Carruthers is a placeneme in Dumfriesshire which is said to derive from the Brittonic word "caer" meaning "fort" (as in Caerlaverock castle, not far away) and the personal name Ruther (originally Rhythr or Rydderch). It has been suggested that this comes from King Roderc mentioned by St Adamnan. Locally, the name was pronounced "Cridders".
In the 13th century, the family rose to be the hereditary stewards of Annandale under the Bruces. Nigel de Karruthers became Rector at nearby Ruthwell (see Ruthwell Cross ) and rose to become Canon of Glasgow Cathedral in 1351 and was chancellor to Robert, Steward of Scotland (progenitor of the Stewart monarchs).
A John Carruthers was keeper of Lochmaben Castle (pictured here) in 1446. This castle was at one time owned by the Bruces and may be where Robert the Bruce was born.
In the 16th century, the Carruthers were included in the list of unruly clans in the West Marches in 1587 by King James VI. Lands were acquired in Mouswald but this line ended when Simon Carruthers was killed in a border raid and the lands passed to the Douglases of Drumlanrig with the marriage of the Carruthers heiress.
The Carruthers of Howmains continued however, until the estate was lost in 1772 when financial disaster struck. But a younger son of the last laird acquired the estate of Dormont in Dumfriesshire which is still held by his descendants.
The surname is now mainly found in Glasgow and Edinburgh. Carruthers is a member of the Armigerous Clans and Families of Scotland ie it has a recognised coat of arms.
The Carruthers clan motto is "Promptus et fidelis" which means "Ready and faithful".
Return to Index of Clans/Family Histories.
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