Like so many Scottish noble families,
the Grahams descend from the Anglo-Norman knights who entered Scotland during
the 12thC. William De Graeme personally witnessed the signing in 1128 of
the charter founding the Abbey of Holyrood. The Montrose Grahams descend
from William. The Grahams married into the family of the Celtic Earls of
Sir Patrick Graham of Strathearn died
fighting the English in 1296. Two years later his nephew, Sir John Graham,
fought with William Wallace and was killed in the disasterous Battle of Falkirk.
James Graham, Marquis of Montrose,
rose in rebellion in support of Charles I. This was an attempt by Montrose
to grab power in Scotland for Charles while the Scottish army was in England
fighting in the English Civil War in support of the Parliamentary forces.
Montrose was captured and then executed in 1650.
John Graham, Viscount of Claverhouse,
'Bonnie Dundee, was commander of the Jacobite army at the Battle of Killiecrankie
(near Pitlochry) in 1689. Claverhouse died although
he had won the battle and defeated the Williamite forces.
Why not take a short break of vacation
in 'Graham country'!
The Grahams held various lands in
Perthshire. Now ruined Auchterarder Castle was originally a Graham stronghold
which later passed to the Drummonds through marriage. Braco Castle belonged
to the Earls of Montrose. In 1625 a Graham was created Baronet of
Braco. In 1790 Braco Castle passed to the Smythes.
Around Loch Ard and the Trossachs was
another Graham area. The Grahams of Downie acquired Duchray Castle near
Aberfoyle in 1569. Here in the 1690s Graham
sisters entertained Williamite officers while Rob Roy MacGregor conducted
smuggling beside the Castle.