A minor Border reiving family, the Carruthers’ name appears to have originated in Dumfriesshire, relating to the ancient British fort of Caer Rydderch (also spelled Rythyr). In the 13th century, the Carrutherses rose to become stewards of Annandale under Clan Bruce. Two main branches of the Carruthers Clan existed in the Mouswald line (based near Carrutherstown, north of the Solway Firth), and the Howmains line (situated just to the west of the Mouswalds). The Mouswald Carruthers came to an end with Sir Simon Carruthers, 10th of Mouswald, who was killed in 1548 during a border raid; his daughters being then placed under the guardianship of the Clan Douglas. The Howmains Carruthers, however, continued to prosper, and in 1542 their lands were erected into a free barony. In 1587, the Clan Carruthers was included on the roll of “unruly clans” in the West Marches. ‘Howmains!’ was the war cry of this reiving family.
The Carruthers Clan’s heraldic symbol is a seraphim (or angel), and their motto is Promptus et fidelis (‘Ready and faithful’).