It is always a great privilege to be involved in any petition whether for a Chiefship or a title, be it a Baronetcy, a Peerage, an Earldom or a Dukedom. The sense of history is as palpable and ever-present as the weight of responsibility to do the case justice and ensure that future eyes will view your actions as worthy. These aren't mere deductions of ancestry and inter-relationships, after all, instead, they have consequence and bearing in matters that will endure long after we have shed our mortal coils. Best, then, that we do our best so that we are well remembered whenever they are spoken of long after we are gone.
In the matter of the Carruthers Chiefship, I was commissioned at the point at which an impasse had been reached and which pivoted on the matter of whether the Chiefship was restricted to heirs male or had opened up at any point to include heirs whatsoever. The evidence I was able to gather proved conclusively, and to Lord Lyon's satisfaction, that although there had been a limitation to heirs male, that had opened up to heirs whatsoever during the lifetime of John Carruthers of Holmains who succeeded in 1734, as is evinced in the abstracts of that evidence I made and submitted, for which see nos 5 & 6 below.
- NRS C22/59/unfoliated.
Retour of the service expede on 14 November 1723, of George Carruthers of Holmains as heir general to his father, the deceased John Carruthers of Holmains.
- NRS C22/61/93-96.
Retour of the service expede on 2 October 1729 confirming that the deceased George Carruthers of Holmains, father to John Carruthers, now of Holmains, died last vested in the lands and barony of Holmains which had been confirmed to him by charter under the Great Seal dated 30 May 1699 with Sasine following, and that the said George had died in the month of May 1727. The said John is confirmed as nearest legitimate heir to him in the lands and barony of Holmains.
- NRS C22/62/343r-344v.
Retour of the service expede on 3 April 1734 confirming that the deceased John Carruthers of Holmains, father of John Carruthers now of Holmains, died last vested and infeft in those lands and barony of Holmains which had been united into a free barony in favour of the deceased George Carruthers of Holmains by second charter of 30 May 1699. And that the said John Carruthers, now of Holmains, is the legitimate and nearest heir to the said deceased John Carruthers of Holmains, his father, who died in the month January last, in the lands and Barony of Holmains.
- NRS RS23/19/125v-127v.
Instrument of Sasine in favour of Charlotte, fourth lawful daughter of Sir Robert Lawrie of Maxwelltown, Baronet, and now spouse to John Carruthers of Holmains, who, in implementation of the terms of a contract of marriage between her and the said John Carruthers, and a precept of sasine, contained therein, dated at Dumfries, on 19 August 1762, she is infeft in a liferent of two thousand merks free without burdens to be uplifted at two terms annually, viz; Whitsunday and Martinmas by equal portions, payable from and secured upon those lands and that barony of Holmains as laid out in the charter to the deceased George Carruthers of Holmains dated 30 May 1699. With a provision that should the marriage dissolve by the death of the said John Carruthers during the lifetime of his mother, Mrs Rachael Douglas, who is also secured in a provision from those lands, the said provision of 2000 merks should be reduced to 1500. Sasine is taken by delivery of earth and stone and delivery of the keys of the parish church there in confirmation of patronage on 3 September 1762.
- NRS C2/103/1.
At Edinburgh, 24th February 1755.
Charter under the Great Seal in favour of John Carruthers of Holmains and his heirs and assignees heritably and irredeemably, of all and whole the lands of Barony of Holmains comprising the lands Holmains, Little Dalton, Dalton, Hook, Blackberryward also called Bengahill, and the island on the water of Annan; also, all and whole the lands of Kirkhill and Butterwhat with the mill of Little Dalton, and all parts and pendicles pertaining to the advowson with the patronage of the parish church of Ecclesfechan and also with the mill and the parts and pendicles pertaining thereto; also, all and whole the merklands of Kirkmuir of antique extent, in the parish of Cumbertrees, with the mill and parts and pendicles; All and whole the two merk, six shilling and eight penny lands of old extent in the parish of Ruthwell, called Ruthwell Town, the Slat Boat, Salt Floor and sea there; All and Whole the three merk lands of Kassells and Robywhat with the pertinents; All and Whole the forty shilling lands of Overdinbie with the mill, multures and parts and pendicles; All and Whole the three pound lands of Bengawhill, called Bengan and Copwood, with the mill, multures parts and pendicles; All and Whole the £10 lands of Newlands and Persbyhall, with the 2 merk lands of Crieff and the one merk lands of Glaisters with the mill, multures and parts and pendicles; All and Whole the lands of Over Warnbie commonly called Cleughheads with the pertinent; All and Whole the lands of Rammerscaills and Greenlands with the parts and pendicles; All and Whole the lands of Harthwat and the lands of Cochithill with the parts, perdicles and pertinent, lying in the barony of Lochmaben; All and Whole the lands of Meikle Dalton with the mill, multures, sequels and the patronage of the parish church of Meikle Dalton and the rectory there, lying in the parish there and stewartry of Annandale and sheriffdom of Dumfries; All and Whole the lands of Amigill, Halydayhill; All and Whole the lands of Murraywhat, Hennelland, Brydegill with the pertinents, lying in the parish of Dalton, with all and whole of the fishing rights there; All and whole the burgh of barony of Meikle Dalton with all privileges, all of which were incorporated and united into one free barony, called the Barony of Holmains, by a second charter in favour of the deceased George Carruthers of Holmains of the date 30th May 1699. Which lands now pertain in heritage to the said John Carruthers and which he resigned into the King’s hands on 29 January last for new infeftment in his favour which are now granted anew to him and his foresaids to have and to hold of the King in free blanch for the payment of one penny at Pentecost.
- NRS RS23/22/f.54r-54v
Instrument of Sasine in favour of John Carruthers of Holmains, armiger, and to his heirs and assignees whatsoever, (heredibus suis et assignatis quibuscunque), heritably and irredeemably, all and whole the lands and barony of Holmains (totas et integras terras et Baronian de Holmains), conforming to the second charter under the Great Seal in favour of the deceased George Carruthers of Holmains dated the 30th May 1699 and to that granted to the said John Carruthers of Holmains of date 24th February 1755. Sasine dated 29th March 1779 and registered at Dumfries, on 31st following.