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The Butterwhat estate (sometimes spelled Butterquhat), is one of the more minor farms, only a 30/- land, that had been in the Carruthers family.  It was occupied by several of the younger sons of Carruthers of Holmains.  Butterwhat was located due West of the Little Dalton Kirk and SouthEast of Holmains Cottage.  It is now part of the large farm named Kirkhill.

The first record of Carruthers at Butterwhat was when John Carruthers of Butterwhat was named in 1558 as a bailie in a precept.  It has not been definitively determined who this John Carruthers was, but he was surmised by A. Stanley Carruthers in his book Records of the Carruthers Family to have been a son of John Carruthers, 1st Baron Holmains, and his 2nd wife, Janet Jardine.  This makes sense when you look at the following facts:

  1. Holmains was the superior of Butterwhat and eventually absorbed that estate.
  2. John Carruthers, 1st Baron Holmains, chartered lands to several of his sons, e.g., Dormont to William in 1552, and Rammerscales to Simon in 1557.
  3. John Carruthers, 1st Baron Holmains, eldest son was named John, but he was killed in 1542 at the Battle of Solway Moss.  After Holmains' 1st wife, Blanche Murray, died in 1541, Holmains married Janet Jardine and named their 1st son John.  This son John was also the Parson of Little Dalton Kirk and was associated with David, the Earl of Crawford in 1581, when they set fire to the House of Ruthven to release Adam Creichton, who had been incarcerated there.

John Carruthers of Butterwhat was succeeded by his son George, who was dead by 1654, although survived by his wife Gelis Wilson.  Their son George and his wife Janet Carruthers (parents unknown), sold Butterwhat in 1654 to William Carruthers, the 2nd son of John Carruthers, 8th Laird and 4th Baron Holmains.  (Holmains would be inherited in 1657 by his nephew John Carruthers, the son of William's older brother James.)

Wiliam Carruthers, now known as "of Butterwhat", married in 1667 Sarah Maxwell, daughter of Agnes Maxwell and James Maxwell of Tinwald.  Agnes was the heiress of the 40-merk land of Dunwoodie, which she willed to a pecking order of heirs, of which her grandson, John Carruthers, eldest son of William and Sarah, was 3rd in line.  Agnes also sold the 36/- land of Brumblebank to William and Sarah.

John Carruthers of Butterwhat was married to Jean Riddell, daughter of Andrew Riddell of Hayning.  Apparently they had no children.  In 1698 John sold Butterwhat to his superior, George Carruthers, 10th Laird and 6th Baron Holmains.  After that, Butterwhat was folded into the Holmains estate.  John also served as a curator of Sir Alexander Jardine of Applegarth.  John's younger brother, James Carruthers, was Chamberlain to the Duke of Queensberry.  At various times, he had real estate interests in Over Halleaths, Roberthill and Scotsbrig.     



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