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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.

From the Dictionary of National Biography...

CARRUTHERS, ANDREW (1770 –1852), Scotch catholic prelate, was born at Glenmillan, near New Abbey in the stewartry of Kirkcudbright, on 7 Feb. 1770. He studied for six years in the Scotch college at Douay, whence he returned to Scotland on the out-break of the French revolution. After a sbort time spent in superintending the studies at the seminary of Scalan, he was sent to complete his theology at Aberdeen under the direction of the Rev. John Farquharson, late principal of the Scotch college at Douay, and he was advanced to the priesthood in 1795. He was stationed first at Balloch, near Drummond Castle, in Perthshire, then at Traquair in Peeblesshire, and afterwards at Munches and at Dalbeattie in his native county. In 1832 he was made vicar-apostolic of the eastern district of Scotland, and consecrated at Edinburgh as bishop of Ceramis, in partibus infidelium, on 13 Jan. 1833. He died at Dundee on 24 May 1852.

[Gordon's Catholic Church in Scotland, 474, with portrait; Catholic Directory (1885), 61; Dick's Reasons for embracing the Catholic Faith (1848).]

CARRUTHERS, JAMES (1759–1832), historian, brother of Bishop Andrew Carruthers [q. v.], was a native of New Abbey in the stewartry of Kirkcudbright. He was educated in the Scotch college at Douay, and on his return to Scotland was ordained priest and appointed to the extensive charge of Glenlivet. Afterwards he was stationed successively at Buchan in Aberdeenshire, at Presholme in the Enzie, at Dumfries, and at New Abbey, where he died on 14 Feb. 1832. He wrote: 1. ‘The History of Scotland from the earliest period of the Scottish Monarchy to the Accession of the Stewart Family, interspersed with Synoptical Reviews of Politics, Literature, and Religion throughout the World,’ 2 vols., Edinburgh, 1826, 8vo. 2. ‘The History of Scotland during the reign of Queen Mary until the accession of her son James to the crown of England,’ Edinburgh, 1831, 8vo.

[Catholic Magazine and Review (Birmingham, 1832), ii. 379; Edinburgh Catholic Magazine (1832–3), i. 24; Gordon's Catholic Church in Scotland, 533.]

CARRUTHERS, ROBERT (1799–1878), miscellaneous writer, born at Dumfries 5 Nov. 1799, was the son of a small farmer in the parish of Mousewald. He received only a scanty education, and was early apprenticed to a bookseller in Dumfries. He showed, however, a taste for literature, which procured him the regard of McDiarmid, the well-known editor of the ‘Dumfries Courier.’ His apprenticeship over, he removed to Huntingdon as master of the national school, and there he wrote and published what remains the only ‘History of Huntingdon’ (1824), for which the corporation of the borough placed its records at his disposal. In 1827 appeared anonymously his selections from Milton's prose works, ‘The Poetry of Milton's Prose.’ In 1828, on the recommendation of McDiarmid, he was appointed editor of the ‘Inverness Courier,’ which he made the most popular journal in the north of Scotland by the attention which he gave in it, not only to the material interests of the highlands, but to their antiquities and social history. In 1831 he became the proprietor of the ‘Courier,’ which he conducted on moderate liberal principles. In 1843 he published selections from his contributions to it, ‘The Highland Note-book, or Sketches and Anecdotes.’ In its columns appeared the ‘Letters on the Fisheries,’ the work which first made Hugh Miller known, and Carruthers otherwise befriended Miller. In 1851 appeared in the ‘National Illustrated Library’ his edition of Boswell's ‘Journal of a Tour in the Hebrides,’ with useful notes upon the places and persons mentioned. In the ‘National Illustrated Library’ also appeared in 1853 Carruthers's edition of ‘The Poetical Works of Alexander Pope,’ in four volumes, the first of which contained a memoir of Pope, with extracts from his correspondence. The memoir, much enlarged and partly rewritten, was published in 1857, in Bohn's ‘Illustrated Library,’ as ‘The Life of Alexander Pope, with Extracts from his Correspondence,’ and in the same library appeared in 1858 a revised edition of the ‘Poems.’ Carruthers is best known as editor and biographer of Pope. To the variorum notes in the edition of the ‘Poems’ he added many of his own, with some of George Steevens and Wilkes not previously printed. Even the first edition of the ‘Life’ was fuller than any previous one, and was enriched by interesting extracts from Pope's correspondence with Teresa and Martha Blount preserved at Mapledurham, which Carruthers had been permitted to examine, a privilege enjoyed by no other person then living. A second examination of this correspondence and the publication in the interval of some of the results of Mr. Dilke's researches into Pope's biography enabled him to correct in the edition of 1857 grave errors of his own and of others.

In 1843–4 was issued the Messrs. Chambers's ‘Cyclopædia of English Literature,’ in which most of the original matter was written by Carruthers, co-operating with Robert Chambers; the third edition, 1876, was ‘originally edited by Robert Chambers, revised by Robert Carruthers.’ For the same publishers he edited, nominally in conjunction with William Chambers, their Bowdlerised ‘Household Edition’ of Shakespeare, 1861–3. To the third edition of Robert Chambers's ‘Life of Sir Walter Scott,’ 1871, Carruthers furnished an appendix of interesting ‘Abbotsford Notanda, or Sir Walter Scott and his Factor,’ containing letters and reminiscences of Scott from the correspondence and papers of William Laidlaw, Scott's factor and amanuensis at Abbotsford, reprinted from ‘Chambers's Journal’ and the ‘Gentleman's Magazine.’ Carruthers was also a contributor to the ‘North British Review,’ and wrote for the eighth edition of the ‘Encyclopædia Britannica’ a number of biographies, among them those of Queen Elizabeth, William Penn, Lord Jeffrey, and the Ettrick Shepherd. He wrote the memoir of Falconer prefixed to the ‘Shipwreck’ (1858 and 1868), and of James Montgomery (1860) and Gray (1876) prefixed to editions of their poems. He delivered several series of lectures before the Edinburgh Philosophical Institution. In April 1871 he received the degree of LL.D. from the university of Edinburgh, and in the November of the same year he was entertained at a public banquet, when he was presented with a portrait and bust of himself.

Carruthers was the friend or correspondent of several of his eminent contemporaries. Rogers furnished him with some material for his edition of Pope, and Macaulay asked for and received from him on highland matters information which was duly acknowledged in the ‘History.’ When Thackeray visited Inverness to lecture on the Four Georges, the acquaintance which he made with Carruthers, who is said to have resembled him in face, ripened into considerable intimacy. Carruthers died at Inverness on 26 May 1878, busy to the last with the newspaper which he had edited for more than half a century. His fellow-townsmen honoured him with a public funeral.

[Carruthers's writings; obituary notices in the Inverness Courier of 30 May and in the Scotsman of 28 May 1878.]

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