A Book of the Graemes


Title Page
Preface (v)
Sketch of Graeme Decent Through the Noble House of Montrose (xvii)
Images to Sketch of Grame Decent
Sketch I Patrick Graeme, 1st Great Baron of Inchbrakie and Aberruthven (1)
Sketch II The Younger Children and Widow of Patrick, the First Great Baron of Inchbrakie (6)
Sketch III Robert Graeme, Archdeacon of Ross, Younger Son of the First Great Baron (10)
Sketch IV George Graeme, 2nd Baron of Inchbrakie (19)
Sketch V Widow and Children of George Graeme (27)
Sketch VI George Graeme, Bishop of Orkney, Retland and Dunblane (35)
Images to Sketch VI
Sketch VII Patrick Graeme, Third Baron of Inchbrakie (66)
Sketch VIII Widow and Younger Children of Patrick Graeme (90)
Images to Sketch VIII
Sketch IX George Graeme, Fourth Baron of Inchbrakie (104)
Images to Sketch IX
Sketch X The Younger Children of George and Marget Keith, his Wife (118)
Sketch XI Patrick V of Inchbrakie 'Black Pate' (134)
Images to Sketch XI
Sketch XII Col Patrick Graeme of the Town Guard and his Family (186)
Images to Sketch XII
Sketch XIII John Graeme, Postmaster General (216)
Sketch XIV James Graeme, Solicitor General (223)
Sketch XV Daughters of Black Pate (230)
Images to Sketch XV
Sketch XVI George Graeme, 6th Baron of Inchbrakie (248)
Sketch XVII Younger Son & Daughters of George Graeme (259)
Sketch XVIII Patrick Graeme, 7th Baron of Inchbrakie (262)
Images to Sketch XVIII
Sketch XIX George Graeme, 8th in-line, son of Patrick (276)
Sketch XX Patrick Graeme, 8th Baron of Inchbrakie (284)
Images to Sketch XX
Sketch XXI Younger Sons and Daughters of the 8th Baron (317)
Images to Sketch XXI
Sketch XXII George Graeme, 9th Baron of Inchbrakie (340)
Sketch XXIII Patrick and Younger Sons and Daughter of George Graeme, 9th of Inchbrakie (360)
Images to Sketch XXIII
Sketch XXIV George Drummond Graeme 10th of Inchbrakie and Patrick Graeme 11th (395)
Images to Sketch XXIV
Sketch XXV The Witch's Relic (406)
Images to Sketch XXV
Sketch XXVI Graemes of Monzie, Pitcairns & Buchlyvie (413)
Sketch XXVII The Graemes of Orchill (432)
Images to Sketch XXVII
Sketch XXVIII The Graemes of Gorthie and Braco (454)
Images to Sketch XXVIII
Sketch XXIX The Graemes of Graemeshall in Orkney (497)
Sketch XXX The House of Graham and Watt of Breckness and Orkney (513)
Sketch XXXI Kathrine Graeme, Daughter of George, Bishop of Dunblane (524)
Sketch XXXII Graemes of Drynie (540)
Images to Sketch XXXII
Sketch XXXIII Graeme of Damside and Graeme of Duchray (547)
Sketch XXXIV The Graemes of Garvock (557)
Sketch XXXV The Graemes of Balgowan (572)
Images to Sketch XXXV
Sketch XXXVI Grames, Greymes, Grahams of Callendar; Aberuthven, Kernock, Kinross Cossington (592)
Sketch XXXVII Grahams of Airth & Graham-Stirling of Strowan (604)
Sketch XXXVIII The Graemes of Fintry, Claverhouse, Duntrune and other Cadets (616)
Images to Sketch XXXVIII
Appendix I
Appendix II
Appendix III
Appendix IV
Appendix V
Appendix VI
Index A
Index B
Index C
Index D, E & F
Index G
Index H
Index I, J, K & L
Index M & N
Index O, P, Q & R
Index S
Index T, U, V, W & Y



Current events, and a variety of interests, crowd so thickly on the brain, occupying so fully the time and thought of the present generation, that it has neither leisure nor inclination to listen to the oft-repeated verbal recitals, which formed to a great extent the family history education of its predecessors; and it appears to me th many of the so called traditions (which nevertheless recorded facts) are in danger of slipping away altogether from our own, and succeeding generations.

It is with the hope of at least arresting a few of these, relating to the family of Graemes and Grahams, that I have ventured to put together, in what I trust may prove a readable form, anything I have found of interest to their descendants; in this endeavour I have confined myself (with one exception) to those episodes or events which can be corroborated by family archives or historical records. In such manner I have hoped to make this volume acceptable not only to their descendants in this practical and fact seeking twentieth century, but also of interest to the more earnest student of antiquarian research. The one exception is, the burning of the so-called witch, Kate McNiven of Monzie. The story is one, which has descended from father to son in every walk of life, and the proof is the stone and relic she bestowed on Inchbrakie.

The student of the Graeme and Graham families is much confused by the repetition in succeeding generations of the same Christian names.

In the Inchbrakie branch alone, each eldest and second son was called Patrick and George, or George and Patrick alternately; but when to this is added in generations of the different branches, those of John, James and David, duplicated in bewildering alternation, confusion becomes worse confounded. Every care has been taken to unravel this knot, and place the right men in the right place with as much accuracy as possible.

The spelling I have adhered to in the Sketch of Descent "Graeme" is the one found on the seals attached to the ancient charters, seals which took the place of signatures. In 1579, probably one of the earliest dates for a woman’s signature, the Lady Agnes Grame, daughter of the second Earl of Montrose, signs her letters Agnes Graem; and passing to the next century, we find the clerks and others who drew up the legal documents almost invariably using the spelling of Graham, though these were witnessed and signed Graeme by the persons written of in the substance of the charters as Graham.

This caused, in many instances, where either indifference was felt or trouble caused by adhering to the old spelling, younger sons and even the main branch to let the matter slip. This is peculiarly apparent in the Bishop of Dunblane and Orkney’s family in 1620-50. The Bishop, of course, signed his Episcopal signature only from 1603 onwards, and though on his daughters tomb he carves the Graeme, he addresses his letters to his son of Gorthie, to Graham; while his second son, who founds the House of Graemeshall, adheres to the old spelling; and the descendants of his fourth son, who also commenced with the diphthong, gradually are beaten into the use of the "aha". Many of the Bishop’s grandsons continued the diphthong spelling, notably the Gorthies, as well as Graemeshall, and a David Graeme.

The Archdean of Ross, Graeme of Drynie, is referred to as late as 1680 in a ratification by Barbara, Countess of Seafield, as Robert Graeme, but his descendants were fast abandoning it for Graham.

Mercer’s Chronicle (M.S), in 1662, writes of Balgowan as "Graeme" and until Lord Lynedoch’s date, that family never used any spelling but ae, while John Graeme of Eskbank used the ae, and his son Robert, who succeeded Lynedoch, altered it to the "aha". The Garvock Graemes and Fintry Grahams, springing from the same father, spell it differently; and the Duke of Montrose adopted the modern spelling permanently.

Examples could be multiplied, but I have said enough to prove that the oldest and original spelling bore no "h" in the name, unless it was written "Ghrame". The almost universal use of the name of the estate as surname for the holder at the time often caused the loss of old spellings.

With regard to the designation "Great Baron", by which many of the families are described, it may be pointed out that the greater Commoners of Scotland were divided by their charters into two classes - "Great Barons" and "Lesser Barons". This depended on the extent of the lands of which the several baronies consisted; and in the earlier centuries that amount depended almost exclusively on their descent from noble houses; their fines and responsibilities were also arranged in proportion to their being a Great or Lesser Baron. The cadets of cadets, who held even smaller holdings, were simply "Lairds"; and in the eighteenth century were often designated "bonnet Lairds", signifying that though the estate could be covered by their caps or "bonnets", yet they were owners with descent.

By the eighteenth century (unless perhaps in charters) the term "Great Baron" was not specially used, though their wives were designated Lady or "Leddy", but only when the name of an estate followed.

The tartan of the Graemes and Grahams is well known; there is a slight difference between that of the Montrose and the Monteith clans. In 1401 tartan is mentioned in the accounts of Bishop John of Glasgow, treasurer to James III of Scotland.

With regard to the kilt, there can be little doubt that it is of very early origin. There are many sculptured stones on which it is represented; the oldest was found in the wall of Antoninus, and is preserved at Croy. Other stones are at Dull and Dupplin in Perthshire, Nigg in Ross-shire, Forres, St Andrews, and there is Macmillan’s Cross in Argyllshire; the periods of these extend from the sixth to the ninth century. I am told that a very complete representation of the Highland dress is to be seen on one of the corbels of Paisley Abbey, carved in the fifteenth century. The figure is represented as wearing a kilt, brogues, a feather in the bonnet, a belt, etc.

I cannot conclude without an expression of sincere thanks to those who have so liberally bestowed their knowledge (with which research has endowed them) on myself: namely to Mr J. Maitland Thomson, the Curator, and Mr J. Anderson, the Sub-Curator of the Register House; and to Mr Francis Grant, Clerk to the Lyon Court. I have also to thank the officials at the Register House, Edinburgh, and the officials of the British Museum for much courteous assistance.

My heartfelt thanks are also due to the late Mr Guthrie Smith and Mr George Smythe, who, alas, they cannot reach. While to the Viscountess Strathallan, to Lord Ruthven, Colonel the Honourable Robert Boyle, Sir Reginald Graham, Bart. of Norton-Conyers, Sir Graham Hammond-Graeme, Bart; Colonel Smythe of Methven Castle, Mr Graham of Fintry, Mr Sanderson of Learmonth Terrace, Edinburgh, the Reverend J. Ferguson of Aberdalgie, and many others who have lent me valuable assistance, I offer my grateful acknowledgements for their kindness; and last, but not least, to my sisters for their unselfish and devoted assistance, without which work could not have been accomplished; a work which, while claiming from myself every care that could ensure its accuracy, lays no claim to any literary ability.


Mortimer, Berks,

October 1903

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