and his wife, Catherine Carlile, had a charter of lands in Cummertrees in 1516, and their son Simon married Agnes, a daughter of Murray of Cockpool. Their grandson, Simon, married Marion Johnstone, and left two daughters, Janet and Marion.
The elder married Rorison of Barndennoch, and a curious bond relating to the younger daughter is dated Edinburgh, September 13, 1563-" The which day Thomas Borthick of Pryncade and Michael Borthick of Glengall became pledges and securities for Marion Carruthers, one of the two heiresses of Mouswald, that she shall not marry any chief traitor nor broken man (i. e., outlaw and adventurer not belonging to a clan) of the country, nor join herself with any such person under the pain of one thousand pounds."In 1426 Roger Carruthers, a son of the Laird of Mouswald, had a charter from DougIas, Lord of Galloway and Annandale, of Holimains, with Dalton and other lands; and his descendants branched off into the families of Holilmains, Wormanbie,and Dormont.
They owned estates bordering on Lockerbie, Lochmaben, Annan, and Kirkpatrick-Fleming; and when the town of Annan received a charter in 1538, they prevented the boundary of the burgh being defined where it joined their property, so that at some future time they might quietly annex it.
The Laird of Holmains, with 162 followers, was compelled to surrender to the English after the battle of Pinkie, in 1547, and was among those chiefs who were declared traitors by the Parliament of Scotland in 1548. This Laird John Carruthers was married to Blanche Murray of Cockpool, and one of their daughters married Gilbert Johnstone of Wamphray. Another (Marion) married John Johnstone of Newbie. A son of Carruthers was parson of Wamphray, which at that period was by no means the same as having taken holy orders; for one of the crimes against which John Knox preached most loudly was the alienation of the Church lands and tithes to secular purposes a practice carried to an extreme in Scotland before the Reformation. Even the Abbots were sometimes seculars.
There is an agreement, dated January, 1561, between Robert Johnstone, himself a lay parson of Lochmaben, and Margaret M'Clellan, the widow of his uncle, James Johnstone of Wamphray, to the effect that, " Forasmuch as the said Robert having obtained a lease of Sir James Carruthers, parson of Wamphray, of the whole parsonage and vicarage, tithes, fruits, and endowments pertaining to the said parsonage and vicarage, for the space of his lifetime, and the said Margaret having had the parsonage, vicarage, and endowments thereof from the said Sir James for his lifetime before the lease since made to the said Robert, which was wrongly and evil given against all law and good conscience, and in hurt and prejudice of the said Margaret's lease before expressed; therefore the said Robert gives up the letters of lease to the said Margaret to be used by her from henceforth." Signed by James Rigg, Mungo Carmichael, and the master of Maxwell. Margaret being unable to write her hand was guided by the notary.
John Carruthers of Holmains, married to Charlotte, daughter of Sir Robert Laurie of Maxwelton, was obliged to sell his family property in the last century in consequence of the series of calamities to which Dumfrieshire had been subjected, culminating in bank failures, spreading general ruin. His descendants died out in the male line, but the family is represented in the female by his great grandson, the Rev. William Mitchell Carruthers, eldest son of the late General St. Leger Mitchell, born 1853, incumbent of Brunswick Chapel, Mayfair; married, and has issue. In 1788, when the franchise was very limited, John Carruthers is described as having no longer a vote, and it is remarkable that all who were then stated in a secret memoir to have any fortune or sufficient estate to qualify them were in a profession or business, or had acquired wealth elsewhere than in Dumfriesshire. There were 52 voters, and persons were incapacitated who in the year preceding an election had been twice present at divine service where the officiating minister had not taken the oath to King George, nor prayed for the Royal family. ================ Page 48 Although some of the Carruthers family were faithful to the King, the Laird of Mouswald, their head, seems to have leagued with the Douglases. He was keeper of Lochmaben Castle, and the Auchinleck chronicler relates that in 1454 "the Lord of Johnstone's two sons took the Castle of Lochmaben from the Lord of Mouswald, called Carruthers, and his two sons, and all through treason of the porter; and since, the King gave them the keeping of the house to his profit." The King's adherents in Dumfriesshire-the Johnstones, Maxwells, Carruthers of Holmains, Crichton of Sanquhar, Cuthbert Murray of Cockpool, and Charteris of Amisfield-were rewarded with part of the confiscated estates of the Corries and Douglases, though it entailed long disputes with the relatives of the ancient possessors.
In 1516 we find James Johnstone of that ilk confirmed by a Royal Charter in the barony of Corrie, which had been held in the previous century by the Corrie family in conjunction with Newbie, Stapleton, and the parish of St. Patrick, now divided into Kirkpatrick-Fleming and Gretna, and which the Corries had obtained from the Carliles, while in 1494 John Murray had been returned heir to his father Cuthbert in the hereditary lands of Cockpool, Ryvel or Ruthwell, as well as of Rampatrick, or Redkirk, also part of the Corrie property.