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

Sketch XXX











The Bishop’s inventories have elucidated the exact place in the fmily, of John Graham, founder of Breckness; he was the fourth son, Gorthie, Graemeshall, and Mungo, having preceded him.

The Bishop built and finished the House of Breckness in 1633; and when a couple of centuries later it fell into disrepair, Mr William G. Watt his descendant had the stone with coast of arms removed to Skaill House, where he resides, and which had also been a residence of the Bishop, who dates a letter from it before Breckness was finished.

John, the Bishop’s fourth son, became the owner of Breckness and Skaill on the Bishop’s death, or more possibly previous to that event which occurred about 1647 when David Gorthie his eldest son was retoured heir to the lands of Myreside in Methven, Perthshire.

Mr Craven gives us the first mention of John Graham of Breckness in 1628, when he cannot have been more than 12 years old, and with his mother "Mareon Creeghtoun" (Marion Crichton) he obtains sasine in the lands of Francis Mudie in Stromness.

In 1654 a note amongst Methven papers shows that Barbara Stewart was wife to John Graham and that in 1656 he is styled of Breckness. The date of his marriage is given as September 22nd, 1645, and in 1663 John Graham of Breckness is J.P. or Sheriff.

John and the Smythes were great friends, as indeed were most of the lairds on the island; difficulty of access to the mainland three them on each other for entertainment.

In 1665 Patrick Smythe the second, the Bishop’s grandson, and John Graham’s nephew, had just disposed (on his father’s death) of his Orkney lands. A gathering of friends and relations is collected at Brabarter, Sheriff Patrick Blair’s home, and the Sheriff writes an invitation in rhyme to Patrick Smythe, who must be in the neighbourhood, to come over and sup. It is given in full as it must interest many descendants of Orkney families. The eighth couplet may refer to the purchase of Meall by Rothiesholme.


Brabarter, 3rd Nov. 1665.


To write to you in the new fashion and mode
As we have need when we write to a lad
We are almost sunk in sad melancholy
As you are (we think) in foibles and folly
Rapness is sad untill you come here
He hath brewed good ale but no good beer
We take our cups and handie and dandie
And still we enlarge with a cup of good brandie
Come hither at sight or the dogs shall eat you
Choose you who will, good Rapness shall meet you
Your glaring bailiff 'bring you along
All your vassels of him, will sing a sad song
We think he'll care to save all your trees (barrels)
Shame fall his face?look you to his eyes
As for your good uncle leave him not in bands
For well has he payed for your house your lands
Bring him then with you thro' hills and thro' cairns
He ought to be loved for all and such bairns
Rothsome is here and his mother also
God save his friends yet I am his foe
Here is Breckness also your pupil most kind
May he still thrive to yours and my mind
Burray must hear a preachment at Holme
And swears he will hear it before he go home
Come hither this night or sorrow o'ertake you
For three or four friends are here for to back you
Our names are better that you may understand
We'll send you them here under our hand P. B.

viz. .

Burray most grave
Rothiesholme that knave (?)
Rapness most kind
Breakness to your mind.

Postscript by the Mistress Rapness his mother.

I here remember him in a hearty good cup
In hopes he will be here for to sup.
These are direct
To quondarm Maell
With much respect
These are direct
Yet in effect
We are all in our ale
These are direct
To quondem Meall.

The "Rapness" referred to is George Smythe, Patrick’s first cousin, who married Annas, daughter of Black Pate of Inchbrakie. Mistress Rapness who writes the couplet forming the postscript is the widowed mother of Rapness; her husband had died in 1648.

John Graham, first of Breckness, had by his wife Barbara Stewart twelve children as follows:

1. Ann, born 1647, married 1663 John Buchanan of Sandsyde, Orkney

2. Harie, born 1648, married 1669 Euphame Honeyman, daughter of Bishop Honeyman.

Note: Wednisday, the fyft day of Febry,1690, Wame, Craigie of Gairsay wes maried to Anna Grahame, relict of John Buchanan of Sandsyd, at the kirk of St Androis, and the brydall holden at the sd.houses, and in respect that it is observed be traditione, no persones that is married in the kirk of Deirnes haith any good success or thriving, and thairfoir they went and wes married in the sd. Kirk of St Androis be Mr Jon. Shilps minister at the said Unitit kirks.

This church, dedicated to St Peter, has two steeples, said to be monumental, being placed over two sons buried there. In the case of Lady Sandside the ill luck followed her, and she died in two years. Issue extinct.

3. Mary, born 1649, married 1669 George Traill, second laird of Holland; she died 7th October 1686.

4. Katherine, born 1651, married Harie Mudie, younger son of James Mudie of Millsettar; she died 19th November 1686.

5. James, born 1652, Minister of Evie and Rendall.

6. Barbara, born 1654, married Thomas Stewart, notary at Skaill in Sandwich, the 24th January 1678, and died November 19th 1679. (Skaill was probably the dower house of Breckness).

7. Margaret, born 1654.

8. Isabella, born 1656, married William Traill.

9. Patrick, born 1657.

10. John, born 1658.

11. Marion, born 1662, married James Nisbet, minister of Stromness, Sandwich.

12. Thomas, born 1662.

Note: "The 24th of June being Thursday, 1680, Thomas Grahame broyr to Harie Grahame of Breckness, hade his hand shott of be axedent and who depairted this lyfe in Burgh’s house in Sanday on Fryday nixt yraftr, and buried in his tom at Marie Kirk there."


Of this large family Barbara and Margaret, and Marion and Thomas appear to have been twins respectively.

Before taking up the story further with the Harie who heads the family, attention must be drawn to the dates above mentioned, in relation to one found of a Harie Graham (of Breckness) side by side with the name of his cousin Black Pate of Inchbrakie and many others, "Harie Grahame" appears, as being granted by General Middleton in 1647 a pass for going about his business after the ways of the Great Troubles. The entry does not state of Breckness, and it may not refer at all to the Orkney family. It is mentioned because the fact of the pass proved "Harie Grahame" of Orkney may prove who was the bearer of the pass.

The only way to account for a Harie in the Montrose wars is that John Grahame, the first of Breckness, had married early in life and had an elder son Harie who died previous to the birth of the Harie by the second wife; at any rate I leave the matter to be solved, if there is a solution, by better heads. The year 1647 seems a late date for the first marriage of the Bishop’s son. However, the more certain record remains and John Grahame of Breckness, of whose death I have no record, was succeeded at its occurrence by:




Who proved an able supported of the previous family history. He appears to have been a man equal to taking his place in the world and the various incidents of his life show more or less prominent action.

In 1670 his father is certainly dead, for in a retour charter of that year, on February 25th, Harie Grahame "of Breckness obtains the church lands of the lands of Outterstromness." It seems Bishop George Graeme was not the only bishop who could be accused of granting church lands to his relations! It was, in fact, a very common occurrence all over the kingdom and merely equivalent to an ordinary lease.

Harie Grahame married, previous to 1670, Euphame, daughter of Andrew Honeyman, Bishop of Orkney. Lamont tells us how in October 1662 Mr "Andro Hunnyman" was married at St Andrews, admitted "Archdeane of St Andrews." At his admission he received from Archbishop Sharp in the town church "the Bibell," the keys of the church door, and the bell tower "all in his hand."

In 1675, Harie and his father in law, the Bishop of Orkney, are on a Court together, and in April commence examining witnesses in the case of Henry Insgair against Wame. Douglas Egilshay.

At thirty years of age he takes his place among the County Sheriffs or J.P.’s and between the years 1678 and 1698 his name is frequently recorded in that office.

In 1686, Euphame, his wife, the Bishop’s daughter, died at Skaill as Mr Thomas Brown tells us.

"Sabbath, 17th October, 1686, Euphen Honyman, spous to Harie Grahame of Breckness, depairted this lyfe at Skaill in Sandwick."

Harie had two losses that year, for his sister Katherine died four weeks after his wife; he was much engaged with public duties, and his flock of young children needed a woman’s care. In April 1691, a daughter styled "Ewphem, eldest daughter to Harie Grahame of Brackness," is married to Hugh Baikie of Burnes. Probably the loss of this eldest girl from his home incited him to find a second wife. He takes a journey into Fifeshire and arrives "from the south" with a wife; Thomas Brown records it as a great event. "Ffriday about sunset or y’by the eighteen of Septer, 1691, Harie Grahame of Brecknes came from the south to Kerkwall with his second wfe called Jonet Law."

Harie found her at Anstruther, not very distant from Cambo, where sixty years previously his uncle, David Graeme of Gorthie, chose his wife from the Myrtouns.

By 1685, he was a Member of Parliament, and in 1701 laid a petition before the House in the name of all the "unfrie" traders with the islands and parishes of Orkney, for the encouragement of trade there, "being few traders there at present"; he begs that the sums of two shillings Scots which is the quota imposed for the past years and which is the greatest proportion the islanders are able to bear of the tax roll of the Royal Burrow be payed monthly.

When Sir Charles Erskine made his tour round Scotland, Harie employed him to blazon his Arms for him.

Sir Charles was the Lyon King at Arms, empowered by King Charles II to visit all the noblemen and prelates, barons and gentlemen within the kingdom to distinguish them with difference and also to give arms.

He therefore matriculates Harie "descended by progress of the Inchbrakie family" as follows:

"Or, a Lyons paw erased and erected betwixt 3 Roses Gules on a Chiefe sable as many escallops of the first on ane Helmet befitting his degree with a mantle Gules doubled Argent and wreathe of his ‘cullours’ is set; for his crest a Lyon’s paw as the former grasping a sword erected in pale proper, and for his motto in ane ‘scrull’ above crest":

"Nec Temere Nec Timede."

This was registered and signed by Sir Charles at Edinburgh 9th December 1676.

For difference Harie has been granted the lion’s paw instead of the lion of Graemeshall.

Harie Grahame and Euphame Honeyman had nine children:

I.  Euphame married Hugh Baikie in 1691

II.  Ann, born 1671

III.  Andrew who succeeds, born 1672.

IV. Margaret born 1675, married William Leddle of Hammer, 1696.

V.  James born 1676, a Merchant in Anstruther, Fifeshire, married Helen Graham

VI. Cecilia born 1680, married 1699 Robert Honeyman of Graemsay; their daughter, Euphame, married Andrew, (her uncle) third of Breckness; their grandson, Sir William Honeyman of Graemsay, became Lord Armadale.

VII.  Katherine, born 1681

VIII.  William, born 1682, married Mary Graham.

IX.  Marion, born 1684.

Mr Harie Grahame, M.P., died 20th June 1718. Of late matters had not been going so well with him, and his will shows that money had been lent him by his son James.

On the 4th of February 1719, the will dative of Harie Grahame of Breckness is given up; it states he died in the July of the previous year (1718).

James Grahame, late Bailie in Anstruther, gives it up as creditor of a bond dated in the April of 1718, and that owing to his having obtained decreet against "Will Graham third lawful son to the defunct, Annas Graham late relict of New Backie of Bowness, Mary Graham spouse to William Leddle of Banner and he for his interest, Marion Graham, spouse to Mr Alex. Nisbet, minister of the Gospell at Theysmshay, Catherine Graham, lawful daughter to the defunct, Cicell Graham spouse to Mr Robert Hanneman of Graemesay; therefore he James Graham is to have sole executorship of his guides and abulements."

Amongst this is mentioned a "little silver handle sword and kane, ane old watch in tortoishell case and a ring."

The above Will does not quite agree with the MS. pedigrees.  Harie Grahame was succeeded by his eldest son and heir in 1718.


He held the lands for three years only and married when twenty-two years old, a namesake of his mother's.  The younger, Euphame, who became Mrs Grahame of Breckness was the daughter of Mr Robert Honeyman, who became of Graemesay, and Cecilia Graham (daughter to Breckness), his wife;  this estate was partly left to Robert and partly to Harie Graeme (his father-in-law), by Mr James Stewart, fourth of Graemesay. 

Bishop Honeyman had an only son, Andrew, who was brother to Mrs Harie Grahame of Breckness, and Sheriff of Orkney;  this Sheriff was the father of Robert, owner of Graemesay, whose daughter, Euphame, married secondly his kinsman (second cousin), Patrick Graeme, the third laird of  Graemeshall.   I have met with no record of Andrew`s life beyond his marriage and the three children born to him and Euphame:

Harie, born 1695. 
Robert, born 1696.
Mungo, born 1697

The family pedigree and Burke both make no further mention beyond his birth of Harie the eldest son, and state that


Born in 1696, he married his first cousin Margaret, daughter of his uncle Mr James Graham (and Helen Graham his wife), who had left Orkney to become a merchant in Anstruther.  He is served heir to his father, Andrew Graham younger of Breckness, in 1721.

This Robert and Margaret Graham are stated to have had three children:

I. . Robert, born 1724.

I I.  Euphame, born 1728, married Mr Cleghorn.

III.  Helen, born 1731.

He was succeeded by his son,


who was born in 1724, married in 1744 Margaret Brown, was served heir to his great-grandfather Harie to various lands, 8th October 1754.

In the year 1747 we find him (or his father) giving in his claim as holder of the hereditary Bailiery over the Parishes of Sandwich and Stromness; he died in 1780, and his wife died at her house of Skaill, Orkney, on April 9th, 1792.

Their children are recorded as follows:

I.  John Graham, born 1747, d.v.p.

I I. Patrick, born 1748; he sold the lands of Breckness to his brother-in-law Mr William Watt. Died in 1800.

III. Robert, born 1749;  married daughter of Mr Smith of Turmiston, Orkney;  his name appears in a law-suit regarding a wreck, he is described as Robert Graham late "residenter" in Skaill, he had two daughters who died unmarried.

IV.  Margaret, born 1752;  married 20th June 1775 Mr William Watt, merchant in Kirkwall, son of Mr William Watt, by Katherine, daughter of Rev. J. Gibson of Evie and Rendall, son of Alex., Archdean of Caithness, Dean of Watten and Bower, by Katherine his wife, daughter of James Sinclair of Assery.


Margaret Graham's husband brought the lands of Breckness and Skaill to that family, and their children carry on the line; like all the houses of Bishop George Graeme, it passes to the distaff to be carried on.

Mr and Mrs Watt had three children:

I.  William Graham, born 1776.

II. Robert, born 1779; married Eliza Rae, and had issue?William Watt, Belfast, married Agnes Arthur, Belfast, and had issue

1. Robert Graeme Watt, Esq., member of Ulster Club, Belfast.

2. Arthur.

3. Cecilia.

4. Eliza.

III. Margaret, born 1778; married her cousin James Stewart Watt, M.D., and has issue.


was born in 1776.  He married, 1811, Anne, daughter of Thomas Traill of Frotoft, Orkney, and died on 23rd October 1866, leaving seven children:

I.  W. Watt Graham Watt, born 1815, married Barbara, daughter of Rev. William Logie, of Kirkwall.  He died without issue, 1876.

II.  Thomas Traill Watt, born 1819, married Miss Eliza Strang, and left two daughters.

1. Anne Traill.

2. Eliza Strang.

III. Robert Graham, born 1825, married Elizabeth, daughter of George Dale, Esq., and died 1862, leaving a son, W. G. T. Watt, who succeeds, and a daughter Robina Graham.

IV. Robina Grant, born 1813, married James W. Moffatt, surgeon, R.N., they had a son James W., died unmarried.

V.  Margaret Graham, born 1814, died unmarried 1891.

VI. Anne Traill, born 1817, married John Balfour, of the Pilrig family, and had issue a son, Walter Brunton, and a daughter, Helen Brunton.

VII. Thomas Traill, born 1819, died unmarried.

The Traills of Holland and Westhove are as previously mentioned, connected with the Graemes in Sketch XX IX. as well as with Breckness;  in Sketch XVII. will be found mention of Traills who settled in Perthshire and were friends of the Inchbrakies;  a Traill of Aberdalgie is mentioned as marrying a daughter of George, fourth of Inchbrakie.

William Graham Watt was succeeded in 1866 by his eldest son,


He died in 1875 without issue and was succeeded by his nephew,


W. Graham Watt married in 1885 Mary Charlotte, daughter of Lt. Robert Barry, K.M., and has issue.

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