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The Scottish Nation

CARRUTHERS, a surname derived from an ancient parish of the same name in Dumfries-shire, which with Penersax was united to Middlebie in 1609, and they now form one parish, under the latter name. On a height above the site of the ancient hamlet of Carruthers stood a British fortlet whence came the name Caer-rhythyr, ‘the fort of the assault.’ The lands of Penersax (written also Penesax and Pennisax, vulgarized into Penersaughs,) belonged in the fifteenth century to Kilpatrick of Dalgarnock, but passed, in 1499, to Carruthers of Mousewald, and in the reign of James the Sixth were acquired by the Douglases of Drumlanrig, the ancestors of the dukes of Queensberry. A statue of Sir Simon Carruthers of Mousewald, who married a daughter of that ducal house, lies in the aisle of the parish church of Mousewald (originally Moswald, ‘the wood near the moss’), its head pillowed, its feet on a lion, and its hands in the elevated posture of supplication; but it has neither date nor inscription. In ‘Pitcairn’s Criminal Trials,’ (vol. i. part I,) under date, September 13, 1563, a bond is quoted as recorded in the Caution Book (Liber Plegiacionis,) whereby Marion Carruthers, an heiress of Mousewald, finds caution not to marry any chief traitor or other ‘broken’ man. One William Carruthers in Clonhede, was, January 26, 1508-9, convicted of transporting cattle to England (taken from the laired of Newby), and of art and part of the slaughter at the same time of Robert Hood and of an infant of two years old, as well as of the burning of the place and mill of Newby, in company with Andrew Johnston ‘and the traitors of Leven,’ and was sentenced to be drawn and hanged, and all his goods forfeited. The crime of sending, or ‘treasonably outputting,’ as it was called, of cattle to England, was, in those days, always visited with the severest punishments, as during the wars between the two countries, frequent famines took place in Scotland; and the constant force maintained on the borders led to the necessity of bringing cattle from, rather than sending them to, the English counties. On May 19, 1563, John Carruthers of Holmends (properly Holmains or Howmains), George and William his sons, Edward Irvine of Bonshaw, David Irvine of Robgill, and several others their accomplices, were indicted for hurting Kirkpatrick of Closeburn, and slaying several persons whose names were given; but the indictment appears to have been departed from. On 18th March 1618 John Carruthers of Rammerscales, and William Johnston, called of Lockerbie, were indicted for the slaughter of Christopher Wigholme (now Wigham or Whigham), burgess of Sanquhar, committed in June 1594, but the charge was not pressed against Carruthers. For the slaughter of John Carruthers of Dormont, one Habbie Rae in Mousewald and twenty-one others were put upon their trial, 3d February 1619; but the case was remitted to the circuit court at Dumfries, and the result is not recorded.

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